Thanksgiving Leftovers: What to Make

Thanksgiving is usually followed by a nap and leftovers. Leftovers is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. Everyone likes being able to grab some good left over food and munch, but after a day or two leftovers might become old news.

To be sure the family does not just throw out what is not consumed, come up with ways to make meals with the leftovers.

Turkey Sandwich and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is a classic and not so classic turkey sandwich meal.

Turkey Sandwich:

  • Sandwich Bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • Turkey

Turkey Stuffing Sandwich

  • Sandwich
  • Mayonnaise
  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry (optional)

Cream Cheese Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

  • Philly cream cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sandwich Bread
  • Turkey
  • Cranberry slices or whole berries
  • Stuffing (optional)
  • Lettuce or sprouts (optional)
  • Apple slices (optional)

To assemble these sandwiches:

  1. Spread mayonnaise on one side of each piece of bread. If desired, add cream cheese on one piece of bread or both.
  2. Place turkey on first, then build the sandwich from there. If using cranberries, place it on last or in between the turkey and stuffing.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

This is simple. Even if using a sweet potato casserole, heat it (in an oven at 350), and mash it together. Add some brown sugar, pecans, or butter to taste, and enjoy. If mashed sweet potatoes are part of the leftovers, use them as a side dish with the sandwich.

If the sweet potatoes have a marshmallow topping, it might be best not to mash them. However, as long as a sticky mashed up mess is not minded, go for it and enjoy.

Turkey Soup

With all the leftover chicken stock, vegetables, and turkey; why not make a soup. Soups are pretty simple to make, and since the turkey is already cook, the only thing to do is heat it up.

Needed Items:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 or 1/2 red onion (chopped and optional)
  • Celery (2-3 stalks, chopped)
  • Carrot (can use 3 chopped, or baby carrots from a small bag)
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1 lb of left over turkey
  • Egg noodles
  • Diced sweet potato’s or potato’s (optional)
  • Leftover stuffing


  1. Heat oven to 350 and place stuffing in a “baking dish.” Heat until warmed.
  2. Cover the bottom of a large pot in olive oil
  3. Turn stove on medium heat
  4. Once the oil is bubbling, add the chopped up onion, celery, and carrot to the pot. Heat about five, maybe ten minutes (reduce heat if needed), til browned and softened
  5. Add the chicken stock and pasta noodles and heat till boiling.
  6. Add turkey, reduce heat to simmer, cook till everything is warmed and cooked (about 10 minutes)
  7. Turn heat down to low or cover and turn off the heat, and prepare to eat

If the vegetables are already cooked, simply heat them in the olive oil, or they can be put in with the chicken stock and heated. Eat along side leftover bread or spoon the stuffing to a bowl of soup. If there is leftover corn, it can be used in the soup or as a side item.

Turkey Waldorf Salad

Make waldorf salad using turkey instead of chicken. This is quick, simple, and something different from the traditional leftover.

  • 4 cups leftover turkey
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 2 cups pecan or walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • Lettuce to lay salad on (optional)


  1. Mix mayonnaise, honey, and yogurt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Chop 2 apples into bite size pieces, place in a bowl
  3. Place chopped celery in with the apples
  4. Place shredded leftover turkey in with the celery and apples and add raisins
  5. Pour the liquid mixture onto the turkey mixture, and stir together thoroughly
  6. Wrap bowl with plastic wrap, and place in fridge for one hour
  7. Serve on top two pieces of lettuce

This salad is very versatile, and this is somewhat of a take from Wes Martin’s recipe, “Turkey Waldorf Salad,” at

If a waldorf salad is not for everyone, simply create a mixed salad using salad dressings from the grocery store. Mix shredded turkey, chopped lettuce, grape or cherry tomatoes, diced carrots, chopped celery, and chopped apple together. Serve with dressing.

All of these recipe’s, with the exception of the turkey sandwiches, are adapted from Food Network recipe’s. For more info, search for Rachael Ray’s “Turkey and Stuffin Soup” and Wes Martin’s “Turkey Waldorf Salad,” at

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