New Life for Holiday Leftovers
Transform your holiday leftovers into dazzling new dishes and give yourself the night off.
Chicken, Avocado, and Turkey-Bacon Sandwich
Chicken, Avocado, and Turkey-Bacon Sandwich provides just the right combination of hot and cold, crunchy and creamy. The key is to make sure the avocado and tomato are ripe and the bread is the best you can get your hands on.
Tuna Niçoise Salad with Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes
Turkey Sandwich With Spicy Cranberry Spread
Prep: 10 minutes
Chopped Turkey Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
This holiday version of chopped salad makes use of leftover turkey as well as cranberry sauce. Tart cranberries make a delicious addition to any vinaigrette, and using them in a relish or sauce eliminates the need to cook them first. Prep: 10 minutes.
Leftover Mashed Potatoes: Latkes
Looking for new ways to use your holiday leftovers? Check out these satisfying dishes, starting with latkes. Latkes are often made with shredded potatoes, but these vegetable and dill-flavored potato cakes are made with mashed potatoes. The recipe gives instruction for making the mashed potatoes, but if you have some in the refrigerator, just add the zucchini and leek to what you have. You'll need about 4 cups of mashed potatoes.
Leftover Mashed Potatoes: Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd's pie was originally created as an economical way to use the leftovers from the Sunday dinner roast. It's a savory pie of cooked ground or diced meat that's mixed with vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes, so you can use not only your leftover meat but your potatoes as well. The recipe calls for a 16-ounce package of frozen mashed potatoes, which is about 2 cups.
Leftover Mashed Potatoes: Vegetable Samosas
Samosas are a popular and filling snack in India, and this recipe uses up your leftover mashed potatoes and other veggies like onion, carrots, and peas. Traditionally samosas are fried, but this recipe keeps the fat content down by baking them.
Leftover Ham, Peas, Dinner Rolls, Potatoes: Soup
Leftover potatoes, peas, and ham are the base for this hearty, comforting soup. To acheive the crusty dinner roll "croutons", place the soup in broiler-safe bowls and top with rolls and cheese; broil in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. However, if you don't have broiler-safe bowls simply place the roll pieces on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese, broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, and then top the soup.
Leftover Sweet Potatoes: Shepherd's Pie
In this colorful version of a traditional shepherd's pie, mashed sweet potatoes are used for the topping instead of regular mashed potatoes. For the filling, use any onion or celery that you may not have needed in your dressing.
Leftover Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Pancakes
What better use for a small amount of leftover mashed sweet potato–either fresh or canned–than nutty sweet pancakes? You'll also need a small amount of chopped pecans.
Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potatoes: Pizza
Use up your leftover turkey and sweet potatoes in this family-friendly dish. Instead of sauce, smooth mashed sweet potatoes onto pizza dough and top with shredded turkey, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and Havarti cheese. You can also substitute the Havariti Monterey Jack.
Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce: Turkey Tostadas
Top toasted tortillas (tostadas) with a mixture of turkey, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, black beans, queso fresco and cilantro. To really put these tostadas over the top, drizzle on a sauce made from your leftover cranberry sauce and chipotle pepper. You'll need 3 cups of leftover turkey and 1 cup leftover whole-berry cranberry sauce.
Leftover Turkey: Stir-Fry
Turkey sandwiches are so last year! Top egg noodles with stir-fried mushrooms, vibrant red bell pepper, snow peas, and two cups of your leftover bird.
Leftover Turkey: Stew
Give your leftover turkey a spicy Mexican makeover when you add it to this hearty soup. Round out the soup with a variety of veggies and top with roasted pumpkin seeds to add a fun, nutty flavor.
Leftover Canned Pumpkin: Muffins
If you bought one too many cans of mashed pumpkin for your pies, or if you just happen to have a partial can remaining, use it in these sweet and spicy muffins. The brown sugar topping makes them extra-special.
Leftover Vegetables: Soup
A hearty vegetable soup is a common way to use up all your leftover veggies. This recipe calls for a 32-ounce bag of frozen mixed vegetables with peas, carrots, green beans, and lima beans, but you can use 8 cups of any vegetables that you have on hand. If you have fewer veggies on hand, you can half this recipe and get 9 cups of soup instead of 18.
Leftover Green Beans: Mediterranean Salad
This light side dish is a welcome break from heavy holiday food. Combine bulgur and 2 cups of your leftover cooked green beans with the bright flavors of mint, red onions and lemon.
Leftover Fresh Cranberries: Upside-Down Cake
If you've got some fresh cranberries in the freezer, use them as a tangy accent for this tender pumpkin cake. You probably already have some canned pumpkin and walnuts on hand for the holidays.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry Créme Brulee
Don't serve all of the cranberry sauce with the turkey–you'll want to save half of the can for this decadent créme brulee.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce: Cocktails
The classic Old Fashioned gets a true holiday twist when you muddle together fresh orange slices and leftover cranberry sauce with bourbon and a dash of bitters.
Leftover Bread: Strata
The key to great strata is sturdy, dense bread, so leftover bread is perfect. This recipe calls for sourdough bread, but use whatever you have. Because it also contains chopped ham, this strata does double duty for "repurposing" leftover holiday food. Make it ahead and serve for brunch or a light supper.
Leftover Cornbread: Cornbread Salad
If you made a few batches of cornbread for your dressing but didn't use it all, make a bread salad to serve with pan-fried trout. Just cut the cornbread into cubes and bake for about 20 minutes until toasted. Then combine with pumpkin seeds, spices, kale, lemon juice and vinegar. Spoon the bread salad onto serving plates and top with a trout fillet.
Leftover Pound Cake: Trifle
Not only can you use make the most of the remaining pound cake, you can also use any fresh cranberries you may still have in the freezer. When you're making a trifle, you can actually use any kind of un-iced cake such as pound, angel or a plain yellow or white cake.
Leftover Red Wine: Pasta Sauce
If you have just a little bit of red wine left in the bottle, drink it! Or use it in rich tomato sauce for pasta. This sauce recipe features plenty of on-hand pantry items such as canned tomatoes, dried herbs, and a package of dry pasta.
Leftover Green Bean Casserole: Sandwich
Don't toss that last bit of green bean casserole. You can use it to make a tasty sandwich instead.
The Best Leftover Turkey Sandwich Ever
This crispy, crunchy, savory turkey sandwich will leave you wishing you had leftovers more often.
Cheesy Thanksgiving Tamales
You'll love our genius way to use leftover stuffing, turkey, or sweet potato casserole by turning it into the starchy outer layer of tamales.
Green Bean Quiche
What's better than a clever new guise for extra green bean casserole (onion topping and all)? One that takes just 5 minutes to mix.
New Turkey Tetrazzini
Loads of spinach and mushrooms freshen up this classic.
Sweet Potato Casserole Hotcakes
If your sweet potato casserole is very sweet, omit the brown sugar in the pancakes. Does yours come with a marshmallow topping? Even better. Simply stir it into your sweet potatoes, and make the recipe as directed.
Sausage-and-Sweet Potato Soup
A smart way to repurpose sweet potato casserole, this hearty soup drew rave reviews in our Test Kitchen. If your casserole contains marshmallows, remove them before stirring the casserole into this soup. The flavor will vary depending on your casserole recipe; simply adjust salt and pepper to taste before serving.
The fragrant flavors in this refreshing tonic of a soup are the antidote to a rich Thanksgiving feast. For a heartier spin, serve it over rice or noodles. Can't find fresh lemongrass in the produce section of your supermarket? Try our version that uses Thai ginger-infused chicken broth instead.
Cranberry-Hoisin Turkey Buns
Look for frozen Chinese steamed buns at Asian specialty grocery stores. Or, if you'd rather, you can substitute mini pita breads for the buns.
Crispy Green Beans with Sriracha Mayo
No leftovers? Sub in a bag of microwaved steamed beans.
Potato Pancakes with Salmon
Serve pancakes with a dollop of applesauce in place of the fish for a fast meat-free option.
Savory Harvest Vegetable Tart with Toasted Quinoa Crust
The deep flavors of the roasted vegetables pair perfectly with the nutty flavor and crunchy texture of the quinoa crust and the creamy herbed cheese in this tart.
Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps
If you are short on time or not so adept with a knife, grate the radishes rather than thinly slicing them into julienne strips.
It's fine to make this punch ahead; just hold off on adding the apple cider--which adds bright and effervescent notes--until right before serving.
Buttermilk-Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Sandwich the ice cream between thin chocolate wafers for an easy ice-cream sandwich.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Truffles
We used our Cooking Light recipe for Maple-Bourbon Pecan Pie to make these truffles, and the nutritional information is based on that pie.