5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving week hasn’t even started yet, and I’m already planning on what I’m going to do with leftovers. We absolutely love Thanksgiving leftovers in our house! We eat a lot of turkey straight out of the fridge—squeezing yellow mustard and sprinkling it with salt and pepper—but we also like to get creative and incorporate leftovers into new recipes.

 

Turkey Bone Broth

My first priority after Thanksgiving dinner is to get the leftover meat off the bones and break down the spent frame so I can use it to make bone broth. Most often, I make the bone broth the next day, filling the house with its lovely aroma, and then use it to make soup over the next week. It is so easy and bone broth is so nourishing!

All you need to do is toss the spent turkey frame into a large stock pot and add 4 large carrots (tops removed and cut into 1-inch pieces), 6 celery stalks (cut into 1-inch pieces), 1 large onion (quartered and skins on), 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, ½ cup dry, white wine (or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar), and 6 quarts of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then simmer, covered for 14-24 hours, the bones should crumble when crushed.

Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and then pour into 1-quart glass jars with lids. I usually yield 4 quarts or 1 gallon of broth. I keep 1 quart in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer until needed. If you end up freezing your broth, make sure to give yourself enough head space to allow for the liquid to expand when it freezes.

 

 

Leftover Turkey Frittata

The next meal for us after Thanksgiving dinner (besides the late-night snacking), is breakfast the next morning, and we just go ahead and jump in feet first with utilizing those leftovers. I love frittatas, and this turkey frittata is amazing! It has a little southwest flair to its flavors, so you don’t really feel like you are eating leftovers. I have used leeks, onions, or shallots—whatever you have in your pantry, and my favorite cheese is pepper jack to spice things up a bit. This recipe also works well for a dinner meal. It’s a good one to use on a busy weekday night when you are crunched on time because it all comes together in 30 minutes or less.

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Leftover Roasted Yam Breakfast Hash

Making a leftover roasted yam breakfast hash could not be any easier! And, easy is what I need the morning after cooking all day! This hash combines sausage, leftover roasted yams, and eggs in a protein packed breakfast. This recipe also works well with leftover roasted potatoes.

Leftover Roasted Yam Breakfast Hash Recipe

Ingredients:

1 pound ground sausage
1 small onion
1 cup leftover roasted yams
6 eggs
Salt and pepper


Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add a pound of ground sausage and 1 small onion that has been chopped.
  • Brown the meat and cook the onions and drain off excess fat that accumulates in the skillet except one tablespoon (you just want to make sure there is enough fat to avoid drying out the hash).
  • Add a cup of leftover roasted yams and stir to incorporate into the meat.
  • Make four shallow wells in the surface of the hash and crack an egg into each (you have enough hash to make 6 eggs if you need more).
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer skillet to the oven and cook until the eggs are barely set but still runny, about 5 minutes.

 

 

Leftover Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Turkey, Cream Cheese & Cranberry Sauce
I have been obsessed with grilled cheese sandwiches lately. It probably has something to do with the cold temperatures and the fact that they pair perfectly with soup—my favorite fall meal. We love the classic grilled cheese, but we also like to add tomatoes or bacon or ham to add more jazz and flavor to our grilled cheese sandwiches.

Making cold sandwiches with leftover turkey is an easy way to utilize leftovers, but this year I’m elevating my turkey sandwich game by making grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. My first leftover turkey grilled cheese idea was inspired by my daughter’s love of sourdough toast with cream cheese and raspberry jam. It got me thinking how tasty a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich would be using cream cheese and leftover cranberry sauce. Cream cheese makes for a super creamy sandwich and it combines well with turkey and cranberry sauce to make an ooey, gooey perfect combination of flavors!

Grilled Cheese with Turkey, Cream Cheese & Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

2 slices sourdough bread
3 teaspoons butter
1-2 tablespoons cream cheese
1-2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
1 slice provolone cheese
3 ounces turkey (about 1 handful)


Directions:

  • To make one sandwich take 2 slices of sourdough and butter one side of each (about 2 teaspoons of butter), then build the sandwich on the opposite side.
  • Spread the cream cheese (1-2 tablespoons) on one of the slices of bread (opposite of the butter side), then spread the cranberry sauce (1-2 tablespoons) and top with turkey (a good handful).
  • Place a slice of provolone cheese on the other slice of bread. Heat a skillet (I like using cast iron) and melt 1 teaspoon of butter over medium-low heat.
  • Place the slices of bread butter-side down and cook until the bottoms are golden, and the cheese has melted (5-8 minutes).
  • Sandwich the slices together, slice in half, and serve.

 

Turkey, Monterey Jack, Parmesan & Brussels Sprouts
My sister lives in Columbus, Ohio and she took me to Melt Bar and Grilled. They have what seems like hundreds of unique grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s their creativity that got me thinking about making a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich but adding leftover Thanksgiving sides to make an out of this world grilled cheese creation. I couldn’t think of a better combination of flavors than turkey, Monterey Jack and parmesan cheese, and leftover roasted Brussels sprouts! It’s my new favorite way to eat Thanksgiving leftovers!

Grilled Cheese with Turkey, Monterey Jack, Parmesan & Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Ingredients:

2 slices sourdough bread
3 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 ounce grated Monterey Jack cheese
3 ounces leftover roasted Brussels sprouts (about 1 handful)


Directions:

  • To make one sandwich take 2 slices of sourdough and butter one side of each (about 2 teaspoons of butter).
  • Sprinkle the buttered side with Parmesan cheese (1 tablespoon each slice) and press firmly into bread.
  • Then melt a teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat and place both slices of bread butter-side down in the pan.
  • Next, add the leftover roasted Brussels sprouts, then the turkey, and then grated Monterey Jack (about 1 ounce or more if you like it super cheesy) to one of the slices of bread.
  • Cook until the bottoms are golden, and the cheese has melted (5-8 minutes).
  • Sandwich the slices together, slice in half, and serve.

 

 


Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three that loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips. Follow her on Facebook: @OrganicBeth