Even with a mountain of containers and an army of guests to off-load leftovers onto, most hosts will still end up with extras for days. And while the Thanksgiving sandwich is a thing of beauty, it can start to feel stale after day three. Here are some fresh ways to mix and match your holiday bounty into meals you’ll be thankful for.
Quiche (pictured above)
Got an extra pie crust you didn’t use when you found out Aunt Myrtle was bringing three pumpkin pies? Quiche is the ultimate receptacle for all of the bits of turkey, awkward amounts of vegetables and herbs, extra eggs and cream and the cheese left on the board from cocktail hour.
The fillings in this recipe are merely suggestions. Feel free to throw in anything you desire, as long as you leave a bit of room for the custard. Serve warm, cold or room temperature with a small salad for a delightful lunch.
- 1 9-inch frozen pie crust, blind-baked according to directions on the package
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
- 1 dash ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup grated or crumbled cheese that melts well, like young gouda, cheddar, swiss, brie or chevre
- ¼ cup roasted turkey, diced
- ¼ cup roasted brussels sprouts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup leftover stuffing
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and place crust on the sheet.
- Spread turkey, brussels sprouts and stuffing (or desired fillings) over the bottom of the crust. Spread cheese evenly over the fillings. Slowly pour custard (the egg mixture) into the crust. Stop pouring when a small amount of the crust is still showing. You may have extra custard, depending how much filling you used. An overfilled quiche will spill over the side of the crust when baking, which is messy business, but that’s what the foil-lined baking sheet is for!
- Place baking sheet with crust into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center still jiggles a little bit.
- Allow the quiche to cool for about 25 minutes.
These cornmeal fritters, a southern staple delicious in their own right, start with a sturdy batter that will safely cradle almost any leftover that you want to give the deep fryer experience.
A thin, versatile pancake that plays nice with sweet or savory. Fill crepes with smushed pumpkin pie for dessert (or breakfast, who’s judging?) or with turkey, cranberry sauce and green beans for a heartier main.
Here’s a basic crepe batter from Serious Eats.
Got extra stock? Use it for a creamy risotto will make your leftovers feel fancy. Take out your beautiful homemade turkey stock, or, ok, the stuff in the box, chop up some vegetables to throw in (roasted squash would be lovely) and you have a meal to make any nonna proud.
Try this no-frills risotto recipe from Chowhound and embellish at will.
Another rice-based multitasker. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy pan or wok, add chopped leftover vegetables and meats plus rice and an egg and toss until hot. Season with teaspoon or so of soy sauce - or gravy, if you dare.
We recommend chef Ming Tsai's recipe for cranberry-turkey fried rice. Or, try this chef-y, starch-forward take from Bon Appetit, featuring stuffing cubes.
There’s nothing wrong with eating leftover pie just the way it is, but you can extend its life by layering bite-size chunks of pie into a homemade vanilla ice cream and keeping it in the freezer for days when you need to treat yourself. It’s a reverse pie à la mode!
Jeni Britton Bauer’s foolproof ice cream base will get you there. Add a splash of vanilla if desired.