3 Delicious Dishes You Can Make with Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
The day after Thanksgiving you either look forward to the leftovers or turn to your full fridge and sigh. If you are like us, just heating up a plate of leftovers can be a little “meh.” Never fear though! Here are here are some creative, tastier ways to turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into delicious dishes.
The Classic: The Turkey Stuffing Gravy Sandwich
Our culinary expert and director, Chef Matt Schellig shares his favorite Thanksgiving leftover dish:
“I like to take the sliced turkey and stuffing with any leftover gravy and put it between two slices of bread. It is a great carbo-load but totally holiday “crack” food.”
The leftover turkey sandwich is a day after Thanksgiving classic. It’s a simple, easy meal that can be made to fit your tastes. Personally, I recommend toasting the bread you chose to use and dipping your holiday sub into gravy directly.
Regardless of how you like your sandwiches, adding some leftover stuffing, turkey or both can make for a hearty, and tasty after-Thanksgiving lunch.
**Make sure you reheat your leftovers to at least 165 degrees before eating as well.
The Experimental: The Thanksgiving Leftover Enchilada Pie
If a sandwich bores you, or you’re just in the mood for cooking the rest of the holiday weekend, the unique enchilada pie recipe might be just the leftover recipe for you. This recipe comes from the New York Times and while not as fast or simple as our above recipe, it is tasty!
What to get: (Note: As listed, this recipe feeds 6)
- 3 tbs olive oil, plus more for greasing the pie plate (or nonstick cooking spray)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 cups leftover cooked turkey, shredded
- Salt fresh & ground pepper
- 8 5 ½-inch soft corn tortillas
- 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
- 2 cups Thanksgiving leftovers (used singly or a combination of sweet potatoes, sautéed greens or corn, or canned black beans, drained)
- 1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese or any combination of shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack
- ½ cup (4 ounces) Velveeta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
What to do:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray a 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cumin and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the turkey and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat.
- Using (kitchen) scissors, cut corn tortillas in quarters. Set aside on a plate. Combine shredded cheese and Velveeta cubes in a bowl.
- Pour enchilada sauce into a low-sided bowl. Briefly dip each tortilla piece into the sauce, being sure to cover it completely. Cover the bottom of the pie plate with several coated tortilla pieces.*
- Layer half the turkey and onion mixture, half the leftovers or beans, and a third of the cheese mixture. Add a second layer of tortillas, the remaining turkey, remaining leftovers and another third of the cheese. Top with a final layer of coated tortillas. Pour any remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Finish off in the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, if desired, for a browned and bubbly top. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving, using a serrated knife to cut. Serve with any of the optional toppings or leftover cranberry sauce salsa.
* It’s O.K. if you can see the bottom of the plate in some places, but try to nestle the tortillas right up to the edge of the pie plate to keep the layers separate and to ensure a clean cut.
The Mix: Thanksgiving Sliders
If the day after Thanksgiving you find yourself craving some fast food, this last recipe is for you! Very similar to our classic sandwich recipe, this recipe by Danelle from “Let’s Dish” is simple, tasty and a good change from a reheated Thanksgiving plate.
What to get:
- 1 package King’s Hawaiian Rolls
- Leftover sliced turkey (about 3/4 pound)
- 1 cup leftover stuffing
- 1/2 cup leftover cranberry sauce
- 6-8 slices Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onions
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Leaving the dinner rolls intact, slice them open so that you have one solid top and bottom. Place the bottom half on a baking sheet; top with turkey slices. Sprinkle with stuffing, then dollop on the cranberry sauce. Top with Swiss cheese.
- Place the top part of the rolls on the sandwiches. In a small mixing bowl stir melted butter, mustard, poppy seeds, and onions.
- Brush the butter mixture evenly over the rolls. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Use a knife to separate the rolls into individual sandwiches. Serve immediately.