The abundance of Thanksgiving food seldom ends with the conclusion of Thanksgiving dinner.
Depending on the logistics of your Thanksgiving tradition, leftovers are sure to abound, leading to post-holiday sandwiches and microwaved dinners. Having leftover turkey and gravy may be a part of a cherished annual routine, but can be underwhelming at the same time.
Here are a few ways to elevate your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Turn turkey leftovers into hearty soup stockWhen you’re finished tearing the leftover meat off of your turkey to store in the fridge, what remains in front of is what you might perceive as a useless carcass.
While the turkey’s lifetime has been long over, you’ll still be able to eke out another few meals from its bones in the form of a hearty stock.
Making and using turkey stock is no different from making and using chicken stock. Just place the remainder of your turkey in a large pot with a few veggies (like carrots, onions, and celery) and a few herbs and seasonings (such as peppercorns and a bay leaf).
If you’re spending Thanksgiving at home, convince your mom to prepare a pot of turkey stock and treat you to some warm soup before you leave for school again.
If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving-style, hold on to those leftover turkey bones to make some turkey stock that is sure to keep you warm and soothe your soul as you start braving finals season.
Turkey stock method can be found here.
Mashed potatoes = Shepherd’s pie
Because they’re so versatile, leftover mashed potatoes can easily serve as a side dish for post-Thanksgiving dinners. At the same time, if you have enough leftover mashed potatoes, you can use the opportunity to make shepherd’s pie.
Stuffing bread = warm and savory pudding
Delicious as it is on the night of, stuffing can lose its charm after spending a night in the fridge. Unappetizing when it’s cold, leftover stuffing doesn’t quite seem to revive into its original glorious state. Say what you want, but leftover stuffing, next to soggy leftover green bean casserole, is the lost youth of Thanksgiving leftovers.
Breathe new life into said sad leftover stuffing by baking it into a savory bread pudding for a warm and filling breakfast. Simply soak stuffing in a mixture of whisked egg, milk and cheese in a glass pan before baking. For more thorough instructions, click here.
Thumbprint cookies out of cranberry sauce
The amount of leftover cranberry sauce sitting in your fridge depends on how much you and your family like heaping it on top of your turkey. If it happens that you have too much cranberry relish sitting in the fridge to polish off just by using it as a condiment for your turkey sandwiches, use it in lieu of jam for thumbprint cookies.
While noshing on a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers is a solid way to have a nostalgic throwback to the previous night’s festivities and dinnertime gluttony, you don’t have to settle for microwaved dry turkey and limp stuffing. Keeping unwanted leftovers from going to waste is both simple and rewarding.