The average Thanksgiving feast costs about $50. That’s a lot for a home-cooked meal, but you’re not going to waste a scrap of it. You’re going to get creative with the leftovers, right?
Ideas for using leftover turkey are abundant, but how do you use the rest of the Thanksgiving leftovers?
We’ve rounded up some ideas and recipes for you.
Dressing/stuffing: Instead of just reheating, add some more ingredients (maybe sautéed mushrooms or chopped water chestnuts) and an egg, then make the mixture into patties and fry them to create a new side dish for turkey leftovers. Or try fried stuffing bites with cranberry pesto from chef Sunny Anderson of the Food Network.
Cranberries: These cheerful sweet-tart fruits perk up any dish. Melt some of the leftover berry sauce with maple or pancake syrup to use with breakfast hotcakes or waffles. Throw them into a smoothie for a refreshing start to your day. Use them to glaze a ham, Cornish game hens or duck for another holiday meal. Just melt gently in a saucepan and brush it on toward the end of roasting. Even try the whole-berry sauce as a fruit topping for plain cheesecake.
Sweet potatoes: Try Bobby Flay’s sweet potato soup recipe for a hearty lunch dish. Make a sweet potato pie as a follow-up to the pumpkin one. As long as you didn’t doctor them up too much, you also can use them in muffins and other baked goods. They’ll add nutrition and moistness.
Pumpkin: Some pie recipes call for more or less than one regular can of pumpkin. If you have leftover pumpkin, you can use it for pumpkin bread, muffins and pancakes. Or throw some into your morning smoothie (it’s already cooked, so it’s ready to eat). You can even make a sweet or savory dip with it, to serve at a holiday party. The Food Network website boasts it has 50 canned pumpkin recipes.
Gravy: This nectar of concentrated flavor makes a perfect addition to your turkey soup and will give it extra body as well as flavor. Or use it in a turkey pot pie or to pour over one.
Mashed potatoes: Leftovers can be stiff and gluey, but with a few additions (an egg, maybe some bacon or ham), they can become a tasty casserole. Top with cheese and bake till the top is brown and bubbly. Or make them into mashed potato cakes. They make a good, traditional topping for your favorite shepherd’s pie recipe.Or use them to make Irish potato bread.
The possibilities are truly endless — and that’s one more reason to be thankful.
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