Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

Transform Thanksgiving leftovers into delicious new dishes with these tasty tips from our readers.

Roast turkey with all the trimmings

Tasty Ideas For Thanksgiving Leftovers

Wondering how to turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into something new? Our readers have some scrumptious suggestions.


To make this year’s post-Turkey Day meals a bit more exciting, we tapped our readers’ creative juices. Responding on Facebook, they shared their favorite ways of spicing up Thanksgiving leftovers:

• Jessica Chambers We boil down the turkey carcass to remove the meat, then make gallons of soup that we store in freezer bags. It’s perfect for really cold evenings or when we don’t feel like cooking.

• Mary Parks Seiter Sweet Potato Puffs. Yummy!

• Dawn Anderson Butler I whip up my grandmother’s recipe for Turkey Polynesian. Make a roux, then add pineapple juice and let simmer for a bit. Add the pineapple, and serve over dried chow mein noodles. Very rich and so delicious.

• Christa Gettys Combining homemade turkey stock and drippings with chopped celery, onions and carrots, I make a delicious turkey and dumpling “stoup”. It’s thicker than soup, but not quite a stew. My family loves it more than the turkey dinner.

• Karen Mcnicol Take 2 cups of diced turkey and some leftover veggies, cut into chunks, and place into a greased casserole dish. Add gravy to keep it moist. Mix mashed potatoes and stuffing together, spoon it over the top and heat through in the oven. Presto—turkey potpie!

• Angie Mehrtens My favorite is a hot sandwich made with turkey, cranberries, stuffing and green beans.

• Breahn Royal Grilled Turkey Panini! Made with turkey, Swiss cheese, spinach, a tad of cranberry sauce and spicy mustard, it’s a lighter meal after a big Thanksgiving feast.

• Marribeth Lindgren Foster I like to make a wrap out of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, lettuce, tomatoes and gravy. Another fave is stuffed bell peppers made with turkey, breakfast sausage and rice.

• Pauline Williams Our leftovers become Poppy Seed Turkey Casserole with Ritz Crackers.

• Joyce Kirchner Moynihan I make Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Enchiladas. Delish!

• Erin Humphrey Cranberry sauce makes yummy muffins.

• Ril Giles My kids love turkey and cranberry biscuits made in muffin tins for easy lunches.

• Leanne Meadows Doyle Andrews I use leftover smoked turkey in potato soup. Or, I mix turkey with herbed cream of chicken soup, milk, peas and carrots and serve over biscuits.

• Ginger Miera Thompson Our leftover bird is made into chili or turkey salad for sandwiches.

• Deborah Off Our family looks forward to turkey croquettes.

Barbara Alteri I make a Canadian Sunset Sandwich by stuffing turkey breast, a tablespoon of cranberries, mandarin orange segments or thinly sliced navel oranges, sliced seedless green grapes, a little dressing, chopped celery, walnut halves and light mayo into a large white pita bread.

• Valonda Seward Almost as important as our Thanksgiving meal is Taquito Friday the next day—soft turkey taquitos served with my Southwestern dip, cheese sauce and guacamole.

• Britt Martin Jackson We use leftover stuffing to make waffles and use them for open face turkey sandwiches with gravy.

• Bonnie Witherstine Crider What leftovers? :) I have to make a separate turkey just for turkey salad to send home with the kids!

 Photography by RDA-Milwaukee.

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