Once the Thanksgiving feast is over, many families struggle with the ultimate “good problem”—too many leftovers.
Nobody wants all of their hard work preparing a feast to go to waste. After all the effort that goes into turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, it’s important to get as much out of the food as you put into it. There’s no need to toss the remaining food or throw it in the microwave for the remainder of the weekend, resulting in a less-than-satisfying meal.
Instead, follow this guide for a fresh take on your Thanksgiving leftovers. Here are a few creative ways to turn those leftovers into standout dishes with fresh flavors to enjoy. Serve up these dishes and you’re sure to forget you’re eating leftovers instead of a brand-new meal.
Leftover Turkey Chili
Tim Hunter, executive chef at Food Bank of Delaware, recommends turning your turkey into a hearty chili.
“Take the meat right off the bone and do either a traditional red or a white bean chili,” says Hunter.
No two chili recipes are the same, but here are some basic tips to turn your turkey into a hearty and delicious soup. Add diced onions, garlic and celery along with plenty of spices like chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and any other spices you prefer. For a red chili, add some leftover tomato sauce or even canned tomatoes. If you want a white bean chili, use a cream soup base.
Turkey Pot Pie
Who doesn’t love a good pot pie? This dish is hearty, warming and the perfect comfort food. You can use a store-bought pie dough, add your leftover turkey, veggies and even some stuffing. This recipe is perfect because you can throw in any leftovers you have. Mix in some gravy for the perfect pie filling.
Mashed Potato Croquettes
This idea also comes from Chef Tim Hunter. Grab your leftover mashed potatoes, add some eggs, panko breadcrumbs and whatever seasonings you’d like. Form them into croquettes and bake, or make pan-fried potato pancakes with scallions and garlic.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce and Jalapeño Game-Day Dip
‘Tis the season for game-day dining! You can freeze your leftover cranberry sauce and pull it out to thaw for your next game-day gathering. Just reheat the cranberry sauce in a sauce pan with chopped jalapeños for a little kick. Pour the mixture over softened cream cheese to create a delicious sweet and spicy treat. Dip crackers, celery, apples and more in your spicy cranberry cream cheese 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. There are many ways to help out, including volunteer opportunities and food drives. To learn more, visit them online.