Giovanna Trabasso  /   11/14/2022

Thanksgiving Leftovers Are About To Be Your Favorite Part Of The Holiday

For most, Thanksgiving is all about the food. But have you ever thought about all the food that is wasted? It’s easy to get carried away with all the delicious treats facing you at the dinner table. But what happens to what we don’t eat? Americans waste about $293 million on food during Thanksgiving, each year. We say no more! We’re here to change how you see Thanksgiving leftovers.

Leftovers can sometimes be the best part of your meal. That last slice of pizza you have in the morning after a pizza night. The leftover Chinese waiting for you in your fridge all day. Emily Mariko’s salmon bowl that introduced us to her peaceful, aesthetically beautiful cooking was leftovers! Let’s face it, food sometimes just gets better overnight. We’re all used to Thanksgiving leftovers and that’s exactly the problem.

With such an iconic holiday, you might be just as tired of the leftovers as you are of the dinner itself. The first turkey sandwich you have on Friday while doing some Black Friday shopping can be a transformative experience. But by the time you’re having your third dinner in a row with some white bread trying to get rid of all that turkey, you won’t be as happy.

This Thanksgiving, Community Lands wants to help you not contribute to the 200 million pounds of turkey thrown out. And There’s no need to be a master in the kitchen or even to get too creative! You can make incredible dishes with your leftovers that you aren’t tired of. Here are Community Lands’s best Thanksgiving leftovers for you to try this year.

1. Loaded Mac And Cheese 

Mac and cheese is always a crowd favorite and super easy to make. Our favorite part of this leftover recipe is that it doesn’t require changing the recipe you already know and love. Make your mac and cheese as you would and load it up! Add chunks of turkey and any leftover veggies. We recommend using dark meat. The mac and cheese will hide it best for those who aren’t the biggest fans.

2. Stuffing Calzone

Help your stuffing fully realize its namesake and add it to a calzone! Calzones are surprisingly easy to make at home. We love Sally’s Baking Recipe’s flatbread pizza recipe for the best and easiest calzone (or pizza!) you’ll make at home. And it takes less than an hour to make! To go with your stuffing, we recommend ricotta or goat cheese and dipping in leftover cranberry sauce. 

3. FRIENDS’ Moist Maker sandwich

Of course, we couldn’t share an entire article on Thanksgiving leftovers without including at least one sandwich recipe. The Moist Maker from FRIENDS’ is the best Thanksgiving sandwich we’ve ever had. Making the meal is almost a precursor to this sandwich. It’s that good. As its name suggests, it’s not your average, often dry, leftover sandwich. It’s loaded but still easy to eat with your hands. We’re not surprised someone would eat Ross’ as it just sat idly by. We suggest following Binging with Babish’s recipe!

4. Potato Pancakes

To make pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes, all you’ll need are ingredients you’re sure to have in your pantry. Mixing eggs and flour into your mashed potatoes will completely transform your mash into a new dish! We obviously recommend adding some cheese as well. You can go a step further and include more of your leftovers to flavor the pancakes. has a great, simple recipe you can follow and adapt.

5. Sweet And Savory Waffles

Another quick and easy recipe! By mixing eggs into your stuffing, you can create a wonderful savory waffle batter. If you don’t have a waffle iron, turn them into pancakes! Top them with some turkey and cranberry sauce et voilà, sweet and savory waffles. If you need more guidance, we recommend the Food Network’s recipe.

6. All-in-one Quiche

Speaking of eggs and stuffing, a quiche is another easy recipe to throw new ingredients in. Like mac and cheese, you can start by making your favorite quiche base and adding whichever leftovers you desire. You can make a beautiful crust for your quiche or keep it simple with no crust. The Food Network has a wonderful recipe for this one as well. We recommend not getting too stuck to a recipe. Finding a simple quiche recipe to follow and adding your favorite leftovers will make for the best leftover quiche you’ve ever had. Hey, maybe it’ll become your go-to quiche!

3. Turkey Noodle Soup

A twist on a fall classic. All you need is to make a few small changes to your already beloved chicken noodle soup. Use the turkey carcass to strengthen your stock. Swap the chicken for turkey chunks. Here you have the option to use any leftover veggies or to keep it to your usual suspects. Easy, comforting, and delicious. Soups are a great way to bulk-make recipes for meal-prepping or lazy days. Also, soups freeze wonderfully!

8. All The Pies!

We left the best for last. Don’t know what to do with protein and veggies? Throw it in a pie. Make your favorite savory pie crust, mix your leftovers, and bake it! Here we recommend using a rough puff pastry. You can cut down prep by using your stand mixer to make the perfect dough.

Don’t want to spend the time making dough? No problem! Make a shepherd’s pie instead. A shepherd’s pie is the perfect way to use all of your leftovers at once. Layer your turkey, stuffing, and vegetables in a casserole dish, and drizzle on your gravy. Lastly, top it off with mashed potatoes and bake it to a beautiful golden brown. Leftovers shepherd’s pie is a great way to guarantee no waste and an easy way to store leftovers or pack them for lunch!

Do you have any creative Thanksgiving leftovers recipe? Send us your favorite and we will share it with fellow readers on our blog

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