17 Creative Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Go Beyond Turkey Sandwiches

turkey egg rolls

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Wondering what to do with a fridge full of food after the holidays? These creative recipes will help use up all of those delicious leftovers—from the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce—in the tastiest ways. Get inspired by creative ideas for turning your Turkey Day fixings into crave-worthy new dishes, from casseroles and pizzas to dishes infused with flavors from Mexican, Chinese, and Indian cuisines. Yes, there's a sandwich, but it's not your average turkey club—and we bet your mind will be blown by the stuffed breakfast waffles made from the leftover dressing.

  • 01 of 17

    Leftover Turkey Curry

    Leftover Turkey Curry

    The Spruce

    Diced up turkey is the star ingredient of this hearty stew. With sweetness and a slight kick from crushed pineapple, ginger, and curry powder, it makes a mouthwatering meal served over hot basmati rice.

  • 02 of 17

    Thanksgiving Pizza

    Leftover Thanksgiving turkey pizza

    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

    Here's a homemade pizza that makes use of leftover turkey and mashed potatoes in a way that's much better than delivery. Use a store-bought crust and get kids to help you layer on the toppings, which also include salty fried bacon, fresh spring onions, and two kinds of cheese.

  • 03 of 17

    Turkey and Mashed Potato Croquettes

    Turkey and mashed potato croquettes

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes can be fashioned into crispy little croquettes for a post-holiday party appetizer or Friendsgiving first course. The recipe calls for hot turkey gravy to slather on top, but you can also use leftover cranberry sauce.

  • 04 of 17

    Thanksgiving Cuban Sandwich

    Thanksgiving cuban sandwich recipe

    The Spruce / Nita West

    The popular grilled Cuban sandwich gets a Thanksgiving makeover in a tasty recipe that adds roasted turkey and cranberry to the usual ham, cheese, and pickles. If you don't have Cuban bread on hand, try making it with yeast rolls, English muffins, or a soft baguette. The whole point is to use up whatever's sitting around your kitchen.

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  • 05 of 17

    Thanksgiving Dumplings

    Thanksgiving dumplings recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Enlist your family members to make a big batch of dumplings. While this recipe calls for stuffing, turkey, and green beans feel free to mix and match from what's sitting inside your fridge. That can be mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables or even the remnants of grandma's sweet potato casserole. Cook immediately using the steam-fry method or freeze for the next time you crave a taste of Thanksgiving.

  • 06 of 17

    Turkey Cajun Stew

    Turkey Cajun Stew

    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

    Turkey Cajun stew will make you forget that it's made with leftovers. The gumbo-inspired recipe combines turkey with shrimp, andouille sausage, okra, bacon, and all the essential Cajun seasonings and veggies. Add leftover stuffing if you have any, cook it all in one pot, and serve it with rice for a flavorful meal.

  • 07 of 17

    Turkey and Broccoli Quiche

    Turkey and Broccoli Quiche Recipe

     The Spruce

    This curried turkey and broccoli quiche freezes well, so you can make it the day after Thanksgiving and reheat whenever guests drop by for brunch or lunch. The recipe calls for Gruyere or Swiss cheeses, but cheddar, fontina, havarti, or mild, fresh cheese would work just as well.

  • 08 of 17

    Leftover Mashed Potato Patties

    Leftover Mashed Potato Patties

    Ola P / Getty Images

    If you've got leftover mashed potatoes after Turkey Day, give this vegetarian and vegan recipe a try. Chopped Swiss chard (or frozen spinach) adds nutrition to potato patties that are coated in a flour mixture before frying, so they get golden and crispy.

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  • 09 of 17

    Cranberry Labneh Dip

    Cranberry Labneh Dip

    The Spruce / Nita West 

    Do you have more company coming over? Instead of making the cranberry topping from scratch for this beautiful labneh dip from the Middle East, simply add dollops of sauce leftover from the big feast.

  • 10 of 17

    Thanksgiving Leftovers Burrito

    Thanksgiving leftovers burrito recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Take leftovers on a south-of-the-border trip with this Mexican-inspired recipe. Shredded roast turkey is combined with leftover mashed potatoes and sour cream, then stuffed into a large flour tortilla, and smothered with gravy and cheddar cheese. Serve with cranberry sauce in place of the usual salsa.

  • 11 of 17

    Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

    Thanksgiving egg roll recipe

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Who can resist an egg roll? This tasty recipe is an out-of-the-box way to use up what's left of your feast. Egg roll wrappers are stuffed with cooked turkey, dressing, and brie cheese then rolled up tight and deep-fried until golden brown. Serve with sweet and sour cranberry sauce and watch them get gobbled up.

  • 12 of 17

    Stuffing-Waffle Grilled Cheese

    Stuffing-Waffle Grilled Cheese with Thanksgiving Leftovers

    Grilled Cheese Social

    Breakfast waffles made from Thanksgiving stuffing? Yes, please. Get the Turkey Day side dish super crispy in a waffle press, then use them as sandwich "slices" with giant spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, cranberry jelly, and Muenster cheese in between. This might be the most magical thing that ever happened to holiday leftovers.

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  • 13 of 17

    Leftover Turkey Empanadas

    Leftover turkey empanadas

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

    Empanadas, or savory filled turnovers, are a great way to use up leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Store-bought refrigerated pie crust makes this recipe easy to prepare and extra herbs and spices give the filling even more flavor.

  • 14 of 17

    Sweet Potato Muffins With Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    Sweet Potato Muffins With Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Leftover mashed sweet potatoes are the base of these tender lightly-spiced muffins. They get extra texture and flavor from chopped pecans in the batter and an easy cinnamon-sugar topping. It's wonderful as an on-the-go breakfast for Black Friday shopping.

  • 15 of 17

    Turkey Chow Mein

    Turkey chow mein in a bowl

    The Spruce

    Craving something different the day after Thanksgiving, but don't want to spend money on at a restaurant? This Chinese-inspired chow mein is a great way to polish off any leftover turkey. You can also pack it full of healthy vegetables.

  • 16 of 17

    Cornbread Salad With Bacon and Cheese

    Cornbread Salad with Bacon and Cheese

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This hearty salad is a good reason to make an extra batch of cornbread at Thanksgiving. Baked cornbread is combined with shredded cheddar cheese, crispy crumbled bacon, pinto beans, sweet corn, and crunchy bell peppers, then dressed with a tasty ranch-style dressing.

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  • 17 of 17

    Cheddar Mashed Potato and Ham Bake

    Cheddar Mashed Potato and Ham Bake

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Decided to go with ham on Thanksgiving? Make this satisfying, savory casserole—bulked up with plenty of cheddar and condensed soup—as a one-dish post-holiday meal.