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10 Best Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe Ideas

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Love your Thanksgiving leftovers in whole new ways.

Thanksgiving leftovers are as good (better?) than the big dinner itself. Here are all the best Thanksgiving leftovers recipe ideas you need to keep all that Thanksgiving deliciousness going.

best thanksgiving leftover recipe ideas

What are some creative Thanksgiving leftover recipes?

The most classic, and perhaps obvious, Thanksgiving leftovers dish is the beloved Thanksgiving Sandwich. We all know this mountain of goodness: a pile of everything — mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce — layered atop a slice of plain white bread, with maybe another slice on top for good measure.

But what if you want Thanksgiving dinner to do something different?

These Thanksgiving leftovers recipe ideas breathe new life into day-old food, like:

  • Turn stale cornbread into amazing croutons for salad
  • Take some leftover Thanksgiving turkey and stew it into one of the best gumbos ever or make a deep-dish turkey pot pie
  • Make morning glorious with sweet potato buttermilk pancakes or morning glory muffins with leftover sweet potatoes

Give thanks: Your Thanksgiving leftovers recipe conundrum is solved.

You’ll also like: Mulled Apple Cider and Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad

bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with spoon

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe Ideas for Turkey

For anyone who has leftover Thanksgiving turkey, rejoice. If you want another leftovers recipe idea besides the famous Thanksgiving sandwich, read on. We’re using leftover turkey to cook cook spicy turkey gumbo, turkey pot pie, and a sophisticated brie sandwich.

The Best Turkey Soup

Leftover turkey soup may be the most quintessential Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipe of all. If you have the turkey carcass, you can make an excellent turkey stock and build it into a hearty soup.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Soup Recipe

New Orleans-Style Leftover Turkey Gumbo

Now we’re talking turkey. This is so much better than what you ate yesterday. This real deal, New Orleans-style turkey gumbo combines leftover turkey with a dark brown roux, andouille sausage, celery, onion, and a perfect blend of herbs and spices for a silky, spicy, full-of-goodness dinner.

leftover turkey recipe for turkey gumbo

Deep-Dish Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

This may be my favorite Thanksgiving turkey leftover casserole of all. This deep-dish turkey pot pie recipe combines lots of turkey and vegetables into a creamy white sauce encased in an all-butter crust, baked until golden brown. What could be more delicious?

If there is a better leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipe, I have not found it.

leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipe for pot pie

Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Sandwich Melts

This easy Thanksgiving leftover recipe is more about heating than cooking, and uses two leftovers (turkey, cranberry sauce) in one dish.

Stack some leftover turkey onto bread like a sandwich, then layer cranberry sauce and brie and heat until the cheese melts. The flavor combo of this chic, melty, sweet-savory Thanksgiving sandwich recipe is phenomenal.

thanksgiving sandwich recipe with turkey leftovers

Recipes to Use Leftover Cornbread or Vegetables

My favorite Thanksgiving leftovers? The sides. These leftovers recipes make the best of those good Thanksgiving side dishes, from cornbread to casseroles.

Harvest Kale and Butternut Squash Salad With Cider Vinaigrette

Take your leftover Thanksgiving apple cider or roasted winter squash and turn it into the best salad you will have all winter.

Thanksgiving leftover cornbread croutons in winter squash salad

Baby Kale Salad With Cornbread Croutons

Let stale or leftover cornbread live its best post-Thanksgiving recipe life as indulgent croutons for this Southern kale salad with buttermilk herb dressing.

kale salad with corn and tomatoes and croutons

Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe Ideas for Breakfast

The best meal of the day calls for the best Thanksgiving leftovers recipes of all. Here, sweet potato casserole transforms breakfast from blah to beautiful.

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancakes

The Thanksgiving Day leftovers: sweet potato, extra buttermilk. Moist, satisfying, and just sweet enough, turn your Thanksgiving sweet potato side dish into a fabulous pancake breakfast.

thanksgiving leftovers recipe sweet potato pancakes

Sweet Potato Morning Glory Muffins

The leftover: sweet potato or pumpkin pie. Morning gets glorious. These hearty, nourishing muffins make a great day-after-Thanksgiving baked good for any time of day, and are easy to make.

sweet potato morning glory muffins baked in tin with butter and apple thanksgiving leftovers ideas

What recipes do you make with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Share below!

Thanksgiving leftover turkey pot pie recipe

Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Pot Pie

Thanksgiving turkey leftovers baked into a creamy, vegetable-filled sauce in a buttery pie dough shell. This leftover turkey pot pie casserole recipe is so good, it may be better than Thanksgiving dinner.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Resting Time (Pie Dough + Finished Pot Pie)1 hour 15 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American, english
Keywords:: casserole, comfort food, dinner, leftovers, pot pie, thanksgiving, thanksgiving leftover turkey pot pie recipe, thanksgiving leftovers, thanksgiving turkey pot pie, turkey, turkey pot pie recipe
Servings: 4 to 6 people
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Ingredients

  • 1 recipe perfect pie dough (recipe linked below)
  • 4 cups cooked turkey meat, cut into a large dice
  • 1 cup peeled, diced carrots (about 3 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup peeled, diced celery (about 3 medium stalks)
  • 1 cup peeled, diced yellow onion (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • egg, whisked
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, to garnish

Instructions

For the Pie Dough

  • Prepare a double-crust pie dough to the point of chilling the two flattened discs. Let rest, covered in the refrigerator, for at least one hour, or up to 24 hours.
  • After you have made the turkey pot pie filling below, remove the pie doughs from the fridge, and roll on a lightly-floured surface to a round 1.5" to 2" wider than the pie tin, and about 1/8" thick. Proceed as written below.

For the Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • While the pie dough is chilling, make the filling. Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the peas and corn and cook two minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
    TIP: If the vegetables start to brown too much, or the pan seems dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.
  • Make the white sauce. In a large sauce pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat, swirling to make sure no areas of butter burn. Add the flour and whisk to a paste; this is your roux. Cook the roux until a light golden color, about 1 minute.
    Add the chicken or turkey stock in several additions, whisking thoroughly to make sure no lumps form. Whisk in the milk, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Bring the sauce to a low boil, then stir constantly until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    PRO TIP: Leftover turkey gravy can be used as the stock, as long as it is not too thick.
  • Remove from heat. Fish out the bay leaves and thyme. Add the diced turkey and the cooked vegetables to the sauce, and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.

To Assemble and Finish

  • On a lightly-floured surface, roll out one of the pie dough rounds with a rolling pin until the dough is about 1.5" to 2" wider than the pie pan and about 1/8" thick. Dust the pie dough with a little flour and rotate often so it does not stick to the rolling pin or the counter.
  • Pour the turkey pot pie filling into the pie shell and smooth. Do not overfill.
  • Roll out the other pie dough as above, and gently drape over the filling. Using a knife or kitchen shears, cut the excess dough from the pie, leaving about a 1" drape on all sides.
  • Tuck the draped dough upward, folding it down onto the rim of the pie. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges and seal the two doughs. Lightly brush the egg wash over the pie and garnish the top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, such as Maldon. Use a knife to cut a few vents in the top.
    PRO TIP: Put the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet or some tin foil to catch any juices that may spill out of the pie during baking.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbles slightly from the vents. Rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

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