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Thanksgiving family dinner

The Thanksgiving turkey has been carved, the mashed potatoes hashed and the pumpkin pie licked cleanly off the plates placed in front of your holiday guests. After dishing out the first, second and even third servings of Thanksgiving dinner, you may start to wonder what you’re going to do with all the leftovers.

Assuming that most of you reading this aren’t still comfortably cuddled up in bed sleeping off your Thanksgiving dinner, we’ve got a list of ways to make the holidays last a little longer with leftover recipes you’ll want to gobble up all over again.

The Main Event

The centerpiece, the main event, the pièce de résistance, if you will. Whatever you call it, Thanksgiving typically revolves around the main holiday meat, turkey.

If you’re left with an influx of bird, we have a unique recipe for reusing your leftovers – without simply reheating it!

Turkey, Brie and Cranberry Chutney Quesadillas

Turkey, Brie Cranberry Quesidallas

Image: The Healthy Cooking Blog

This first recipe allows you to combine two leftovers (turkey and cranberry) into one delectable dish. You can say it kills two birds with one stone (get it?) All jokes aside, this recipe is easy to follow but yields impressive results.

Holly Clegg, chef and author of The Healthy Cooking Blog, created a recipe that allows you to use items already in your home or left over from your Thanksgiving dinner. She suggests replacing the turkey with your favorite veggies if you’re looking for a yummy vegetarian option.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 (8 to 10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (9-ounce) jar cranberry chutney or leftover cranberry sauce
  • 8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into slices
  • 2/3 cup chopped chicken or turkey breast


  • Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  • Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Spread one side of a tortilla with cranberry chutney, top with Brie and chicken/turkey.
  • Fold in half, pressing edges together.
  • Repeat for remaining tortillas.
  • Place on prepared pan and bake until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden, about 5 minutes.

Dig in!

Savory Sides

Oftentimes the sides get shunted away, written off, or worse, thrown out! Before you dump out grandma’s famous sweet potato dish, check out our ideas for ways to repurpose your Thanksgiving dinner sides.

Some sides can even be transformed into main dishes! Find out how.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Cranberry muffins

Image: Caleb Backe

Cranberry sauce is an awkward Thanksgiving leftover that doesn’t traditionally serve a purpose outside the context of a holiday meal. On top of that, it might not necessarily be a super sought-after dinner dish, yet still makes an obligatory appearance at every Thanksgiving meal.

Caleb Backe, fitness expert for Maple Holistics, a company which provides all-natural and cruelty-free healthcare solutions, seeks to confront this reality with a recipe that even cranberry haters will enjoy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cranberry sauce
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 375˚
  • Stir together the wet ingredients separately.
  • Stir together the dry ingredients, slowly incorporating the wet into the dry.
  • Pour the batter into a greased muffin tin, filling the muffin cups halfway.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Voila – a delectable way to repurpose your leftover cranberry sauce!

Leftover Stuffing Quiche

Stuffing Quiche

Image: Genius Kitchen

There’s nothing like taking two leftover dishes and turning them into a completely new meal! That’s exactly what we’re doing with this next recipe, using leftover stuffing and turkey to create a completely new dish – in this case, quiche.

Genius Kitchen, a food-focused brand that hosts innovative recipes from a network of bloggers and chefs, put together an easy-to-follow Thanksgiving leftover recipe for stuffing quiche using leftover stuffing as the crust and turkey and cheese as the filling.

Sweet Potato Cornbread

Sweet Potato Cornbread

Image: The Healthy Cooking Blog

Yup, you read that right. This next recipe takes your leftover sweet potatoes (fresh or canned) and turns them into cornbread. Weird, right? Far from strange, however, is how easy the recipe is to follow, with results that are even more delicious than the original!

Holly Clegg also created a sweet potato cornbread recipe for using even more of your leftover side dishes from Thanksgiving dinner.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 (6-ounce) package yellow cornbread mix
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes


  • Preheat oven 400˚F.
  • Coat 8x8x2-inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In bowl, combine cornbread mix, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients, mixing until moistened; don’t over-mix.
  • Transfer batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Bon appétit!

Delectable Dessert

Last, but certainly not least, are the desserts. You might see more pumpkin pie leftovers because after the second and third servings of dinner, dessert might often be abandoned or saved until after the turkey is properly slept off. (I’m a firm believer in a Thanksgiving nap as means of burning off a massive meal!)

Before you slice and dish out your leftover pie with a side of ice cream, check out this unique way to turn your ordinary pie into an extraordinary culinary creation.

Low-Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Image: Savory Tooth

There’s nothing that says “Thanksgiving” more than pumpkin pie (except maybe the turkey). This holiday weekend, if you find yourself with an influx of pumpkin, we’ve got the perfect leftover recipe for you, courtesy of Savory Tooth. The best part – It’s low carb!

Julie Nickerson, food photographer and writer at Savory Tooth, concocted pumpkin cheesecake bars that are layered with an almond flour crust, a middle cheesecake layer and a top pumpkin layer.

Unless you’re pursuing alternative Thanksgiving dinner ideas for your table this holiday, we hope we’ve covered the basics to help you reuse your leftovers.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you want to try this holiday? Tell us about it in the comments below!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I’m trying to make the Cranberry Muffins & it seems very dry, there seem to be too much dry ingredients for the amount of wet ingredients. I think something is missing from the recipe! Maybe eggs or some other liquid.

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