What to Do with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Is there anything better than a fridge full of leftovers? Turkey day is fun and all, but a next-day sandwich — now that’s the stuff. Let’s get into all the delicious ways you can maximize your Thanksgiving returns. 


Simply pile anything that tickles your fancy between two slices of bread! There are no hard rules, though this formula has always been a success for us:

  • Turkey meat, shredded or thinly sliced
  • A few green-leaf lettuce leaves
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tomato
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce

How To Use Your Leftover…


Pick all of the meat from the legs and slice all remaining breast meat before storing. That way, it’s ready to use. Cover the leftovers in gravy so they stay moist.
To serve turkey cold: dice and make it into sandwich filling with herbs, citrus, and mayo or extra-virgin olive oil. Reserve the bones to make stock, then freeze your stock to use throughout the winter season.


Use cheese for breakfast omelets or biscuits, sandwiches, and savory baking. When it’s been slightly compromised from sitting out, it’s better to cook with it rather than serving it again as is.


It’s best to blanch or roast legumes and brassicas like beans, broccoli, cauliflower before enjoying them a second time. Hardier items like fennel, celery, peppers, radishes can be served raw in salads, or cooked into stir-fries, omelets, or quiche. Any leftover asparagus will make a delectable creamy soup, especially when using the tips.

Dips & Spreads

Most dips will work well on toasted bread, flatbread, or crackers as crostini. You can also turn them into a filling for omelets, wraps, or tacos. Artichoke dip reheats especially well—don’t be afraid to bust it out again for your Sunday football spread. Repurpose ranch or blue cheese dips for your homemade salads or pack them into the kids’ lunches with carrots, celery, or other fresh veggies,


You don’t want to hold on to roasted and salted nuts for too long—they’ll go bad sooner than you think. Use them in salads or as a garnish for soups and roasted vegetables. Or you can turn them in pesto along with any leftover herbs you’ve got.

Leafy Vegetables

Leafy greens can be chopped up and folded into lots of dishes, like quick, grain bowls, and savory quick breads. You can also use them to add a nutritious boost where you might not expect it, like in creamy dips or smoothies.


Corn is an excellent addition to risotto (try it with chorizo and pumpkin seeds). Mix it with lime, cotija cheese, chili, and mayo for a great warm salad topping. Or use it in savory bakes like cornbread, frittatas, muffins, and souffles.

Mashed Potatoes or Root Veggies

Besides being a perfect topping for shepherd’s pie, leftover mashes are make great fritters when mixed with eggs, flour, and chopped veggies or proteins. Mix mashed sweet potatoes with grain mustard and some maple syrup for a flavorful spread to go on your turkey sandwich.

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