Thanksgiving Dinner: 3 Great Leftover Ideas

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Are you dreaming of Thanksgiving dinner? I am! And not just Thanksgiving dinner, but Thanksgiving leftovers, which were always a favorite in my house.

Here are three ways to enjoy the dinner beyond Thanksgiving day.

1. Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

My favorite part of Thanskgiving dinner is not the dinner; it is the leftovers. And nothing beats my mom's Turkey Noodle Soup recipe.


  • Leftover Thanksgiving turkey
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Green Peppers
  • 2 Cans Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 Package Egg Noodles (can substitute with rice)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Italian seasoning


Take turkey carcass and cut all of the leftover meat off.  Put the carcass in a pot large enough to completely cover with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 4 hours.  Remove the carcass and put cooled pot in refrigerator overnight.  Next morning, skim off fat.  Add lots of favorite vegetables but onions, celery, and carrots are a must.  Add a can or two of diced tomatoes.  Cut leftover turkey into bite-size pieces and add to pot along with salt and pepper to taste, Italian seasoing to taste and 2 tsp of poultry seasoning.  Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer until veggies are tender.  You can add rice or noodles (I prefer noodles!) and cook until either rice or noodles are done.  Rice should be added at same time as veggies whereas the noodles only need about 10 minutes cook time.

If you make an extra large pot, consider freezing some of it to enjoy for weeks!

2. Turkey Sandwich

The best thing to do with all that leftover cranberry sauce? Put it on a sandwich along with the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Just grab a roll, spread the cranberry sauce on both sides, add turkey and any other vegetables or dressing you'd like, and you have a simple lunch solution to feed the whole family.

3. Sides

But what to do with all the leftover sides? Here's a few suggestions:

  • Eat pumpkin pie for breakfast. When has it ever been too early to get in your vegetables?
  • If you make turkey noodle soup, heat up the sweet potatoes and stuffing and voila! You have a delicious meal that will last for days.
  • Save some of the vegetables and dip from the veggie tray to use in a garden salad.

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? What is your favorite recipe?


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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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