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upcycle holiday leftovers title next to thanksgiving food

Upcycle Holiday Leftovers

By Alex Woodby

Your family is traveling in from across the country, and you’re preparing an amazing Thanksgiving feast! With happy faces, delicious dishes and memories in the making, there’s so very much for which to be thankful. And after the plates are cleared and the tummies full, are you ever left wondering what to do with all the leftovers? The good news, you don’t need to throw them away or be left eating turkey for a month. Below are some great recipes to bring a new twist, fresh flavor and a second chance at the table to your leftover Thanksgiving feast.

Turkey Pot Pie

One great recipe is a turkey pot pie. It’s easy to make, and definitely offers a warm, soothing feeling as we get ready to face colder weather!


  • Refrigerated ready to cook pie crust.
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can of chicken broth or 2 cups chicken bullion
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded or chopped turkey
  • 2 C. fresh or frozen steamed mixed vegetables: (carrots, peas, potatoes) dice bite sized

Saute: ½ stick butter with onion & celery – set aside with steamed vegetables

Make a rue with ½ stick butter, 1/3 c. flour, salt, pepper, add broth and then milk until it becomes a light turkey gravy – add vegetables and turkey


  1. Heat oven to 425
  2. Pour filling into a casserole dish and cover with the piecrust.
  3. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

This is a delicious dinner! It takes less than an hour to bake and can feed lots of people. It is a great way to use left over Thanksgiving turkey and it is sure to be a meal the family will enjoy.

Hot Ham and Turkey Sandwiches

Another popular way to use leftover Thanksgiving main course portions is piping hot turkey or ham sandwiches. Bake too many rolls? No worries! Many people use left over yeast rolls and as the bread for this classic. It only takes a few minutes and is a great handheld snack or dinner if you’ve got Christmas shopping to do!

Making sandwiches with the left overs from Thanksgiving is very easy and is often a holiday tradition.


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cut yeast dinner rolls in half.
  • Tuck turkey or ham into the roll.
  • Place cheese on the bread.
  • Add tiny onion bits if desired.
  • Spread mustard or mayonnaise.
  • Wrap in foil.
  • Cook for 10 to 15` minutes.


  • You can use any kind of cheese you like.
  • Serve sandwiches with a garnish tray of vegetables for people to choose from, including lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles.

This is a great dinner if you have guests coming and going because it is so easy to serve and will feed a lot people. It’s a clever way to repurpose good food, and it won’t even seem like you are using leftovers.