We've all been there. It's the day after Thanksgiving and you're surrounded by a sea of leftovers. Reluctantly, you reach for the bread and mayo, ready to make yet another turkey sandwich. Because we all know that's about the only think you actually eat in the week after Thanksgiving, right?

Wrong. Drop that bread and read on. Here are some interesting and innovative meals you can easily make with your leftovers that are 10 times better than a plain ol' (dry) turkey sandwich. 

1. Shepherd's Pie

Remix your leftover mashed potatoes (or mashed sweet potatoes). This Irish recipe is typically made with ground lamb but an equally delicious substitute is ground leftover turkey. Mix the ground meat filling with vegetables such as leftover corn, green beans, and carrots. Finally, top that with a thick layer of your mashed potato of choice and bake until the top of the potatoes begins to lightly brown. 

2. Turkey Chili

Hannah Bibbo

A complete 360 from the usual turkey sandwich, turkey chili is a (slightly) healthier alternative to normal beef-based chili. For easy meal prep, just toss all the ingredients in a crockpot in the morning and return home to a delicious meal.

If you're not in the mood to grind up leftover turkey, shredded turkey also makes for a good substitute. Personally, I am not a huge chili fan, but I feel like a post-Thanksgiving meal and tired mood warrants and welcomes this dish. As an add-on, you can even pair leftover dinner rolls or cornbread with the chili. 

3. Stuffing-Stuffed Peppers

pepper, vegetable, red pepper, rice
Nina Wang

Depending on how you make your stuffing, this meal can either be a delicious vegetarian option or one for meat-lovers. Stuffing is easily the most underrated side dish at Thanksgiving dinner, and I cannot remember a day when there wasn't any left over stuffing in the fridge the morning after.

To not let excessive amounts of stuffing go to waste, simply hollow out any kind of bell pepper, fill it with stuffing, bake until the pepper is soft, and then enjoy. Not a bell pepper fan? A delicious alternative is stuffed mushrooms - just follow the same process. 

4. Sweet Potato Pancakes 

What's breakfast without pancakes? Skip the frozen pre-packaged ones and make yourself something healthier that also clears out the fridge. You can choose to make these either from scratch or from a mix, but either way make sure to monitor the pancakes' flavor by putting your ideal amount of sweet potato into the mix. And don't worry if you make your potatoes with marshmallows, as they'll just add to the sweetness of the pancake. Feel free to add pecans for an additional savory crunch. 

5. Turkey Frittata

Though usually a breakfast item, frittatas are a delectable meal to have at any time of the day. If you want to get rid of leftovers fast, this is how to do it. Simply throw turkey and veggies into a sautéing pan to warm them up, and then toss them onto eggs in a skillet. It's almost like making an omelette but without the added effort of trying to perfectly fold the frying mixture. And don't fret if the frittata isn't immediately gobbled up, as it is also easy to reheat for another day. I highly recommend adding in green beans or asparagus for some crunch. 

This dish is so easy to prepare that even children can help make it - I should know, since I learned how to make frittatas in cooking camp when I was only 10 years old! 

6. Cranberry Carrot Muffins

A perfect excuse to make delicious muffins - and you don't have to go through the burden of buying cranberries and carrots at the store since they're already in your fridge!

The flavor of carrots isn't overpowering, and adds the perfect hint of savory to the sweetness of the cranberry. Also, it doesn't really matter whether you have whole cranberries or cranberry jelly because the flavor will be scrumptious either way. However, I do prefer the texture of whole cranberries in a warm, soft muffin.

There you go! Some easy recipes that are sure to fill the kitchen with aromatic scents once more. The great thing about leftovers is that prep time is minimized since most of the cooking is already done. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!