One more week and we’re in it guys. There will be family, and friends, a parade, football…and so. much. food. I’ve been sharing lots of quick and easy Thanksgiving dishes the past few weeks and decided to pause for a hot second to share a TON of Thanksgiving leftover ideas you will swoon over once the feast of all feasts has ended.
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While I eat sugar free, grain free and low carb, I’m sharing a bunch of ideas below that can be modified as needed, but serve pretty much any style of eating (depending on the ingredients being used). I’ve got a little somethin’ for everyone from leftover apple pie parfait to cranberry sauce meatballs.
Breakfast / Brunch
Wanna know what I’ve never, ever done after Thanksgiving? Used my leftovers to make breakfast or brunch. Here are a few things I’m probably going to try this year because….we should all be eating leftover pie for breakfast.
- Cereal. Mix your cranberry sauce into some hot cereal (this is my fave grain-free brand, and it’s keto-friendly too!)
- Breakfast Casserole. Add turkey and any leftover sides you choose to this breakfast casserole. Just swap out the broccoli and feta for your leftovers to fill it!
- Fritatta. Make a frittata and fill it with all the leftover stuffing.
- Omelet. Save your turkey drippings and use the fat to make your omelet (you’re welcome).
- Parfait. Top your yogurt snack with leftover apple pie and try not to die because this sounds incredible.
- Breakfast Sandwich: Make a breakfast sammy with these bagels and a little turkey. You should probably add some brie.
So many ways to use your leftovers to create a delicious post-turkey day lunch feast. If a simple turkey sandwich is your thang, go for it. BUT, if you’re looking to get a little crafty and have some fun with it? Try any one, two or three of these. No judgement here!
- Turkey quesadillas! Just add cheese, some sliced veggies and top with cranberry sauce (and, I mean…if you’ve got stuffing – stick it in there too!)
- Poutine. Whip up a batch of french fries and use your leftover gravy to make poutine. Don’t forget the cheese!
- Grilled Cheese. Pick up some brie and make a grilled cheese sammy with leftover turkey and cranberry sauce. Drizzle with honey and add bacon.
- Pizza Roll-Ups. Make these pizza roll-ups (just add thinly sliced turkey)!
- Nachos! Top some chips with turkey, leftover sides and drizzle with cranberry sauce. These chips are grain-free (and my fave) for those curious 🙂 How good do these look?
- Cranberry sauce meatballs. Pull out the slow cooker and whip up a mixture of cranberry sauce, chili sauce and some brown sugar substitute. Throw in a bag of frozen mini meatballs and cook covered on low for like 3 hours.
- Cauliflower fritters. Add some scallions, peppers (sliced super tiny) and cheese and whip up some cauliflower fritters on the stove top. Dip them in cranberry sauce?
If you haven’t used up all your leftovers making breakfast and lunch, try one of these creative dinner ideas!
- Soup. Turn on your crockpot and use your leftover sweet potatoes to make a delicious curried soup.
- Stuffed Sweets. Stuff a few sweet potatoes with your leftover turkey, stuffing and top with cranberry sauce.
- Casserole. Stick it all (yes, everything) in a casserole dish and roast for 30 minutes. Boom. Done.
- Pizza. Make a pizza (I like this Fathead recipe) and top it with turkey, cranberry sauce, cheese…cheese and cheese.
- Chili. Make some chili and mix in your leftover turkey.
Alas…my most favorite part of every meal. I don’t know about you, but the thought of turning original dessert into new dessert is pretty much the things dreams are made of. And, because I don’t want this part to get overwhelming…I’m sharing just three delicious ideas for your dessert leftovers (if there are any).
- S’mores. Remember when we made gourmet s’ mores? Make your standard s’mores (graham crackers, marshmallow + chocolate and spoon a bit of warmed-up pie filling on top (or in the center). Pecan pie for the win here, friends.
- Dessert Pizza. Make a simple crust like we did for this Strawberry Pizza and top it with leftover dessert parts (feel free to mix it up, break it up and spread it across the crust). Bake for 15 minutes and OMG…this is so happening in my life.
- Muffins. Swap out the berries for cranberry sauce in this recipe. Top with Marscarpone and candied almonds 🙂
A few things to do with your turkey drippings…
Most people save their turkey drippings and use them to create their gravy.
But, you can use the drippings for lots of other things too, like a soup or curry base, a replacement for butter when sauteeing veggies, a coating for roasting veggies, and a base for frying up your bacon, browning ground turkey or ground beef. Store them in an airtight container (I use a mason jar) in the fridge for up to 4 days. Use my skillet roasted turkey breast recipe for some seriously delicious flavor (with a secret ingredient!).
How long will your leftovers last?
Before I head off, I thought I’d drop a little “leftovers knowledge” for those of you who have no idea how long your food will stay fresh after you’ve packaged it up (basically me before I wrote this post).
As a hard and fast rule, the turkey will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. Mashed taters, casseroles and most sides are good for up to 5 days. Cranberry sauce will last the longest – about 10-14 days. Just make sure you store everything in airtight containers.
Make sure you remove the turkey from the bone and get it in the fridge within 2 hours from the time it comes out of the oven. And, remove any stuffing from the bird before you refrigerate it (give that its own container).
Okay – I’ve spilled all my secrets! What’s your leftover style? Skip em’ or eat them for days?
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