There are two types of families at Thanksgiving. Once the meal reaches its end, one type fights among themselves for the last forkful of stuffing and drop of gravy, racing to enjoy another serving before the feast has vanished. The other type doesn’t even want to *see* another pile of stuffing on their plate until next year.
If your family falls in the second category, the days following Thanksgiving may be a challenge to empty out the fridge. The “Thanksgiving leftover” sandwich is a popular route, but there are way more creative ways to reinvent your surplus dishes.
You can add just about anything to oatmeal. Stir in ⅓ cup of mashed sweet potato, butternut squash, or pumpkin to a serving of oatmeal. You can even top with a dollop of cranberry sauce (and the pecans from your cheese tray).
And for the more adventurous, you can even make savory oatmeal by adding leftover stuffing, turkey, or veggies. Drizzle with gravy to make it extra special—or just top with an egg.
2. Shepherd’s pie
This classic casserole is the perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers since it is easily adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand. Incorporate your leftover gravy and veggies (especially green beans and carrots) into the base of the shepherd’s pie, and then top with a layer of leftover mashed potatoes.
… or omelette, if you’d rather.
Frittatas are an easy way to use up any kind of leftovers, and your Thanksgiving dishes are no exception. Shredded turkey, vegetables, and even your stuffing (!!!) can be mixed into frittata for a flavorful, seasonal weekend brunch.
Soups are especially great for Thanksgiving leftovers because many freeze well. If you’re sick of sweet potatoes, you can swirl ‘em into a soup, freeze in airtight containers, and say ‘hello again’ in a month or two.
If you’ve got a ton of root vegetables leftover, a pureed soup can help (and these freeze best). Try butternut squash soup, leek and potato soup, carrot and ginger soup, or cream of mushroom soup.
Otherwise, another great option is to make turkey noodle soup. This is a great way to use up leftover turkey, green beans, mushrooms, celery, onion, carrots, corn, and more. You can even go the extra mile and make homemade turkey broth using the turkey bones.
None of these ideas catching your interest? Here are more tips for using up leftovers from a chef. No matter what you do, just remember to enjoy your leftovers before they spoil.