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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

To some of us, today is spent kicking off the holiday season by waking up bright and early, fighting the crowds in order to score the best deals. And to the rest of us it’s National Thanksgiving Leftovers Day, aka the greatest leftovers day in all of the land! There are so many traditional dishes associated with Thanksgiving that it’s virtually impossible to eat all of the food you prepared, no matter how many people you host at your house. This means that today is the beginning of a few days where most meals are centered around finishing up the Thanksgiving carnage. There is straight up eating cold mashed potatoes from the fridge (been there, ate that) and then there’s finding creative ways to turn some of these leftovers into almost-new dishes (going there, will eat that). Since the former doesn’t need any explanation, I rounded up some creative recipes to help us with the latter.

Image Credit: Ree Drummond

Thanksgiving Leftover Panini {via ree drummond for food network}
Piling all of yesterday’s best bites between two slices of bread is pretty standard leftover fare, this sandwich takes that idea and bumps it up a little bit. If you have a panini maker or a George Foreman grill this is an incredibly easy recipe for you. I, however, don’t have either of these things. If you don’t either, just heat the sandwich in a skillet with a tablespoon or so of butter and place another very heavy skillet on top, flipping the sandwich midway through cooking. The heavy skillet will press the sandwich together, giving you a panini style sandwich. The only difference is you don’t get the pretty grill marks, but they won’t be missed too much.

Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie {via martha stewart}
Martha calls these “Turkey and Mashed Potato Potpies” but I say—why give them such a boring name when we can give them a fun and festive one instead? A traditional shepard’s pie is made with mashed potatoes piled over a meat and small vegetable (think peas, diced carrots, corn) mixture, in this one you are subbing the ground beef for turkey. This recipe uses leeks, which is kind of an odd vegetable that I don’t think is going to be lying around with your Thanksgiving leftovers. If you don’t have them, go ahead and substitute an equal amount of both green or yellow onions and get the same flavor that you would with the leeks.

Image Credit: Laura Davidson

Leftover Stuffing Egg Rolls {via sweet as a cookie}
I would file this under the “much of more of a method than recipe” category because you can do virtually anything with this idea. This recipe shows only stuffing being rolled in the wonton wrappers but I would just use that as a jumping off point. Adding some cranberry sauce, turkey, cut up brussels sprouts—really anything at all would work here. The only rule is not to over stuff the egg rolls because then you’ll end up with a small explosion, leaving 1/4 of the filling inside the wrapped and 3/4 of the filling all over your pan. And that is not fun to clean up, ever.

Turkey Tetrazzini {via skinnytaste}
This is a very traditional casserole that can be made any time of the year but is perfect for today because it uses up quite a bit of turkey. It’s also the easiest thing to make ever, just take a look at the instructions. Cook the pasta, mix it with the rest of the ingredients, and put it in the oven. After the biggest cooking day of the year, doesn’t that ease sound like bubbling butter (my version of music) to your ear?

Image Credit: Ree Drummond

Mashed Potato Waffles {via all recipes}
Did your heart skip a beat reading this recipe title like mine did? This takes two of my personal favorite foods—waffles and mashed potatoes—and merges them together into one delightful little bite. These waffles only contain leftover mashed potatoes but there is no reason why you couldn’t pour some leftover cranberry sauce over them. Or add some leftover turkey on top, putting a Thanksgiving spin on the classic Chicken & Waffles. Take that a step further and pour some gravy over the top to really cement this as the best dish ever.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes {via blogging over thyme}
Pie is one of those leftovers that is fine to eat as is for the next few days. And, while that is delicious, it’s not very fun. What IS fun is putting a piece of pie into a blender with ice cream, some milk, and pressing “on.” Does that sound excessive? Just remember it’s the holiday season and according to ancient holiday season eating rules, for the next month there is no such thing as “too much.” Better? Great—go find your blender!

Share your favorite way (other than straight from the fridge) to eat yesterday’s leftovers!

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One Comment on “Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers”

  1. eezybee November 28, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    Yumm that looks delish

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