Thanksgiving Leftover Tips (You’ll Wish You’d Made More)

Posted on November 24 2015

Thanksgiving Leftover Tips (You’ll Wish You’d Made More)When facing a refrigerator full of Thanksgiving leftovers your instinct may be to make a plate of food in the fashion you first ate it.

But there are better, more creative and definitely more delicious ways to reuse leftovers from your kitchen’s biggest day.

The recipes below combine leftovers you normally wouldn’t have a use for – like the turkey carcass – as well as other festive dishes your family is guaranteed to appreciate even more the second (or third) time around.

Quick And Easy Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Turkey Waldorf Salad

Makes 4-6 servings / Total time: 20 minutes / Source 


  • 2 cups leftover turkey, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped (use whole leaves for garnish)
  • 1 crisp Gala or McIntosh apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (add more to taste as needed)
  • Ground fresh pepper to taste

Preparation Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, celery, celery leaves, grapes, apple and pecans, and toss.

In a small mixing bowl, add yogurt, mayonnaise, honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk these ingredients together.

In a smaller mixing bowl, add celery root and 2 tablespoons of dressing, and toss to coat.

Add the remaining dressing to the turkey mixture in the large mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat the salad.

Upon serving, spread celery root on a serving platter and top with salad.

Slow Cooker Turkey Soup

Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 4 hours 30 minutes / Source 

Bouillon Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 12 cups water

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups turkey, shredded (include reserved turkey from above)
  • Flat Dutch-style egg noodles, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preparation Directions:

To prepare the broth, put the turkey carcass in a slow cooker on low heat with an onion, celery stalk, a carrot, salt, pepper, bay leaf, 1/2 poultry seasoning, 2 teaspoons chicken powder and water. Cook overnight.

The next morning, strain the broth and pour the liquid back into the slow cooker.

Take the carcass and remove turkey meat from the bones. Set the meat aside.

To prepare the soup, add onions, carrots, garlic, celery, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours.

Add the turkey, noodles, parsley and cook for another 1/2 hour.

Turkey Pot Pie

Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour / Source 


  • 1 10-inch recipe pastry for a double crust pie
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preparation Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees in preparation for cooking the pie.

Roll out the pie crust, press into a 10-inch pan and set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add carrots, celery, onion, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients and cook until vegetables are soft.

Stir in the bouillon cubes, add water to the mixture and bring to a boil. After the water begins to boil, add potatoes and cook until tender.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add flour and turkey, stirring to combine. Add the milk and heat through.

Combine the turkey mixture with the vegetable mixture and cook until thickened.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding into the pie shell.

Roll out the top crust and place on top of pie shell. Flute edges and cut 4 slits into the crust top to alleviate steam.

Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Allow the pie to cool before enjoying.

Cooking with leftovers isn’t the only way to cook with less stress. Download our guide to get more out of your cooking efforts.

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