Dinner Recipes to Make the Most of Holiday Leftovers

Holiday cooking means holiday leftovers! You could reheat the same ole same ole or you could reinvent them. Whip up these five easy dinners, including turkey sandwiches and pumpkin chili, to enjoy each night of the week.

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, Army wife, and a Simply Recipes recipe tester and developer!

Oh, the joy of leftovers! How I love to swing wide the door of my refrigerator and see bins of imagined leftover faces smiling back at me.

I realize that there are some who can’t stand the thought of eating “old” food. For you, I propose not leftovers, per se, but food that is reimagined into another meal. Hopefully, that sounds a lot more approachable if you’re not into leftover, leftovers. If you’re a fan like me, this week is made for you.

Bake a couple of loaves of bread on Sunday to go with soup to use up leftover ham or for sandwiches to make the most of what remains of turkey dinner. Don’t forget about the the odds and ends you didn’t cook! The extra sweet potatoes intended for a casserole or that pie pumpkin you didn’t need can find new life as twice-baked potatoes or pumpkin chili.

I even tossed in a non-leftover recipe for salmon to make the leftover haters among us happy.

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Ham and bean soup in a round bowl

Have ham leftover from your holiday menu? Chop it and stir it into this already hearty bean soup. Even if there were no ham survivors, the inexpensive cuts of ham hocks or shanks won’t break the grocery budget in case you need to buy some last-minute holiday gifts.

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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cheese

I always have sweet potatoes in my pantry around this time of year. Instead of fussing about what to make for dinner tonight, I’m going to take advantage of their bounty, pluck a few from the bag, and bake these meal-in-one vegetarian sweet potatoes. Serve the basic recipe for the kiddos and jazz yours up with the Dad (or Mom) Add.

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Right around this point on the calendar, I’ve begun to run out of ideas on what to do with the turkey I have leftover from Thanksgiving. So, I’m jazzing up a run-of-the-mill sandwich to create a gourmet turkey grilled cheese. Don’t leave out the sweet pickled onions! Their brininess makes a great sandwich extraordinary.

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Apple Cider Honey Glazed Salmon

This isn’t a leftover, but when it comes to meals that I put together during the “down-time” of the holiday season, I’m always on the hunt for those that take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. My time (and yours) is better spent de-stressing in a bubble bath, after all.

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Pumpkin Chili

I want to use up the last of the pumpkins to do a spin on a Texas favorite: Frito Pie! The sweetness of the pumpkin, and the fact that I can cook with pumpkin beer, make this the tastiest meal to end the week. Not only does it comfort us for dinner tonight. I’m freezing half of the batch to serve later in the winter.

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Weekend Baking

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

Remember those sweet potatoes I said I was swimming in? I'm going to put them to use in this weekend’s baking sesh. This pie takes a few pecans and the potatoes off of my hands in the sweetest way.

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Marta Rivera

Marta Rivera is trained chef with over 20 years in the culinary field and the blogger behind Sense & Edibility. She graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Classical Pastries. Her cookbook is Taste and See Cooks.

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