Holiday Leftovers

This year with a smaller turkey, we won’t have as much in the way of leftovers, but still, it is nice to make a fresh meal with a different flavor than our traditional Thanksgiving feast.  I thought today would be a great day to show you some recipes to make the leftovers taste like a new dish with different flavors. Starting off, here’s my  Leftover Chicken or Turkey Mornay. This is a light version of a classic dish, scrumptious with the topping of mornay sauce and lots of cheese.  It’s a great meal to use your individual au gratin dishes, but if you don’t have these, it works fine in a larger baking dish.

And I have more ideas for using leftovers in individual au gratin dishes in my post on Creative Leftovers.  Using leftover pasta or mac-and-cheese, you could add some turkey to this dish for an Italian Turkey with Penne Pasta.

This recipe uses left over turkey and cranberry sauce along with some barbeque sauce, to make a totally new meal.  I used toast only because I didn’t have any sesame seed buns, but they are great with any kind of bread – Sloppy Toms with Cranberry Barbeque Sauce.

Of course, turkey soup with noodles is a leftover tradition, and I am making this today. Just boil the bones with some onion for about 30 minutes, then pull out the bones and let them cool enough to pick off the meat to add back to the soup. Add your pasta (or dumplings) of choice, and boil until done. Add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy a hot meal for a chilly day. You could add some peas and carrots too if you like.

For a Mexican inspired meal, substitute turkey for the pork in my Leftover Enchiladas.

One last idea, surfing the internet on Thanksgiving day last year, I came across this crazy idea in more than one place, so I tried it. The best part of the dressing is the crunchy parts to soak up the gravy, and this worked really well to get that back with leftovers. You’ll need your leftover dressing and a waffle maker.

Spoon the dressing onto the waffle maker not too thickly, press the lid down and bake for about 5 minutes.  If it needs a bit more, just press the lid down again and go another minute or two, depending on how moist the dressing is to start.  It is a bit tricky to get it out in one piece, but trust me it won’t matter if you don’t.

Add turkey and some gravy, and you have a fresh tasting leftover turkey and dressing meal.  After all, it is the best meal of the week, so have it one more time.

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Those are a few of my ideas for using up the leftovers.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  What’s your favorite go-to meal using leftover turkey?

Creative Leftovers at

12 thoughts on “Holiday Leftovers

  1. Love these leftover ideas. We make something like the Mornay bake, but will try your sauce from scratch. And will definitely make the enchiladas—we love Mexican food, which we haven’t had much of lately. As always, thanks for your unending inspiration!

  2. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Enchiladas sound good as well as they dressing waffle!! I will have to try that one at Christmas! We usually just have fried turkey sandwiches, and I add cranberry sauce to mine! This year the kiddos came back on Friday for leftovers, the grands stayed overnight, and when my SIL came to get them on Saturday, we sent everything that was left home with him…so no left overs now…YEAH!!

  3. Linda B

    Well, we did not do a turkey this year, but rather roasted a nice plump chicken we get from an Amish farmer. Gravy is one of our favorites, and cranberry sauce, and this year we had two leftover meals of just that. I did experiment with the cranberries this year and made more of a cranberry salad, with raisins and walnuts and small diced celery. We liked it so well that I actually wrote down what I did so I could repeat it! Was nice to have easy meals and nothing left over to freeze! May do the same thing for Christmas with it just being us two again.

  4. Sharon F

    Your turkey Mornay looks scrumptious! My go to post-Thanksgiving dishes are turkey pot pie and turkey tortilla soup.

  5. Thank you for sharing the left over ideas!! They look great…..and making me mildly regret not getting a little turkey. I may have to go buy a breast and a thigh and have T. day next week!!

  6. Sandra B

    We host Christmas Eve instead of Thanksgiving, but will save your recipe ideas to use at Christmas….my go-to leftovers recipes are prepared every year….Turkey pot pie is one…the other is turkey noodle soup. I cannot even remember when I started making these two recipes…maybe 20 years ago?!
    Thanks for all the inspiring recipes!!

  7. Joan Sheppard

    We just ate dinner and now your recipes make me hungry all over again. We made a ham this year but we do a turkey about once a month so these will be a nice change up for these cold days. Soup and spicy foods are so good when it’s nippy out.

  8. I was going to make turkey enchiladas but decided to try turkey and dumplings this year, using the stock from the bones, which I just couldn’t just put in the trash! I tried making dumplings 20 years ago and they were an epic fail, because I peeked. The recipe I grabbed this year was very clear about that, and they were wonderful, DH even ate the left overs the next day, and he doesn’t really care for turkey that much! I’ve put the rest of the turkey into freezer bags, so we’ll spread the goodness across several months now.🙂

  9. When we had company and larger turkey I give the leftovers to them and only keep a little for us, so it seems whatever size turkey we get – we only have 1 or 2 extra meals of everything – then maybe I freeze some cranberry sauce to use in salad dressings later – and that is it. One time I remember my mom made a 9 x 13 pan of turkey pot pie that was delicious. And one time when we visited MIL for Thanksgiving, she made the best cold turkey sandwiches on egg bread, with lettuce, mayo, dressing, cranberry sauce. This year my son would like to make a pot pie – we have a lot of dark meat left over as I had to get a whole turkey – so we will use that. Will also make your turkey broth and soup.

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