Easy Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Turkey Pesto Casserole. Linda Larsen

Thanksgiving is probably the biggest 'leftover' holiday of the year. And what leftovers! Tender turkey, lots of mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy ... the possibilities are almost endless. These easy Thanksgiving leftover recipes are perfect for the days following this classic American holiday.

Turkey seems to be the most prevalent leftover. You can use cooked turkey in any precooked poultry recipe; substitute it measure for measure.

Be sure that, after the big dinner, all your food is refrigerated within two hours. Wrap everything well in plastic wrap or foil and get it right into the fridge. Then you can think of your fridge as a deli, with lots of prepared foods to work with!

Easy Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

  • Pesto Turkey Casserole
    This easy and delicious casserole is full of non-Thanksgiving flavors. You can make it ahead of time and chill until it's time to bake.
  • Creamy Mexican Crockpot Turkey
    This excellent casserole is a great way to make dinner this weekend with no muss or fuss. And it's nice to drastically change flavors when you're using leftovers; that way they don't taste like leftovers!
  • Cashew Turkey Stir Fry
    Double this recipe to serve four. This fabulous recipe is super quick and easy.
  • Shepherd's Pie
    Make this with beef, or use 2 cups of turkey instead. This hearty pie is comforting and delicious.
  • Grilled New Cuban Sandwich
    As with any sandwich, you can use your choice of meats and cheeses. For Thanksgiving leftovers in this sandwich, leave out the ham and use any cheese you may have served on a cheese tray.
  • Updated Meat Ball Stew En Casserole
    Substitute 2 to 3 cups cooked and cubed turkey for the meat balls in this casserole, and use your leftover mashed potatoes for the topping. Yum!
  • Potato Pizza
    Use turkey in place of chicken in this unusual pizza that has a crisp potato crust.
  • Sweet Potato Bisque
    I'd make sweet potatoes just for this soup! The contrast between the sweet and creamy soup and crisp bacon is to die for.
  • Turkey Lemon Rice Soup
    This delicious creamy soup is made using leftover turkey, frozen brown rice (one of my favorite convenience foods), Alfredo sauce, onion and garlic. It's the perfect way to warm up after decorating your house for Christmas!
  • Praline Sweet Potato Bread
    I love this bread made into French Toast. It's also fabulous toasted and spread with whipped honey.
  • Potato Puff
    Fold in a couple of cups of chopped turkey and heat up leftover gravy to serve with this Thanksgiving version of a souffle.
  • Lefse
    If you live in the Midwest or have Scandinavian roots, you know all about lefse. My favorite way to eat it? Spread with butter and brown sugar. It's also fabulous used as a wrap for a Tex Mex turkey sandwich!
  • Cranberry Grilled Chicken
    Have some chicken breasts in the freezer? Top them with this simple glaze made from leftover cranberry sauce.
  • Turkey Tetrazzini
    This classic recipe combines tender turkey with a creamy sauce, juicy tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and perfectly cooked pasta.
  • Cobb Salad Wraps
    These easy sandwiches are so delicious; I especially love the combination of blue cheese and avocado.
  • Turkey Cobb Salad Wrap Sandwiches
    This classic wrap sandwich is perfect for the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Cranberry Trifle
    Pound cake and crisp butter cookies provide the layers in this sweet and beautiful dessert.
  • Cranberry Brownie Pie
    Tart cranberries combine with rich chocolate, pecans, and fudge sauce in this spectacular dessert recipe. Make it this weekend after you're hungry again.