9 Delicious Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Smitten Kitchen’s Potato, Scallion and Kale Cakes

The food has been (mostly) eaten, the table has been cleared, and the siren call of Black Friday has been heeded. What, now, to do with the leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and the like? Whatever you do, don’t toss those leftovers! The EPA reports that the majority of all items that end up in landfills consists of food waste, so do your part to tackle this massive environmental problem. Time to repurpose, people! Disguise those leftovers in these nine tasty and appealing recipes.

And, if you really want to do your part this Turkey Day to reduce food waste, don’t just make use of those leftovers. There are some delicious uses for all of the food scraps you cast aside when you’re cooking the big meal, too. Put them to good use with these six recipes that salvage fall food scraps and that Thanksgiving grocery haul will have you feasting for days!

Smitten Kitchen’s Potato, Scallion and Kale Cakes

Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.

These crispy mashed potato cakes have their provenance in the kitchen of the late, great Bert Greene. Deb Perelman suggests you serve them at brunch with a fried egg, and I suggest a couple of crisp bacon strips to boot. Find the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

Foodie With Family’s Turkey Pho

Photo courtesy of Foodie with Family.

If you aren’t familiar with pho, it’s a Vietnamese soup redolent with Asian spices and flavors — big-time comfort food. Here, cinnamon, star anise, fresh ginger, scallions and coriander all contribute to a soul-warming bowl of soup, replete with rice noodles, cilantro and shredded leftover turkey meat. Yes, please! Find the recipe at Foodie With Family.

Two Red Bowls’ “Red Beans” and Coconut Rice

Photo courtesy of Two Red Bowls.

It doesn’t get much more down-home then this dish, dressed up with leftover turkey and stock, served over fragrant coconut rice, a nod to the Caribbean islands. Smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne and chili powder give it some smoke and heat; the dish itself will inspire shock and awe, especially as the family tucks into the weekend’s football games. Find the recipe at Two Red Bowls.

Farm Fresh Feasts’ Poutine

Photo courtesy of Farm Fresh Feasts.

Lord have mercy. I can barely button my pants but there’s no way I’m leaving this recipe untested. What is poutine, you ask (and if you have to ask, I feel very, very sorry for you)? It’s Canada’s greatest contribution to bar food, consisting (classically) of French fries, gravy and cheese curds. Here, you use leftover roasted potatoes, turkey and gravy. Combine in a skillet with cheese curds, and OMG. Find the recipe at Farm Fresh Feasts.

Cupcakes & Kale Chips’ Cranberry-Balsamic Ketchup

Photo courtesy of Cupcakes & Kale Chips.

Oooh, this one is genius. Combine leftover cranberry sauce with tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and a few spices, and voila! A turkey burger condiment, meatloaf glaze or the perfect dipping sauce for sweet potato fries and chicken fingers. Find the recipe at Cupcakes & Kale Chips.

Shockingly Delicious’ Sweet Potato Spice Cake With Pecan Streusel Topping

Photo courtesy of Shockingly Delicious.

No, actually, I didn’t have enough dessert already this week, and how very rude of you to suggest it. So get back in the kitchen and make me this moist, spice-laden cake, topped with irresistibly crunchy pecan streusel, and we can just forget this little incident. Find the recipe at Shockingly Delicious.

The Cookie Rookie’s 3-Cheese Turkey, Cranberry and Sage Quesadilla

Photo courtesy of The Cookie Rookie.

I have eaten more than my share of quesadillas, because, melted cheese. And, of course, the ease of preparation. This is the perfect snack to grab as you head out the door to purchase whatever is left on the shelves on Black Friday. Whole wheat tortillas nod to health, so you’ve got that going for you, plus kids will love anything remotely grilled cheese-y. Find the recipe at The Cookie Rookie.

Make It Better’s BBQ Pulled Turkey Sandwiches and Black Friday Frittata

Here are two of my own recipes (*pats herself on back*) that I’ve made countless times, so I know they work. Hard to go wrong with BBQ sandwiches and frittatas, two of the easiest ways to use up those leftovers. Find both recipes here.

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