28 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving leftovers mean future meals! These 28 recipes will provide new and fun ways to use up leftover turkey, potatoes, and more.

Clear Out Your Fridge with These 15 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Simply Recipes

Most years, holiday leftovers turn out to be the bane of a home cook's existence. Even I, a diehard leftovers lover, will get tired of eating the same dishes for days on end. Yet, my family and I weep whenever we have to throw away the leftovers we just couldn't polish off. If you're looking for new and exciting ways to transform your leftovers, this list is for you.

Be they savory or sweet, excess holiday foods can be converted into new, delicious recipes that will keep your interests piqued. This year, your leftovers won't go to waste, nor will you get bored repurposing them.

You won't have to worry about using up excess pumpkin purée or cranberry sauce. This roundup of recipes will help inspire you to create new favorites from tried-and-true ingredients.

Robin Shreeves joins Marta Rivera in compiling this list.

  • Mom's Turkey Soup

    A bowl of turkey soup made with leftovers
    Elise Bauer

    It just isn't Thanksgiving without a pot of turkey soup. Use the turkey carcass to make a flavorful broth, and add substance with either egg noodles or rice.

  • Hot Turkey Sandwich

    Hot Turkey Sandwich
    Elise Bauer

    I don't make hot, open-faced sandwiches enough, but you bet this recipe is hitting the table when I have leftover turkey and gravy. I prefer to use sourdough for the base of this sandwich, but whole wheat bread works well here, too. MR

  • Curried Turkey Soup

    Curried Turkey Soup with Leftover Turkey
    Elise Bauer

    This one-pot meal repurposes leftover turkey and any apples you didn't throw into your Thanksgiving pie. The fragrant curry broth is a fantastic way to use any stock you might have made from turkey bones. MR

  • Bubble and Squeak

    Bubble and Squeak Patties on Cast Iron Skillet

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    All sorts of leftover cooked vegetables get chopped up and thrown into this great British post-holiday classic. It's bound with mashed potatoes and fried until crisp. Make it for dinner or serve it for brunch, topped with eggs.

    Continue to 5 of 28 below.
  • Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

    Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas
    Elise Bauer

    Make a quick, easy sauce to pour over these enchiladas filled with leftover turkey, black, beans, cheese, and other flavorful fillings. Bake and then garnish with chopped avocado, sour cream, cilantro, or whatever your favorite toppings are. Yum. RS

  • Turkey Chili (with Leftover Turkey)

    turkey chili topped with shredded cheese and scallions in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Shred leftover white or dark meat cooked turkey to add to this terrific chili. It makes a large pot, big enough to feed a crowd. It also freezes well for up to two months. If you're a little tired of turkey after Thanksgiving, make this chili, freeze it, and pull it out of the freezer on a cold January night. Don't forget to make a side of cornbread. RS

  • Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

    Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad
    Elise Bauer

    I'm usually swimming in dried cranberries after Thanksgiving, same with pecans, but this colorful side dish allows me to use them in a refreshing way. The brightness of orange peel and lemon juice pairs nicely with roast pork or even leftover turkey. MR

  • Vegan Pumpkin Bread

    A loaf of Moist Pumpkin Bread cooling on a rack with a second loaf in the pan behind it.
    Sara Bir

    This spiced pumpkin bread is dairy and egg-free, but it isn't free of flavor. An added bonus is that this recipe makes two loaves of warmly spiced tender pumpkin bread. That's perfect for gifting to any buddies who braved Black Friday with you. MR

    Continue to 9 of 28 below.
  • Leftover Turkey Pot Pies

    Leftover turkey pot pie in a large casserole dish with serving spoon
    Nick Evans

    As splendid as the big meal is, there's something so promising about the potential meals afforded by all that leftover turkey, and turkey pot pie is a can't-miss classic. Use a premade crust or throw your own together. This recipe makes its own gravy, but this is a good place to use your leftover gravy as a stand-in.

  • Cajun Turkey Pot Pie

    Cajun Turkey Pot Pie
    Elise Bauer

    I don't know about you, but I'm pretty straight-laced regarding my turkey pot pie seasoning. Instead of playing it safe, I'll add more excitement to my bird and fold it into some Cajun spices. Use any leftover pie dough to top this pot pie and let the good times roll. MR

  • Ultimate Turkey Club Sandwich with Garlic Aioli

    Side view of turkey club with garlic mayo on a plate. The bread is toasted and the mayo, avocado, bacon, tomato, lettuce and turkey are visible in the sandwich.
    Nick Evans

    A Thanksgiving leftover roundup is incomplete without a traditional turkey sandwich. What makes this one more impressive is the bold garlic aioli it's slathered with. Leftover dinner rolls? Make these into sliders instead of standard 'wiches. MR

  • Creamy Green Beans and Mushrooms

    Creamy Green Beans with Mushrooms in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Green beans, mushrooms, onion...you may have one or all of these left over after Thanksgiving. This is the dish that uses all of them. Leftover cooked green beans, as long as they were simply prepared, will work. These vegetables come together with sour cream and butter to make a tasty side dish. RS

    Continue to 13 of 28 below.
  • Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

    Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie Recipe -- top down shot of shepards pie scoop taken out, golden and crispy edge mashed potatoes on top. Blue check table cloth, and a plate with some sheperd'e pie serve on top of it.
    Sally Vargas

    Shepherd's pie is usually a go-to for leftover mashed potatoes, but this year, make it vegetarian. Meaty mushrooms stand in for ground meat, and the abundance of vegetables bathed in a rich sauce might make this your regular shepherd's pie recipe. MR

  • Cranberry Orange Scones

    Citrus and cranberry scones on plate with butter.

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Leftover fresh or frozen whole cranberries from preparing Thursday's Thanksgiving dinner become part of the weekend's breakfast or brunch. These scones are crumbly, tender, and delicious. The recipe makes 12, If you won't eat all 12 over the weekend, put what you won't eat into the freezer before you bake them. Pull out individual uncooked scones and pop them into the oven frozen whenever you want fresh, hot scones. RS

  • Easy Breakfast Casserole

    Breakfast Casserole
    Elise Bauer

    Start with whatever leftover bread you have. If it's a little stale, all the better. Then take a look at what other leftovers you have—corn, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, ham, or even turkey shredded up—throw it all together in a casserole dish with cheese and an egg mixture. Bake it right away or leave it in the fridge overnight so breakfast or brunch is ready to pop right in the oven in the morning. RS

  • Sweet Potato, Mushroom, Leftover Turkey Casserole

    leftover turkey and sweet potato casserole
    Elise Bauer

    Leftover turkey and mashed sweet potatoes get a second showing in this casserole that's filled with bacon, mushrooms, and Gruyere cheese, then topped with crushed saltines. If you have leftover regular mashed potatoes, you can use them instead of the sweet potatoes. RS

    Continue to 17 of 28 below.
  • Bread Pudding

    Scooping easy bread pudding out of a white casserole dish.
    Cambrea Bakes

    Bread pudding is a great way to repurpose leftover dinner rolls. Just allow the bread to sit, uncovered, overnight on the countertop, then cut them into 1-inch cubes to use in this recipe. If you have any leftover cranberry sauce, a few dollops on top of the bread pudding before baking will add a sweet-tart vibe to it. MR

  • Sweet Potato Latkes

    Plate of Sweet Potato Latkes Served with a Small Bowl of Sour Cream

    Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

    Why wait for Hanukkah? If you have a couple of uncooked sweet potatoes left hanging around, make latkes. Shred the raw potatoes with onion, ring out the excess water, combine with eggs, flour and seasoning, and then fry. Serve with sour cream on the side. RS

  • Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa

    turkey tacos with cranberry salsa on a plate
    Elise Bauer

    Use leftover cranberries to make a salsa that comes together quickly in the food processor, no cooking required. As that sits and the flavors meld for a bit, make the tacos filled with leftover turkey, cheese, and lettuce. Serve together and enjoy the Thanksgiving flavors in a new way. RS

  • Broccoli Rice Casserole From Scratch

    Broccoli Rice Casserole in a Casserole Dish

    Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

    Turn leftover cooked broccoli into one of the ingredients for this cheesy casserole. Leftover green beans or Brussels sprouts would work well in place of the broccoli if you have those instead. If you overbought onions, caramelize one and throw that in there with the green veggie before baking. RS

    Continue to 21 of 28 below.
  • Codfish Cakes

    Cod Fish Cakes

    Simply Recipes / Mihaela Kozaric Sebrek

    You won't feel like you're eating leftovers with these fish cakes, but they're a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Full of the flavors of flaked cod, mashed potatoes, Parmesan cheese, and garlic, these cook up quickly. Serve with a green salad, and you have an easy dinner. RS

  • Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

    Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup in small mason jar
    Sally Vargas

    If you used heavy cream to make your mashed potatoes and have some left over, here's a clever way to use up 1/4 cup of it. Use this homemade condensed cream of chicken soup 1-for-1 in place of canned condensed soup in recipes like cheesy funeral potatoes. RS

  • Chai Ice Cream

    Chai Ice Cream
    Elise Bauer

    You won't get caught with tons of unused spices this year. This tea-flavored ice cream is a chilly, creamy nod to chai, complete with whole spices infused in a milk and cream ice cream base. MR

  • Pecan Pralines

    homemade pralines on plate
    Steve-Anna Stephens

    Pies shouldn't have all the pecan fun. Make these buttery pecan candies with your surplus nuts and gift them (or keep them for yourself). Freeze half the batch for future candy cravings. Pro-tip: using a rolling pin to break up frozen pralines is a genius way to top ice cream. MR

    Continue to 25 of 28 below.
  • S'mores Cookies

    Chocolate Chip and Marshmallow S'mores Cookies
    Emma Christensen

    Have a few marshmallows left over from making sweet potato casserole? Use them up by adding to these graham crackers and chocolate-laced cookies. Mini marshmallows work best, though, in a pinch, I have been known to cut standard marshmallows down to size. MR

  • Chicken and Apples in Honey Mustard Sauce

    Chicken Apples Honey Mustard
    Elise Bauer

    This year, apples need a little bit more shine. Add them to savory dishes like this one-pot chicken. The honey mustard sauce is nothing to shake a stick at, so be sure to serve it with a side dish that will capture it all, like steamed white rice or buttered noodlesMR

  • Greens, Eggs, and Ham Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    Greens Eggs Ham Sandwich

    We swap entrees every year. One year it's turkey; the next, it's ham. Using up leftover ham and the eggs I always seem to overbuy is easy, thanks to these cheesy sandwiches. Pro tip: swap the spinach for drained, leftover collard greens. MR

  • Air Fryer Cranberry Brie Canapes

    cranberry brie canapes

    Canapes make great snacks for the day after Thanksgiving, especially if you're into Black Friday shopping. These quick-fix appetizers put that leftover cranberry sauce to good use and can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours. That makes them great for grazing on a lazy Friday. MR