14 Tasty Ways to Use Those Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving dinner is high art, and your plate is the canvas. The Frankenstein-ian creations we conjure from our turkey, casseroles, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie are impossibly delicious, and the fun doesn't have to stop when the relatives head home. Feel free to get just as creative with your Turkey Day leftovers as you were at Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Turkey Reuben

Turkey Reuben
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The turkey sandwich is the original post-Thanksgiving concoction, so it's only right to put a twist on the classic. The turkey Reuben calls for rye bread, sauerkraut, turkey, Swiss cheese, stuffing, Russian dressing, and unsalted butter. It's an easy, effective way to elevate the leftover turkey and stuffing that would otherwise be wasted in the fridge.

The Reuben sandwich is one of America's most enduring culinary creations, so why not include it in one of America's most iconic holidays? 

2. Turkey Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pies
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A pot pie makes too much sense for the leftovers in your fridge in the days following the initial feast. The store-bought alternative will have nothing on this spice-laden, turkey-featuring delicacy.

3. Pilgrims' Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole
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Everyone needs a quality breakfast casserole in their repertoire, especially when relatives crash the holidays like Rusty Griswold. While this recipe calls for ham as the primary ingredient, little is lost if you use turkey instead.

4. Stuffing and Waffles

Savory Waffle
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Those converted to the church of chicken and waffles know that pairing salt with a waffle base can be magical. So, don't turn your nose up at the stuffing-mashed potato waffle so quickly. At least check out the recipe first.

5. Turkey Taquitos

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It's November 25th, and both Thanksgiving and Cinco de Mayo have passed. Don't tell your inner chef, though, because turkey taquitos are on the menu.

It's a relatively simple taquito recipe but with shredded turkey as the base instead of chicken. Is it too late to trademark “turquito?”

6. Mashed Potato and Stuffing Patties

Potato Patty
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Two of the most beloved Thanksgiving Day offerings, mashed potatoes and stuffing, pair up with a crab cake-like consistency in this quick snack. Fry this delicious blend (which also includes turkey) in a skillet to elevate these leftover ingredients from their original forms. Teamwork makes the leftovers dream work.

7. Turkey Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup with parsley and vegetables in a white plate, gray background.
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A gobbled take on a sick-day staple, turkey noodle soup is the perfect remedy for those frigid November afternoons. Whip up a batch and enjoy throughout the week, extending your Thanksgiving leftovers for as long as gastrointestinally acceptable.

8. Turkey Sliders

Turkey Slider
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Whether you prefer King's Hawaiian rolls or another slider-style bread, pack your leftover turkey between the buns. Add your choice of cheese and any accoutrements you think your palate will appreciate. You might throw cranberry sauce on one slider, sweet potato casserole on another, and honey and pickled jalapenos on the third. Make the sliders your own = form of culinary expression.

9. Turkey and Stuffing Quiche

Turkey and Stuffing Quiche
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Turkey, stuffing, cheese, and eggs are complementary ingredients, so it's only fitting that you make a post-Thanksgiving quiche to tide you over until Christmas.

10. Skillet-Style Turkey Biscuits

Butterrmilk Biscuit
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Part biscuit, part casserole, this family-style dish incorporates turkey, veggies, and buttermilk biscuits to great effect. This dish tastes like home, and it may be particularly comforting if you had a bit more fun on Thanksgiving Night than you should have.

11. Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili
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Chefs have always had some leeway to make chili in their image, making so many homemade chili recipes distinct (and heavily guarded). If you have leftover pumpkin, consider repurposing it in a Thanksgiving-themed chili.

One recipe uses Italian sausage as protein while also incorporating a bit of cinnamon to pair with the pumpkin's sweetness. In a world dominated by pumpkin spice, why not give a legendary dish the pumpkin treatment?

12. Fried Stuffing Bites

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One of the more involved recipes on this list, fried stuffing bites, will be worth the payoff. If you haven't committed to your post-holiday diet just yet, try these delicious poppers with cranberry sauce to balance out the salt.

13. Post-Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole
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You know how Native American tribes and local butchers use the whole animal? Well, embrace a similar philosophy as your Thanksgiving leftovers near their expiration date. 

Take everything salty out of your fridge — the turkey, green beans, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Make a base layer of stuffing, then pile the green beans, turkey, and stuffing on top. Combine the mashed potatoes with egg yolk and pour it on the casserole as the top layer. Bake for 45 minutes at 425 degrees.

14. Cranberry-Orange Sweet Rolls

Cranberry Orange Rolls
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Once you've eaten all the leftover turkey sandwiches and still have eight cans of cranberry sauce remaining, break out this recipe for something sweet. While you may need to go to the store for the oranges and baking materials, you already have one of the primary ingredients for these delicious pastries.

Source: The Pioneer Woman.