Every Thanksgiving we adorn our tables with pumpkins and gourds, children craft hand-shaped turkey art and we make more food than we can possibly eat in one evening: juicy turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes topped with turkey gravy, airy dinner rolls, savory stuffing, crisp roasted veggies, tart cranberry sauce, and of course, buttery, flaky pies. Tired of the parade of mashed potato and turkey sandwiches, potato pancakes, pot pies and turkey tetrazzini leftovers that typically follow the feast, though? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
The following seven recipes offer creative solutions for how to transform your T-giving leftovers into completely new and delicious meals. Each family has their own set of Thanksgiving staple recipes: Some keep with tradition, while others delve into deep frying turkeys, making dinner rolls shaped like pumpkins or adding bacon to every dish. No matter how you prepare your dishes, these leftovers recipes will work well with the food you have on hand. Almost all of the additional ingredients you'll need should be found in your pantry or fridge.
Whether you choose to try your hand at one of these dishes or all seven of them, I hope they help make your post-Thanksgiving meals fun and enjoyable – as well as create some new Thanksgiving traditions along the way.
Many of these recipes require pie dough. If you don't already have a favorite pie dough recipe and would rather not purchase a frozen or prebaked shell, here is my go-to for flaky, buttery pie crust.
Pie Crust Dough
Yields | 1 pie crust |
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, sliced into ¼-inch cubes
- 6 Tbsp very cold water
| Preparation | In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar and salt on medium speed. Add butter and use a spoon to combine it with flour mixture. Mix on low to medium speed until texture is like coarse sand. While still running the mixer at low to medium speed, slowly drizzle in cold water. Continue mixing until a cohesive dough forms and comes together.
Transfer dough to a floured work surface; knead and create a ball. Slice in half, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 10 minutes before using.
Leftover Dinner Rolls
Excess dinner rolls always seem to be used for leftover turkey sandwiches, but they can do so much more. Below is a list of creative ideas for how to reuse your bread or dinner rolls after Thanksgiving dinner.
- Croutons for salad
- Bread crumbs for breading meat or veggies, to use as a binder for meatloaf or even a crispy topping for mac ‘n’ cheese
- Bread pudding
- Ribollita soup
- French toast
- Panzanella salad
- Breakfast strata
- French onion soup
- Avocado toast
- Mini pizzas
- Breadsticks to dip into fondue
- Grilled cheese