My family has always hosted Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family. We eat until we can't move and then watch every Thanksgiving episode of "Friends." We fall asleep on the couch, dreaming of the Thanksgiving leftovers to be eaten.
Thank goodness that along with hosting comes the honors of keeping the leftovers. I love making the Ross Geller sandwich and chowing down on leftover pie alongside my visiting cousins for the rest of the weekend. When everyone goes home and the leftovers are too much, the question becomes: what to do with them?
Here are some new ideas for remixing the leftovers from every dish that graces your typical Thanksgiving dinner table.
Turkey (the sliced part)
The turkey was so juicy and succulent covered in gravy, but a few days later it's dry and chewy in the microwave. Use that sliced turkey to make this Ross Geller-approved leftover sandwich. It's sure to be a moist and delicious lunch, perfect to pack for a hike or picnic with friends and family.
Turkey (the body)
In the rush to get dinner on the table, there's often a lot of delicious turkey left behind on the bones. Don't let it go to waste. While you're cleaning up, just put the whole body in a pot and boil it to make your own turkey stock. Then, use it in place of chicken stock in this recipe to turn it into a delicious chili.
The night of Thanksgiving dinner is usually the only time I carbo-load on stuffing. As delicious as it is the first time, somehow when stuffing is reheated, it tends to dry out and get rubbery. With these bacon, egg, and cheese muffins, I can keep enjoying that leftover stuffing for breakfast all week long.
Mac n' Cheese
Usually my Aunt Clare's succulent, gooey, five-cheese mac n' cheese casserole doesn't last long enough to be repurposed. My brother gorges on it for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving. If you're lucky enough to scour up some leftovers, turn them into a waffle that perfectly combines crunchy and gooey textures. Check out this article for more ideas on how to turn your leftovers into waffles fit for every meal of the day.
Green beans seem to be the one dish that sticks around the longest after Thanksgiving, but that doesn't have to be the case. If you just don't like the bland taste, try reusing your leftovers to make soy glazed sesame green beans. If you can't stomach green beans, make a cheesy green bean pasta casserole instead.
Mashed potatoes are so decadent when you arrange them in the perfect forkful with a little bit of turkey smothered in gravy. The salty, creamy flavors complement each other perfectly. Mashed potatoes are always good reheated with some extra butter, but they're also probably the most versatile leftover. To knock out your leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes, make these innovative egg rolls.
When it comes to the über sweet potatoes that taste more like dessert than dinner, it can be difficult to figure out what to do. Make them into a finger-friendly dessert with this recipe for spiced sweet potato truffles. Chocolate makes everything better, so this recipe is a winner with added cinnamon spice to contrast the naturally sweet potatoes.
Leftover bread is always good, but you can make it into a delicious meal when you use your leftover dinner rolls to make one of these sandwiches. Pick and choose your toppings from the leftovers in your fridge to build your own custom sandwich. The sky is the limit, but these recipes are great starters to ensure that your sandwich will live up to the Thanksgiving name.
The texture of cranberry sauce has always made me keep it as far away as possible from my tasty plate on Thanksgiving. However, this recipe puts it to good use flavoring store-bought crescent rolls. You can even add turkey, stuffing, or mashed potatoes to make a heartier roll. If you're feeling frisky, you can use them as the bread for a full-blown Thanksgiving leftover sandwich.
Reheat it on the stove and substitute it for instant gravy to make this poutine pizza hybrid that much better.
I'll never get tired of eating pumpkin pie, but it's always fun to add pumpkin pie flavor to other desserts. Try this amazing pumpkin pie and ice cream sandwich mashup and you'll never go back. Or, if you just have leftover pumpkin puree from making the pie, try one of these recipes.
This sticky, sweet dessert is the perfect ending to Thanksgiving dinner, but any other night eating it just seems excessive. Repurpose it into a slightly less overwhelmingly sweet treat by using the filling to make these pumpkin butter pecan gingersnap rolls. Trust me, they're a mouthful in both senses of the word.
I know what you're thinking. That's funny, like I'd have any leftover red wine. But, this decadent cupcake recipe is an excuse for you to open up one last bottle in the name of Thanksgiving.
If you're cooking these recipes right now, it's time to accept the fact that Thanksgiving is over. The good news is you still have plenty of leftovers and now you have lots of delicious recipes to let the Thanksgiving legacy live on.Plus, Christmas is coming...