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Here’s What You Can Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Forgo the usual day-old turkey sandwich and make a hearty turkey chili this year./Photo by Adobe Stock, vm2002

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*This article was originally published in our November 2018 Dining Insider Blog

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while you might be worrying about how long to cook the turkey or whether or not your mother-in-law will criticize your less-than-creamy mashed potatoes, just think about all those leftovers you will have once the feast is over.

While day-old turkey sandwiches are classic, why not get a little creative and turn your leftovers into their own standout dishes? We reached out to Tim Hunter, executive chef and instructor at the Food Bank of Delaware for some leftover reinvention tips.

RELATED: Where to Eat Out for Thanksgiving in Delaware

Chef Tim Hunter./Photo courtesy of Joel Plotkin 


Hunter recommends turning that leftover bird into a hearty chili.

“Take the meat right off the bone and do either a traditional red or a white bean chili,” says Hunter.

Add onions, celery and chili powder, he said. Use leftover tomato sauce if you’re going for red, or cream soup for white chili.

Another option is a turkey potpie. Get pie shells, add your leftover turkey and veggies and then bake. “It’s nice and hearty and hot,” Hunter says.


Hunter also says he likes to make potato croquettes.

“I will add a few eggs and some panko breadcrumbs to the mashed potatoes and finish them off in the oven. Or I will add a little extra seasoning (like scallions) and make potato pancakes and finish them in a pan,” Hunter says.

He also suggests putting some leftover turkey in the middle of the croquettes before baking them in the oven.


Hunter says cranberry sauce makes an excellent condiment for sandwiches. Or try adding some dry mustard to it to make a tasty dip.

The Food Bank of Delaware provides nutritious foods to Delawareans in need and facilitates long-term solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty through community education and advocacy. With locations in Milford and Newark, there are many ways to help out, including volunteer opportunities and food drives. To learn more, visit this website.