By Danial Williams
Thanksgiving is a holiday that is centered on being thankful, football and eating. Eating is a huge part of the day. We spend days leading up to Thanksgiving preparing all of our favorite dishes and sides, gathering the decorations and planning the family favorite activities. On the day we spend hours cooking the turkey and heating all the sides and pies or other desserts and getting them to the table all at the same time for our friends and family to enjoy. After dinner hours are usually spent trying to fit all of the leftovers into the fridge like a game of Tetris and then cleaning the kitchen until late into the night. The next day we spend so much time finding ways to eat everything without getting tired of turkey sandwiches. In my house we can usually get away with turkey sandwiches for 2 maybe 3 days before we abandon all hope and order take-out or throw a steak on the grill.
If you are anything like us and want to find something different to do with your leftovers, then you are in the right place. I have put together some great options for all of those leftovers that will surely help liven them up for the next couple of days.
I know we have all sworn off food for the next month, but we all know that’s just like swearing off alcohol after a full night out drinking. We say it but never mean it. Once we wake up from the food coma and start feeling hungry again, we stand in front of the fridge and dread the idea of thinking how we can make something out of the mountain of food. I have hopefully taken some of the guesswork out of it with these recipes. If you can’t find a recipe you like then by all means search google for that perfect recipe.
Here are 5 recipes to make your Thanksgiving leftovers a hit the next day!
This is a simple and quick recipe that is sure to please. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to prep and 45 minutes to cook. Who doesn’t love a good enchilada! This recipe will serve 4 to 8.
4 cups of sliced or shredded turkey
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 flour tortillas (7 inches)
Optional toppings: chopped green onions, sliced ripe olives, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and/or shredded lettuce
- Cut turkey into strips or shred turkey into small chunks.
- Combine tomato sauce, chilies, onion, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder (optional), and garlic powder into a large bowl. Mix it well.
- Add turkey to the mix and incorporate until all of the turkey is covered.
- Spoon about half a cup of turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll them up.
- Place into a greased 9in x 13in backing pan
- Add any leftover mixture to the top and any other toppings you want.
- Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before serving
Turkey Sheppard’s Pie
I love a good Sheppard’s Pie, and this is a good choice for those leftovers. This is a little different take on the traditional but will be your new favorite leftover recipe. This recipe will feed 4 to 8 depending on how big you slice it.
5 large red potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
2 (9 inch) pie crusts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 ½ pound leftover turkey diced or shredded
1 large carrot, diced small
1 zucchini, thickly sliced
1/4 cup canned green beans, halved
6 large fresh mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
salt to taste ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter, diced
- Boil potatoes until tender. Drain water and return to pot.
- Mash with 3 tablespoons butter or margarine and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Sauté onion and carrots in olive oil until soft.
- Stir in turkey, parsley, thyme, and garlic.
- Add zucchini and mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in flour. Divide mixture into two pie crusts.
- Sprinkle cheese over meat, if desired.
- Spread green beans over the cheese.
- Spread potatoes over all with a spatula; the mashed potatoes act as the top crust.
- Dot with butter.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until potatoes have browned slightly.
Cuban-style Grilled Turkey Sandwich
Okay, so this is such a great way to use leftover turkey. I am a sucker for a good Cuban sandwich. My favorite place to get one is in Florida at a small food truck in a auto shop parking lot. This take on the classic Cuban is a crowd pleasure for sure.
2 tablespoons pickle relish, drained
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 ounces leftover turkey breast
2 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
2 Cuban Bread Rolls (soft French or Italian can be substituted)
- Combine relish, orange juice, and sugar together in a small bowl.
- Spray large nonstick pan or grill pan with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat.
- Add bread slices to pan.
- Layer with cheese, turkey, and spinach, dividing ingredients equally between two bread slices.
- Spread relish mixture on remaining bread slices.
- Cook over medium-high heat until cheese begins to melt.
- Assemble into two sandwiches. Cook one additional minute until toasted. Serve immediately
Sweet Leftover Turkey Salad
This is a super simple and quick recipe. Aside from the chill time should not take more than 10 minutes to prep. While it is more of a side dish, I have added it to a green salad as a main dish. This serves 4.
4 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
1/2 cup raisins
2 small apples, cored and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
- In a salad bowl, combine the turkey, sunflower seeds, raisins, apples, mayonnaise, salt, and lemon juice; mix well.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors.
Leftover Turkey Potpie
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups prepared turkey gravy
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 (14 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
3 cups cooked turkey, cubed
salt and ground black pepper to taste (optional)
1 pastry for a 10-inch double crust pie
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the onions, mushrooms, and garlic; cook until tender, but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flour, sage, and thyme until blended.
- Pour in the gravy, water, and milk, stirring to blend.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat; cook 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the turkey and vegetables, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Line a 10-inch pie plate with the bottom crust. Pour in the turkey mixture.
- Cover with the top crust. Seal and crimp the edges.
- Pierce the top crust in a few places with a fork.
- Cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil strips, and bake until crust is golden, about 20 minutes more.
- Remove from oven, and rest 10 minutes before serving.
Get creative and think outside the normal or traditional box when it comes to this year’s leftovers. Just because you’ve always done something doesn’t mean you can’t change it up.
Let us know what you decided to make and make sure you post pictures and tag us in them. We would love to hear from you.