Thanksgiving Leftovers Transformed

| November 22, 2012

turkey dinnerThanksgiving is always my favorite Holiday because it’s a time to enjoy your family—a day to stop, smell the roses and eat some incredible food. If you are making Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year, let me just say bravo! It’s never as easy as it sounds, especially for those meticulous hosts who aim to please all and end up preparing significantly more than just the essentials. As all the best Thanksgiving hosts know, the leftovers will be plentiful, so here are three recipes to reinvent the leftovers and transform them into new culinary delights.

Thanksgiving Turkey Casserole:

This delicious casserole incorporates both the leftover turkey and mashed potatoes.

Makes 8 – 10 servings

  • 1 3/4 cups of cooked, diced leftover Thanksgiving turkey. To make it more interesting, add both white and dark meat.
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced onions
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup finely crushed herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
  •  2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish.

Sauté minced onions in a saucepan at medium heat and let them sweat for about 5 minutes.  Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in the flour. Slowly stir in evaporated milk and water, then season with salt and pepper. Stir sauce over low heat for 5 minutes then add minced onions.

In a separate saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Blend in the dry stuffing mix. Place the turkey in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over turkey, sprinkle with Gouda cheese. Spread mashed potatoes over cheese. Top mashed potatoes with the stuffing mixture.

Bake for  45 minutes.


Cran-Turkey Enchiladas

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe from Better Holmes and Gardens


  • Nonstick cooking spraycran-turkey enchiladas
  • 2 – 2 1/2  cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 1-16 ounce can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2  cups bottled salsa
  • 1  cup shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz.)
  • 1/2  cup sour cream
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 – 7 to 8 inches whole wheat or regular flour tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. For filling, in a large bowl stir together turkey, half the cranberry sauce, beans, 1/2 cup of the salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Spoon about 2/3 cup filling on each tortilla. Roll up tortillas around filling. Place, seam sides down, in prepared dish; set aside.

For sauce, in bowl stir together remaining cranberry sauce, remaining salsa and hot pepper sauce. Spoon over filled tortillas. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining cheese. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and green onions.


Asian Turkey Noodle Soup

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from


  • Bones of a leftover turkeyasian turkey noodle soup
  • 1 sliced medium onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 6 smashed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 4 ounces Asian rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Coarse salt
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish (optional)
  1. Break up turkey bones; place in a large pot with onion, ginger, garlic and red-pepper flakes. Add enough water to cover (10 to 12 cups); bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.
  2. Discard large solids; strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan (you should have 8 to 10 cups). Return to a boil. Add sliced cabbage to broth along with rice noodles, vinegar and soy sauce.
  3. Simmer until noodles are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with coarse salt. Serve garnished with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired.