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Thanksgiving Leftovers don’t have to just be turned into a loaded turkey sandwich. These recipes prove that maybe your turkey and Thanksgiving side dishes are actually better the day after the holiday. There are over 40 ideas to use up leftover turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and more. You can turn them into appetizers, main dishes, breakfast, snacks, desserts and everything in between!
After days and hours of prepping and cooking, you’ve feasted. The dishes are washed and the kitchen is cleaned. But now you have a refrigerator filled with Thanksgiving leftovers. The first question is…
How long are Thanksgiving leftovers good for?
First, you have to ask yourself if you left the food out too long. It should not be left at room temperature for longer than two hours or you run the risk of it starting to grow bacteria. So get those leftovers wrapped, packaged in storage containers, and into a nice, cold refrigerator as soon as possible.
Or, if you want to keep them longer, transfer everything to airtight containers, wrap them in foil or plastic, and, if the container fit, slide it into a resealable plastic freezer bag.
Most Thanksgiving leftovers, from the turkey to the mashed potatoes to the stuffing will last in the fridge for three to four days, with cranberry sauce being good for up to a week. You can reheat and rechill as needed, but every time you do that, the food could dry out a little more. So you might just need to moisten things up with a little broth or stock. If you have made turkey stock from your turkey carcass, you are set. Or you can use chicken stock from a box.
However, regardless of whether it’s been a few hours or a few days, if something looks or smells a little off, then toss it. It is not worth taking the chance.
And the next question is…
What can you make with Thanksgiving leftovers?
Certainly, you can just fix yourself a plate for Round Two of the feast. Or you can make a fully-loaded turkey sandwich heaped high with extra stuffing and smeared with cranberry sauce (PRO TIP: mix that cranberry sauce with mayo for a yummy sandwich spread).
But you really should check out these ideas…
Leftover Turkey Recipes
Sure, you can make a turkey sandwich, but there are so many other things you can do with the bird. And in many recipes that call for chicken, you can replace it with your leftover turkey meat.
Leftover Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
Whether you have extra mashed taters, or a few potatoes or sweet potatoes that you didn't end up cooking, here are some delicious ideas.
Recipes to Make with Leftover Cranberry Sauce or Fresh Cranberries
Whether you've made too much cranberry sauce, have an extra can laying around, or didn't cook up all of the fresh cranberries you bought, you can transform any of those into a delicious breakfast, dinner, dessert, or even party snacks.
Recipes for Leftover Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Puree
Sure you can have a slice of pie for breakfast. But you can also repurpose that pie or you the last remnants of canned pumpkin to make something delicious.