Creative recipe ideas that use Thanksgiving leftovers


FILE- This Oct. 8, 2012, file photo shows a Thanksgiving dinner plate of cider brined turkey with sage gravy, peach cranberry sauce, sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, sausage pecan stuffing, arugula pear salad with pomegranate vinaigrette and goat cheese and herb crusted sweet potatoes in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, File)


Doing the same boring things with Thanksgiving leftovers can be tiresome, especially in 2020 when everything has been unpredictable — so why should anyone settle for your basic, limp turkey sandwich? Here are some delicious and creative ways to switch it up in the kitchen this holiday season.

Thanksgiving Pizza

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Thanksgiving pizza Screengrab of The Spruce Eats

This special pizza from The Spruce Eats helps make use of that turkey and those mashed potatoes in a tempting way. All you really need is store-bought crust (or if you’re a culinary expert – your own homemade crust).

Thanksgiving Cuban Sandwich

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Thanksgiving Cuban Sandwich Screen grab courtesy of The Spruce Eats.

No, this isn’t just your basic, run-of-the-mill leftover sandwich. Instead of using traditional pork that goes into a Cuban, the star of the show here is thick sliced turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, pickles, mustard and melted Swiss cheese on Cuban bread (or, leftover rolls from the family table), The Spruce Eats says.

Leftover Turkey Bake

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Left over turkey bake Screengrab of Country Living.

This bake recommended by Country Living makes use of turkey, peas, and chicken broth just chilling from the day before, all mixed in with pasta and cremini mushrooms.

Crustless Ham-and-Leek Quiche

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Crustless Ham-and-Leek Quiche Screengrab of Country Living

Need an idea for brunch the day after Thanksgiving to go along with those mimosas? Here’s a quiche that puts good use to leftover turkey or ham, Country Living says.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Quesadilla

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Quesadilla  Screengrab of The Cookie Rookie

This tasty delight uses turkey and cranberry sauce all delivered in a crisp tortilla, the Cookie Rookie recipe says.

Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

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Thanksgiving Egg Rolls Screengrab of The Spruce Eats

The Spruce Eats conjured up these delectable egg rolls because as they said — no one can resist them. “Egg roll wrappers are stuffed with cooked turkey, dressing, and brie cheese then rolled up tight and deep-fried until golden brown,” Spruce Eats says. They’re served with a sweet and sour cranberry sauce.

Turkey Curry Soup

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Turkey Curry Soup Screengrab of Country Living

This soup is for those who are absolutely glutton the day after turkey day, Country Living says. It comes with fresh lime juice, red curry paste and of course, the star of the holiday.

Leftover Stuffing Muffins

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Leftover Stuffing Muffins Screengrab of Handle the Heat

According to Handle the Heat, these little muffins are made in a matter of minutes using stuffing and turkey and can be dipped into cranberry sauce or gravy.

Crispy Rosemary Potato Cakes

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Crispy Rosemary Potato Cakes Screen grab courtesy of Country Living

These make use of those leftover mashed potatoes taking up space in your refrigerator, Country Living says. All you need to add is panko, chopped onion and herbs.

Turkey Eggs Benedict

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Turkey Eggs Benedict Screengrab of the Salt Pepper Skillet

This wonderful breakfast twist comes from the Salt Pepper Skillet. “Traditional eggs Benedict is technically a little tricky to execute, especially for a crowd,” Salt and Pepper Skillet says. “That’s not the case when using all those amazing Turkey Day leftovers. It comes together super easily.”

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TJ Macías is a Real-Time national sports reporter for McClatchy based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Formerly, TJ covered the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers beat for numerous media outlets including 24/7 Sports and Mavs Maven (Sports Illustrated).

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