Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes that Aren’t Just Sandwiches

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes that Aren’t Just Sandwiches

Posts by Abby Quillen By
November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving is America’s’ favorite holiday after Christmas, and it shows by our turkey consumption: We eat a whopping 46 million of them on the fourth Thursday in November. For 79% of Americans, there’s something even better than Thanksgiving dinner: leftovers. But even diehard turkey lovers can quickly tire of sandwiches. This year, upgrade your post-Thanksgiving meals with creative and delicious recipes you can enjoy at home and work. Banish Thanksgiving leftover burnout once and for all, and share your favorite leftover recipes with your coworkers for a post-Thanksgiving weekend team lunch.

Build a Flavorful Foundation

Don’t throw away your turkey carcass! Transform it into a rich, aromatic, savory stock. Although not the most difficult dish, homemade stock is a hidden ingredient in many restaurant-quality meals, and it’s a base ingredient in all of the delicious recipes below.

Turkey Stock

Makes 10 to 12 cups of stock, depending on the size of your turkey.

Tools needed:

  • Large stock pot
  • Fine mesh strainer


  • Turkey carcass
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks and leaves, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Add ingredients to pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about an hour and a half.
  3. Remove pot from the heat; strain the solids from the liquid.
  4. Discard the solids, and reserve the liquid.
  5. Store stock in quart-sized jars, leaving several inches of space at the top. It may be safely refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 4 to 6 months.

Get Creative!

Now that you’ve made a flavorful foundation, it’s time to use up the rest of the food in your overstuffed fridge with these inventive recipes.

Stuffing Waffles

Transform leftover stuffing into batter for crisp, delicate, flavorful waffles. (Hold the maple syrup, and top them with leftover cranberry sauce or gravy.)

Makes 4 large waffles

  • Tools needed:Waffle iron
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowl


  • 8 cups leftover stuffing
  • 4 eggs
  • Turkey stock
  • Cranberry sauce (optional)
  • Gravy (optional)


  1. Preheat the waffle iron, and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the stuffing and eggs in the mixing bowl, and add about ½ cup of stock to moisten.
  3. Pour enough batter for one waffle onto the iron, spread evenly, and bake. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
  4. Serve with a side of cranberry sauce or gravy, if desired.

Turkey and Stuffing Dumpling Soup

What’s better than turkey with stuffing on the side? Turkey and stuffing together in a soup. If you’re a fan of chicken and dumpling soup, this knockoff is sure to delight.

Serves 4 to 6

Tools needed:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Tablespoon
  • Large stock pot


  • 2 cups leftover stuffing
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus some for seasoning
  • Pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 8 to 10 cups turkey stock
  • 2 cups shredded leftover turkey
  • 1 cup leftover corn kernels


  1. If the stuffing is coarse, finely chop using the knife and cutting board (not a food processor).
  2. Mix the eggs, flour, salt, and a dash of pepper together in the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the stuffing to the egg mixture, and combine well; this is your dumpling mixture.
  4. Heat the olive oil in the stock pot over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion and garlic; cook until soft and translucent.
  6. Add the carrots, celery, and turkey stock.
  7. Bring to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  8. Wet your hands and roll a tablespoon of dumpling mixture. If it’s not firm enough to roll, add more all-purpose flour.
  9. Roll the rest of the stuffing mixture into tablespoon-sized balls.
  10. Drop the rolled balls into the simmering soup, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until dumplings float to the top.
  11. Add the turkey and corn, and simmer until the soup is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


For the uninitiated, that’s stuffing muffins. Easy to make, stuffins look like cupcakes, but taste like bite-sized Thanksgiving dinners.

Makes 12 muffins

Tools needed:

  • Muffin tin
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Small pot
  • Pastry piping bag (optional)


  • 6 cups stuffing
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock
  • 4 ounces turkey, shredded
  • 2½ cups mashed potatoes
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Leftover corn kernels (optional)
  • Gravy (optional)
  • Cranberry sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. If stuffing is coarse, finely chop it using the knife and cutting board (not a food processor).
  3. Whisk the eggs and stock together in mixing bowl.
  4. Add the stuffing, and combine well.
  5. Press the stuffing mixture into the muffin tins, leaving a well in the center of each muffin.
  6. Fill the well in each cup with shredded turkey.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown.
  8. Meanwhile, reheat the mashed potatoes in the small pot. Add the milk and stir until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Let the muffins cool, and remove from the muffin tin.
  10. Mound or pipe the mashed potato mixture on top of the stuffins to look like icing.
  11. Garnish with corn and serve with gravy or cranberry sauce, if desired.

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes


Returning to work after Thanksgiving can be a drag. Brighten your week with fun Thanksgiving leftover recipes you can share with your team. Get creative and make your post-Thanksgiving recipes as memorable as the big event.

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