What To Do with Thanksgiving Dinner Leftovers

mommeal time

It’s the day after Thanksgiving which means that many of you might be standing in lines waiting to get your hands on the best deals of the year…or, if you’re like me, opening your refrigerator and basking in the delight of Thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, red skin mashed potatoes…my refrigerator is filled with plastic container after plastic container of so many leftover goodies and I cannot wait to get to work creating wonderfully delicious meals using many of the leftovers.

One of my all-time favorite meals to enjoy the day after the massive feast is a Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. Piling shredded turkey on top of homemade cranberry sauce and topping it with stuffing and gravy all between slices of fresh Italian bread exudes all of the wonderful tastes of the holiday.

Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Sandwich

Ingredients (for one sandwich):

  • ¼ cup shredded turkey
  • 2 tablespoons stuffing
  • 2 tablespoons gravy
  • 2 slices fresh Italian bread
  • 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Warm turkey, stuffing and gravy in microwave on high for 1 minute.
  2. Top one slice of Italian bread with cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, gravy, salt and pepper.
  3. Top layers with second piece of bread and enjoy.

For another great sanwich using the extra turkey, toss the turkey between slices of ciabatta bread and then press between two hot plates of a panini press. The final result will be a great tasting Italian-style sandwich that will knock your socks off all while using up your delicious leftovers.

Turkey Balsamic Panini


  • Two slices of Ciabatta bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Rosemary
  • Cooked and shredded turkey
  • Two tomato slices
  • Spring mix salad
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • One slice Mozzarella


  1. Preheat a panini press to get the plates nice and hot.
  2. Spread extra virgin olive oil on outsides of bread; sprinkle rosemary on top of extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Place turkey, tomatoes, spring mix, dressing and mozzarella on one slice; top layers with second slice of bread.
  4. Put sandwich on panini press and press down slightly; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until bread is nice and crispy and cheese is melted.

Over the long holiday, it’s nice to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers in sandwiches, appetizers and even main dishes. If you’re left with container after container of turkey, there are countless ways to put this delicious leftover to use. Huge chunks of turkey can easily be shredded and tossed into casseroles, soups, sandwiches or even this warm and comforting Turkey Pot Pie dish:

Turkey Pot Pie


  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts (2 pie crusts total), softened as directed on the box
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (watch your fingers!)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place one pie crust into a pie plate (as directed).
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently until tender.
  4. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended.
  5. Gradually stir in chicken broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.
  6. Stir in turkey and mixed vegetables and then remove from heat.
  7. Spoon turkey mixture into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top of crust.
  8. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During the last 15-20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.
  9. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

When it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers, the possibilities are endless. What do you love to create using Thanksgiving leftovers?

Jen Tilley has an insatiable appetite for all things related to baking and cooking. She is the author, photographer and recipe developer on How To: Simplify, a blog that shares tips, tricks and recipes to simplify life in the kitchen. She enjoys sharing recipes that require very few ingredients and only a small amount of prep and cook time, all of which make time spent in the kitchen simple and enjoyable. Find her online at How To: Simplify and @HowToSimplify.

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