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Cranberry BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes give your Thanksgiving leftovers new life. Turn them into an easy dinner recipe the family might love even more than the holiday feast. Leftover turkey is slathered with a tangy mixture of cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce and loaded on sweet potatoes. Then finish it off with a cheesy crumb topping made from extra cornbread or stuffing.
Originally published on November 18, 2012. Updated in 2020 with new photos and more helpful information.
I love a good turkey sandwich. The day after Thanksgiving, I love to make a cranberry Dijon sauce, slather it on cinnamon raisin or wheat toast, then slap on several slices of leftover turkey.
But sometimes you have to try something different. As I always say, I don’t like to just serve leftovers. I prefer to repurpose a previous night’s dinner.
Everyone always seems to have leftover turkey. There might be a smidge of cranberry sauce. And hopefully, you grabbed a few extra sweet potatoes that you didn’t cook.
Because you can combine them all into these barbecue stuffed sweet potatoes that are an incredibly delicious way to use up all of those odds and ends.
BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Recipe
Combining leftover cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce will give you a sweet and tangy sassy sauce to slather your leftover Thanksgiving turkey. The crumbly cheddar topping is the perfect salty, cheesy counterpoint to the spicy sweetness of the turkey, sauce and sweet potato. Kids and adults will be devouring this
What do you need?
As long as you have a few that you didn’t cook for a sweet potato casserole, you can just pop them in the oven. But it’s also easy to “bake” them in the microwave, slow cooker, Instant Pot, or air fryer. Use your favorite way to bake sweet potatoes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Feel free to use your favorite barbecue sauce. The taste of the final dish will vary somewhat based on what you use, whether it is sweeter, tangier, or spicier. My favorite is Stubb’s Original because it isn’t too sweet and has a subtle bit of heat.
Leftover cranberry sauce
You can use homemade cranberry sauce, but a canned variety is good too if that’s what you prefer or all you have left. Jellied or whole berry will work fine. And obviously, the flavor of your cranberry sauce will impact the flavor of your final sauce.
Whether you have white or dark meat left, either will be tasty in this dish. And if you don’t think your bird is big enough to have any leftover, it’s super easy to make a slow cooker turkey breast.
Cheese adds a bit of salty richness to help make the crumbly toping turn golden brown and to balance the sweetness from the sauce.
How to make barbecue stuffed sweet potatoes
Get your sweet potatoes ready to toss in the oven, or choose one of the other methods for cooking them. They will need close to an hour in an over at 425°F.
While they bake, warm your cranberry sauce and BBQ sauce together in a small saucepan. Add the turkey and let it simmer until it is heated through.
Take your leftover cornbread or stuffing and combine it in a bowl with shredded cheddar cheese.
Slice open those baked sweet potatoes, pile in the barbecue turkey, and sprinkle the crumb topping over everything.
Pop them back in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt and the crumbs to get golden brown. It’ll only take another 5 minutes or so.
If you happen to have leftover mashed sweet potatoes, you could always make BBQ Turkey Sweet Potato Bowls.
For a spicier variation, try Turkey Jambalaya Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
Or turn those extra sweet potatoes into fries and make BBQ Loaded Fries.
No sweet potatoes at all? Just use the cranberry barbecue turkey to make BBQ Tostadas!
Make it a Meal
If you don’t have any Thanksgiving side dishes left, you can always whip up one of these easy veggies to complete the dinner menu:
- Green Beans with Bacon
- Maple Dijon Apple Coleslaw
- Salad with Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing
- Buttered Carrots and Peas
- Roasted Cauliflower
More leftover turkey recipes
- Turkey Pot Pie Soup
- Harvest Cobb Salad
- Turkey Club Quiche
- Turkey Tamale Pie by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
More leftover cranberry sauce recipes
- Cranberry Balsamic Cauliflower Wings
- Cranberry Balsamic Dressing
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Balsamic Beef
- Cranberry Sauce Crumb Bars from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Cranberry BBQ Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Lightly spray or rub sweet potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Wrap individually in aluminum foil and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until soft (potatoes can also be "baked" in the microwave, if you have less time).
- While potatoes are baking, combine cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan, and heat over low to medium heat until the cranberry sauce melts into the barbecue sauce.
- Add the turkey, and cook until heated through.
- Combine the cheese and crumbs in a small bowl.
- Place the potatoes in an oven-safe dish.
- Slice down the potatoes lengthwise, spread open, and fill with the turkey mixture. Sprinkle the cheddar topping over the potatoes and bake for about 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and crumbs are slightly browned.