What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers

what to do with thanksgiving leftovers

That turkey tasted fantastic Thanksgiving day…but it will taste better in a healthy salad or turkey soup!

Congratulations, you’ve hosted another fantastic Thanksgiving feast (I’m just sure it was fantastic with family and friends). Now you must face the age old post-holiday question: What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers? Relax, here are three recipe ideas that will make you and your family happy!

What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers

I envy people who have Thanksgiving leftovers. I never host the dinner, that job being owned by my sister and my sister-in-law. So if we want leftovers, we have to go out and buy them (which we’ve been known to do). I think the biggest challenge is making healthy meals from what is, in reality, not a very healthy feast. So I make a lot of salads with my leftovers. But I’m also a normal human and can not let the stuffing and mashed potatoes go to waste! I’ll trust you know what to do with those. So here is what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers: Turkey salad with cranberry dressing, Turkey rice soup, and Sweet potato frittata. You’ll wish Thanksgiving came every day.

what to do with thanksgiving leftovers: sweet potato frittata

Turn your leftover potatoes into a delicious frittata for breakfast!

Recipe: Turkey and Cranberry Salad

Summary: A healthy and delicious post-Thanksgiving salad


  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cranberries cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 oz Leftover turkey meat, cut into strips for grilling
  • 8 cups of mixed salad greens
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced


  1. In a blender or food processor, combine vinegar, oil, cranberry sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and water; blend or process until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of dressing.
  2. Construct the salad: Put two cups of greens on a plate. Sprinkle with tomatoes, Gorgonzola, walnuts, and onion. Add strips of turkey and drizzle with a tablespoon of salad dressing.
  3. Set the extra dressing on the table in case anyone wants more!

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 1

Recipe: Classic turkey soup

Summary: inspired by Alton Brown


  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 2 cups leftover green beans, carrots, and whatever veggies you served
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper/pepper blend
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine the vegetable stock and the turkey carcass in a 6 to 8-quart pot. Cover, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the carcass, and add the vegetables, rice, turkey, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
  3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour and 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6


Recipe: Sweet Potato Frittata

Summary: Making the celebration last through breakfast!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sweet potato casserole or mashed sweet potatoes; either works
  • 5 eggs, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup Swiss cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saute pan (one you can put in the oven). Saute the pepper and onions until soft, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they’re soft (total about 5 minutes).
  3. Combine the vegetables in a bowl with the sweet potatoes, eggs, salt and cheese.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoons of oil over medium/high heat in the same saute pan and add the egg/potato mixture.
  5. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the bottom is set (no need to stir).
  6. Put it in the over, uncovered, and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Change the oven setting to broil and cook an additional 2-3 minutes of until the frittata is golden on top of (watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn).
  8. Slice into wedges and serve.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

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