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Recipe SWAT Team: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Recipe SWAT Team: Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Each week our editorial team tackles a new ingredient with one goal in mind: creating easy and delicious dishes. Check here on Monday or the weekly ingredient and look for our recipes on Thursday. Feel free to join us in our endeavor; we look forward to seeing what fantastic meals you come up with. Ours are below:

This week: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Geri Salmon: The Moist Maker

Valaer Murry: West Indian Turkey Curry

Yasmin Fahr: Roasted Vegetable Salad

Maryse Chevriere: Mom's Turkey Soup

Allison Beck: Homemade Turkey Stock

Molly Aronica: Potato Croquettes


For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving!

Chef Bill Fuller’s Recipes: Gobblerito & Roasted Root Vegetables

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and if you’re already thinking about what to do with all those leftovers, Chef Bill Fuller has a couple of ideas.

  • 4 ea. 12&rdquo flour tortillas
  • Lefttover stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and turkey
  • Cranberry sauce

1. Pre-heat stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and corn in the oven. Heat gravy in a pot.
2. Heat tortillas on a warm griddle for a few seconds on each side, just enough to make them pliable.
3. Lay the tortilla flat on the cutting board. Place fillings in just below the center line of the tortilla.
4. Fold tortilla up half way. Fold in ends, continue rolling.
5. Place burrito on the plate with the seam down. Douse with gravy.
6. Serve with a side of cranberry sauce.

1. Heat tortillas for 10 seconds in microwave to make pliable.
2. Assmeble with cold ingredients as described in steps 3 -5 above.
3. Heat in microwave until hot in the center, 1-3 minutes on high.
4. Heat gravy in microwave.
5. Douse burrito with gravy.
6. Serve with a side of cranberry sauce.

For all Chef Bill Fuller’s Thanksgiving recipes, please go to the big Burrito website here.

Roasted Root Vegetable Side Dish

This is a good side dish for a roasted meal. I loved it with turkey but it is strong enough to go with a braised brisket or pork shank. Serves 6-10 as a side depending on how many other sides there are.

  • 3-4 ea. Medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
  • 2 ea. Medium parsnips, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 ea. Turnips, scrubbed and cut into ½&rdquo cubes
  • 2-3 ea. Small, firm golden beets, scrubbed, quartered or eighthed.
  • 3 ea. Cloves garlic, sliced
  • 10-15ea. Whole Sage Leaves
  • ¼ C. Olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ # Butter sliced thinly

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Conveniently, that is the temperature at which I cook a big turkey. It will probably also be the temperature at which you are braising whatever it is you choose to pair this with.
2. Place sheet pan in the oven to heat up.
3. Prepare the carrots, parsnips, turnips, and celery root. Slice garlic coarsely. Place vegetables, garlic, and sage leaves in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.
4. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper.
5. Spread on hot sheet pan in the oven.
6. Roast for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Check regularly. Stir a couple of times during the cooking process to ensure all parts of the vegetable chunks cook evenly.
7. Remove from oven. Empty into serving bowl. Stir in butter. Serve.

Active Time vs Total Time

Far too many 15 minute recipes actually take way longer once you factor in passive time&mdashlike 30 minutes to boil pasta water (not so bad, really, especially if you can prep the rest while it&rsquos coming to temp), or four hours to marinate chicken (yeah, right). For the most part, I&rsquove tried to avoid those hidden time sucks, or provide hacks for speeding them up where possible, but sometimes you just can&rsquot get around preheating the oven.

Leftover Thanksgiving Ham Cobb Salad

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Jason and I loaded up the car and headed to Los Angeles for a very long 6-hr trek in the middle of the night (after In-N-Out and Krispy Kreme, of course) but we all made it here in one piece.

But before we discuss one of my favorite uses of Thanksgiving leftovers, I wanted to first let you all know how grateful I am to have you as my readers. Without you, this blog would not be possible and I wouldn’t be able to have a job that I truly love and enjoy. You have absolutely no idea how much I appreciate your visits here! So for this Thanksgiving, I am completely and truly grateful for you.

That being said, let’s talk leftovers. I’m sure you have a ton of goodies just waiting to be used and if you’re like me, you probably bought a ham that’s 10 pounds heavier than you actually needed for the big day. I’ve made leftover ham bone soup before but this year, I needed something light and filling, a Thanksgiving detox from all that food coma!

A salad is the perfect way to use up those ham slices, especially in a cobb salad lined up with hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, avocado and creamy goat cheese. And it goes perfectly with guiltless Greek yogurt ranch that’s a bit healthier but tastes just as good as the original!

Turkey Noodle Casserole

  • red-meat-free
  • shellfish-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • peanut-free
  • pork-free
  • Calories 721
  • Fat 44.1 g (67.9%)
  • Saturated 22.5 g (112.5%)
  • Carbs 44.4 g (14.8%)
  • Fiber 2.4 g (9.8%)
  • Sugars 8.0 g
  • Protein 36.7 g (73.3%)
  • Sodium 787.3 mg (32.8%)


medium yellow onion, diced

diced carrots (from 2 medium)

diced celery (from 3 stalks)

kosher salt, plus more as needed

freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

shredded sharp cheddar (1 pound), divided

cooked, shredded turkey (1 pound)

Hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot, for serving (optional)


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray set aside. Bring a large pot or Dutch oven of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside in the strainer.

Melt the butter in the now-empty pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the onions are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook for 1 minute more.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté until tender and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the flour and stir until it’s absorbed and the "raw" tasted is cooked out, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk and cook, stirring frequently, until it comes to a simmer and starts to thicken, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, add 3 cups of the cheese, and stir until melted.

Add the noodles, turkey, and sour cream, and gently stir to combine. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne as needed. Transfer to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake until the casserole is warmed through and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Place on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lots of hot sauce if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Chicken noodle casserole: Use shredded, cooked chicken instead of turkey if desired.

A quick and easy alternative to fancier pastas, baked spaghetti can feed a crowd. A jar of your family's favorite pasta sauce eliminates the need for extra spices, saving time. Cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella are layered with spaghetti mixed with eggs, so it sets up and can be sliced like a lasagna.

Vendredi Noir

While we’re in the collective spirit of not ragging on the French, I would like to call your attention to this little essay by a Frenchman, entitled “A Frenchman’s Appreciation of Thanksgiving.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Now that I think about it, I must say that, while I always have enjoyed Thanksgiving, a personal exposure to the French joi de vie helped me understand just why I enjoy it so much. I’ll be back with a special Saturday post to talk a little more about the shirts. If you haven’t already, you can see the shirt designs by clicking on the above link, “Tee-Shirt Art!”

37 thoughts on &ldquo<em>Vendredi Noir</em>&rdquo

Not going to see family until Christmas, I was a bit sad to cook myself a game hen – the single’s nearest thing to a turkey. Then, a couple invited me to their friends’ home for Thanksgiving dinner. All I had to do was bring a dish (I supplied homemade dinner rolls) and an appetite. This lovely couple invites, along with their friends, any “Thanksgiving Orphans” they can locate. We ate, laughed, and told crazy stories. A new tradition is born…

That’s a good tradition. Two of the most wonderful Thanksgiving memories I have involve eating Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce with Japanese friends sitting cross legged and barefoot using Japanese chopsticks. Try that one!

The second was eating same menu with a group of friends in a commune sitting on the floor cross legged and barefoot (see a theme here?) And eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with a pack of hippies who passed around joints after dinner of their mom’s recipes. Me, being polite southern bred said ” No thank you, I don’t smoke.” And the turkey cook hadn’t removed the giblets and cooked them in turkey.

Will there be an opportunity to see the actual colors available?

I am feeling better, but the weather here in Detroit is dreary. A lot of rain and probably an all day soaker. The cable is out all around us, so that eliminates that as an option. My BIL just called me to ask how I made the Scottish Eggs. Apparently they were a big hit at Thanksgiving. Here is the recipe:

Boil 6 eggs then peel.
Cut Bob Evans Savory Sausage in 6 equal portions. Season if you wish
Wrap the cooled eggs with the sausage. May have to work it to get all of the egg covered.
Tossed wrapped eggs in flour, egg wash, flour and roll in bread crumbs
Put eggs in a heated pan with oil and butter and brown like a meatball. Turn down heat and let it simmer with a cover.
Place in a preheated pan at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes.
Cut in half and serve with Dijon Mustard.

You could use any kind of meat, turkey etc, depending on taste and diet. I suppose that you could also bake and/or broil them too.

Jackie: I have never and will never smoke. I also had great difficulties sitting cross legged since I was young and the Japanese laughed whenever I tried sit like that. My wife, however is extremely limber and I told her that I have always been jealous. Of course that talent is not a bad thing!

Jackie, what is supposed to show up by clicking your “anonymous” title? All I get is “this page cannot be displayed”.

Good people, those, Flossie.

While in the AF, two of my Thanksgiving dinners were like that. One was at a stateside base, where I was included in the half dozen or so service members the owners of a business outside one of the base gates annually invited to their home for the celebration. The other was at an overseas site where there were federal employees accompanied by their families, and I was invited to the quarters of one of those employees with whom I worked. (No turkey, and the roast we had was from a large non-domesticated animal.) Yes, Thanksgivings are better with family, but that doesn’t mean it has to always be your family.

curmudgeonly ex-professor: here is the link to the t-shirt manufacturer’s online sale page. T-shirt colors are to the bottom right. Names of colors here don’t exactly match what Jimmy used, but it gives you a better idea than imagination alone.

As to the Anonymous title, Jackie has changed her devices several times and I think got tired of having to redo name each time. Now using Anonymous by default. Don’t know why some names/titles allow you to click them and some don’t. Might be something to do with the blog hosting service.

Easy Thanksgiving Leftovers Bowl

Brace yourselves…Thanksgiving is coming. And while I’m sure you’ve thought through what you’ll be making on the big day, have you thought about the days after? When you’re completely exhausted and wondering what the heck you’ll do with all those leftovers, this Easy Thanksgiving Leftovers Bowl will have you covered.

There are affiliate links in this post. That means if you buy something from that link, I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you anything additional.

To make these Easy Thanksgiving Leftovers Bowl you’ll need:

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt + a pinch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can chickpeas, strained and patted dry
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes (salted and buttered)
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce
  • Leftover gravy (or you can make your own vegetarian gravy with the instructions below)

Kitchen tools you may find useful:

You may be wondering how exactly putting all of these leftovers in a bowl can actually taste good. Answer: it just does. The saltiness of the vegetables with the tart cranberries and creamy potatoes combines into a bowl that perfectly balances taste and texture. So without further ado, let’s rock and bowl.

Another fun and delicious way to use Thanksgiving leftovers is by turning them into a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sandwich!

How to make your Thanksgiving leftovers into ‘bestovers’

The Nosher via JTA — Thanksgiving was a sacred holiday in my family growing up. There were a series of rituals, smells, sounds and foods we knew we could expect each and every year without fail. The Macy’s Day Parade on TV in the background. Pillsbury biscuits with lots of butter. Stuffed mushrooms. Glazed sweet potatoes. And at least one person lighting themselves on fire by accident.

One of the foods that always made an appearance occurred after Thanksgiving itself: leftover turkey noodle soup that my dad would make with the remaining turkey carcass. And it almost always happened the Saturday right after Thanksgiving for a warming lunch.

There is so much flavor still left on the turkey carcass, and it’s a great way to use up some of that leftover meat. Throw in some fresh veggies and aromatics, and you have a dish that isn’t just leftovers, it’s bestovers.

In my version I add some matzah balls for good measure but, of course, add or subtract what you like. I have even been known to drive home from my in-laws with a few tin-foil wrapped turkey carcasses sitting in the back seat.

Not making a turkey this year? You can also make turkey stock from some turkey necks, turkey wings and/or turkey drumsticks – whatever is cheap and available.

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup with Matzah Balls

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1-2 leftover turkey carcasses
4 quarts cold water
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 large onion (or 2 small onions)
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 stalks of celery
2 parsnips
1 turnip
2-3 garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh dill
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp whole peppercorns
salt to taste
leftover turkey meat
egg noodles
matzah balls

Place all ingredients in large stockpot and cover with cold water and stock (add additional water and/or stock if needed). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.

Simmer for 2 hours, skimming the top of the soup to remove fat and any scum that rises to the top.

Remove turkey and vegetables and set aside. Simmer again on low-medium heat for another 30-45 minutes until stock has reduced just slightly and flavor is rich.

Season with salt to taste.

Serve with the cooked carrots, diced leftover turkey meat, cooked egg noodles and matzah balls if desired.

Shannon Sarna is the editor of The Nosher. The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at

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Leftover Thanksgiving Sliders

My favorite part about the holidays has to be the leftover sammies.

It’s the sweet Hawaiian rolls holding up all the best part of your turkey dinner from the day before – the leftover shredded turkey, the cranberry sauce, the melted Havarti cheese, and the Dijon mayo – all baked until perfectly toasted with the buttery tops of the dinner rolls.

It is heaven. And I had 7 of these in a 24-hour period.

But that’s okay. Since we are repurposing leftovers, we’re basically recycling everything – and so we can feel very good about these no matter how many we eat.


In a large bowl, stir together the mashed potatoes, turkey, scallions, cheese and eggs until well combined. Place the breadcrumbs in a separate large bowl.

Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop out about 3 tablespoons of the mashed potato mixture and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Repeat the scooping, rolling and breading process with the remaining mashed potato mixture.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Add the vegetable oil to a large heavy-bottomed stockpot and attach the deep-fry thermometer to the side. Heat the oil until it reaches 360°F. Carefully add a few of the mashed potato balls to the oil and cook them, turning occasionally, until they’re golden brown. Using a slotted spoon or colander, transfer the mashed potato bites to the paper towel-lined plate and immediately season them with salt. Add the remaining mashed potato balls to the oil, returning the oil to 360°F between each batch.

Serve the mashed potato bites with leftover cranberry sauce or gravy for dipping.

Note: All leftover mashed potatoes will vary in texture and taste. If your mashed potatoes are thinner in consistency, add additional flour until the mixture is cohesive. Similarly, season the potato mixture with salt and pepper to your personal taste preferences.

Watch the video: SWAT Tryouts (August 2022).