The 21 Most Popular Post-Thanksgiving Recipes

The 21 Most Popular Post-Thanksgiving Recipes

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Kelli Foster
Nov 21, 2016

Thanksgiving dinner is nice, but the leftovers are arguably the very best part of this food-filled holiday. Perhaps you're happy to experience a second, third, or even fourth repeat of your Thanksgiving feast. But for those of you who want something different, there's a world of possibilities for the leftover turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, greens, and more.

From classic leftover vessels like soup, stew, and sandwiches to fresh twists on recipes you know and love, here are our 21 most popular ways to put your Thanksgiving leftovers to work.

Breakfast and Brunch Ideas

For some of us, the marathon of post-Thanksgiving meals usually begins with a slice of pie for breakfast. Consider that pie the gateway to a world of morning meals made possible by Thanksgiving leftovers.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

1. Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Eggs

Rustle up the leftover sweet potatoes (even Brussels sprouts, green beans, and winter squash can be tossed in), toss with cooked sausage, and top with eggs for a winning post-Thanksgiving breakfast or brunch.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

2. Thanksgiving Stuffing Breakfast Strata

Use leftover stuffing for the base of this strata-inspired breakfast casserole. In fact, make an extra batch of stuffing so you can make sure this is on Friday's menu.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

3. Cranberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Leftover cranberry sauce isn't just used for a topping — it also gets stirred into the mix of this seasonal breakfast stack.

Soups and Sandwiches

Soups and sandwiches are where Thanksgiving leftovers shine brightest. From a classic chili to a few new takes on a turkey club, this how to turn leftovers into fast and hearty meals.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

4. White Turkey Chili

Traditionally made with chicken, leftover shredded turkey is swapped into this hearty cold-weather essential. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt before serving.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

5. Turkey Tortilla Soup

Treat a few cups of leftover turkey to warm broth laced with pureed chiles, garlic, lime juice, and fresh herbs. Don't forget to finish it off with your favorite tortilla chips.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

6. Bacon, Kale & Turkey Stew

Look beyond the traditional turkey noodle soup to make use of that leftover meat. This simple stew combines shredded turkey with bacon, kale, and smoked paprika for a hearty meal.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

7. Turkey Lentil Soup

Give turkey new life by mixing it into this filling yet light lentil soup.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

8. Vegan Sweet Potato Chowder

Whether they're roasted, candied, or even mashed, repurpose sweet potatoes in a creamy chowder. You have a leg up on the recipe since your potatoes are already cooked, so after adding them to the pot, feel free to speed up the cooking process a little.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

9. Turkey and Dumplings

Swap shredded turkey for the oft-used chicken in the super-comforting and creamy meal. This is a great dish to serve after flag football.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

10. Turkey and Brussels Sprouts Club Sandwich

Inspired by the traditional club sandwich, this one gets a seasonal twist with leftover turkey, Brussels sprouts, and cranberry sauce.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

11. Open-Faced Turkey "Hot Brown" Sandwiches

If you're ready to repurpose your leftover turkey beyond the traditional sandwich, the Hot Brown is just the way to do it. Sliced turkey, bacon, and tomatoes are piled on thick, buttery bread, then smothered in a cheesy, creamy Mornay sauce.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

12. Roasted Tomato and Turkey Club Sandwich

This classic sandwich with a twist stacks oven-roasted tomatoes between layers of turkey, crisp bacon, and soft white bread.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

13. Apple, Cheddar & Turkey Melts

Let's call this sandwich what it really is: a classed-up grilled cheese. Except instead of the cheese taking the lead, it shares the stage with shredded turkey and sliced apples.

Make It in a Casserole Dish

Want to know the easiest way to turn Thanksgiving leftovers into a next-day meal? Add a casserole dish. Whether it's a showstopping lasagna that uses everything in the fridge or enchiladas you make for dinner, grab your trusty 9x13 for Friday's dinner.

(Image credit: Dana Velden)

14. Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is like the dumping ground (in the best way possible, of course) for all your Thanksgiving leftovers. This version puts the turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and other veggies to work.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

15. Turkey Enchiladas

You love chicken enchiladas, right? Swap in turkey to give your leftovers a fresh spin.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

16. Post-Thanksgiving Stuffed Shells

This combo is a bit unexpected, but it totally works. Fill tender, cooked shells with a mixture of shredded turkey, sweet potato, chopped roasted Brussels sprouts, even a touch of cranberry, and some ricotta cheese. Bake and spoon creamy béchamel over top to serve.

(Image credit: Alana Chernila)

17. Swiss Chard and Sausage Bread Pudding

Leftover stuffing gives you a major head start on this savory bread pudding. Mix the stuffing with chopped Swiss chard, cooked sausage, and a mixture of cheese, then bake for about 30 minutes or until everything is just heated through.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

18. How To Make Leftover Thanksgiving Lasagna

Take everything you love about Thanksgiving — namely the mix of food and flavors mingling on your plate, and transform them into this post-Thanksgiving pasta masterpiece. Like any good lasagna, it's highly customizable.

The New Classics

Every year someone invents a new way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers. These three recipes are the ones we're going to be making for years to come.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

19. Stuffing Fritters with Cranberry Jalapeño Sauce

These super-crunchy fritters are our favorite way to eat leftover stuffing — no contest. If you're feeling really industrious, you can quickly prep them while putting away leftovers so all that's left to do is fry them up.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

20. Thanksgiving on a Stick

Relive Thanksgiving dinner, kabob-style. From turkey and Brussels sprouts, to sweet potatoes and stuffing, arrange leftovers on a skewers and use cranberry sauce or gravy for dipping.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

21. Apple Pie Stuffed French Toast

There's always going to be that one last slice of pie that looks all mangled in the pie plate. Stuff it into a fat slice of challah bread for the best-ever stuffed French toast.

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