While Thanksgiving may be a wonderful, delicious holiday full of food, friends and family, the aftermath isn’t always so pretty. Oftentimes, we end up with way more leftovers than we know what to do with, and these leftovers often end up forgotten, moldy and eventually in the trash. Now, just think about it — lovingly cooked Thanksgiving food in the trash? The horror! The travesty! So, we at the Clog have compiled a list of ideas about how to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers, and thankfully, tossing them in the trash is definitely not one of them.
1. Meal prep
We’ve all forgotten leftover food in the fridge before, so no, it’s not a crime. But forgetting delicious Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge is so tragic, it could almost be a crime. An easy way to prevent yourself from forgetting those yummy Thanksgiving leftovers would be to invest in some meal-sized Tupperware containers and fill them up with your leftover turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. The result? Delicious Thanksgiving meals for the rest of the week and a whole lot of extra leeway in your wallet from all the money you save by not buying takeout every day.
2. Give them away
Do you still have a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers? Thinking you’ll get tired of eating the same thing every day for three weeks? Never fear, for you can always package up Thanksgiving leftovers nicely and give them out as care packages to your friends, or enemies, depending on what those leftovers are. Simply fill up a plastic container with some leftovers, tie a bow on top, stick on a nice note and you’re ready to win some brownie points.
3. Make shepherd’s pie
A single recipe of shepherd’s pie will use up all the leftover mashed potatoes, side vegetable dishes and turkey that are currently haunting your fridge. What’s even better is that shepherd’s pie is totally customizable and versatile, so you can just throw in whatever you have and come up with a delicious new twist on the classic comfort food.
4. Make cranberry sauce turnovers
If you’ve got tons of leftover cranberry sauce but no turkey left to go with it, consider baking some cranberry turnovers. All you’ll need other than the leftover cranberry sauce are some eggs, puff pastry dough, cream cheese and sugar. You’ll be ready to have a second delicious round of Thanksgiving dessert in no time.
5. Thanksgiving casserole
If you’re tired and don’t want to go to the trouble of breaking out a bunch of pots and pans just to deal with Thanksgiving leftovers, consider making a one-pot casserole dish. All you need to do is throw all your leftovers — except possibly the dessert — into a large casserole dish, sprinkle some shredded cheese over everything and bake the whole thing in the oven. Now you’ll have a delicious Thanksgiving-themed casserole dish to eat for days. Alternatively, if you don’t want to be stuck eating this casserole for the next week, invite your friends over for a second round of Thanksgiving dinner.
Hopefully, one or more of these ideas will be appealing to you and will result in some successful repurposing of your Thanksgiving leftovers. Good luck, and let your imaginations run wild.