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3 Recipes to Keep Your Thanksgiving Leftovers from Going to Waste

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November 9, 2011

When it comes to saving money, one thing we can all do is make sure food doesn’t go to waste.  The day after Thanksgiving is one my family looks forward to almost as much as Thanksgiving itself.  We are all sandwich lovers and we each have our own version of the perfect Thanksgiving leftover sandwich.  But eating turkey sandwich can get tiring. If you’d like to move beyond basic turkey sandwiches and are looking for new ways to use your Thanksgiving leftovers, try these recipes; your family will never guess you are serving them leftovers.

Turkey Pot Pie

(serves 6 – 8)

This dish is a delicious Thanksgiving leftover dish that your whole family will love!


  • 2 cups turkey, cooked and shredded
  • 2 cups gravy
  • 2 cups leftover vegetables
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 box Pillsbury Pie Crusts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a deep dish pie tin with one of the pie crusts.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the turkey, gravy, and vegetables.
  4. Spoon turkey mixture into the pie pan.
  5. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the pie.
  6. Place pie tin on a baking sheet and place in oven.
  7. Cook for 1 hour or until the pie is heated through and the potatoes are browned.

If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, you can top the pie with the 2nd pie crust that comes in the box.

Tarragon Turkey Salad

(serves 4)

Serve this salad with a baguette for a delicious meal that doesn’t taste like leftovers.


  • 2 ½ cups turkey, cooked and shredded
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½  – ¾ cup mayonnaise, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 cup apples, peeled and chopped


In a bowl mix all ingredients.  Refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours before serving.  If you do not have fresh tarragon you can substitute it with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon.

Turkey and Dumpling Soup

(serves 10)

Transform your turkey carcass into a delicious soup!


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • Turkey carcass
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 package Anne’s Flat Old-Fashioned Dumplings (in freezer section)


  1. In a skillet, sauté the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in oil.
  2. Put turkey carcass and water in a Dutch oven or stockpot.
  3. Add the sautéed vegetables to the stockpot.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Skim any fat off of the top.
  6. Cover the pot, turn down the heat, and simmer for 2 hours.
  7. Remove carcass from pot.  Add any meat still on the carcass into the soup.
  8. Add parsley, salt, sage, and poultry seasoning to the soup.
  9. Bring the soup to a boil.
  10. Break the frozen dumplings into squares and add to the boiling water.
  11. Boil for 6 minutes.
  12. Turn the heat to low, add peas, cover, and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

If you have a lot of leftovers, consider freezing some of them.  To freeze leftover turkey, put it into a Ziploc bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 6 months.  Stuffing and gravy can also be frozen in air tight containers.  You can also freeze the turkey carcass.  Simply wrap the carcass really well with heavy duty aluminum foil.  It is important to get the wrap it well so it won’t get freezer burn.

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