7 Ideas For The Love Of Thanksgiving Leftovers
I know we haven’t even made it to the big day, but if you’re hosting this year’s Thanksgiving feast you’ll soon be looking at a pile of leftovers. At our house, the Black Friday, Thanksgiving number two is a much-loved tradition. Sometimes we’ll combine ours with a friend’s for a dueling leftovers potluck, but after that we’re pretty much over it and ready to take a step back from the excesses of the past few days – not to mention the ones that loom ahead.
If you’ve had your fill of Thanksgiving dinner encores and are still faced with a fridge full of leftovers, the best thing to do is push aside the cranberries, they’ll keep for weeks, and freeze the gravy and stuffing for later. It will be a happy mid-winter night when you crave a comforting side dish and can just whip up some delicious stuffing or rich, thick gravy from the depths of your freezer.
With cranberries, stuffing and gravy out of your way, the turkey is really all you need to contend with. You could consider cutting a pound or so into 1” chunks and freezing for a later date. In fact, there are so many great things to do with turkey you may just find yourself ready to roast another.
Below are some of my favorite things to do with turkey leftovers and might even be reason enough to cook another bird. You can also substitute cooked chicken for any of these, which is sure to come in handy as we head into the busy holiday season.
• Spicy black bean and turkey chili with lime and cilantro – make your favorite chili, add chunks of turkey and finish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. For extra punch, dust the turkey chunks with a little chili powder before adding.
• Portabella, goat cheese and thyme risotto with turkey – Make a basic mushroom risotto, adding fresh thyme in the beginning, then stir in turkey pieces and goat cheese at the end.
• Turkey enchiladas – stuff corn tortillas with shredded turkey, sautéed onions and a little sour cream, top with jarred enchilada sauce and grated cheese and bake.
• Turkey quesadillas with chutney – Use a blend of leftover cheeses and cranberry sauce or mango chutney for a quick lunch or snack for the kids.
• Turkey Sanwiches – Breath new life into turkey sandwiches by spicing up the mayo with curry, smoked paprika or hot sauce and grilling with some cheese. Thinly sliced apples are great with curry and roasted peppers are fantastic with smoked paprika or hot sauce. And if you really want to forget you’re eating turkey leftovers, just add bacon.