The Thanksgiving Day meal is one of the most, if not the most, planned out and anticipated meals of the year. We spend hours figuring out our guest list, searching for a new stuffing or brine recipe and getting our house ready for the big day. Thanksgiving arrives, and we spend countless hours in the kitchen cooking up a storm, making each dish as tasty as it can be. Dinner is served, and you load up your plate with a little bit of everything from the spread before you. After the meal is finished and everyone has retired to the living room, you step back and survey the damage, noticing one of the best things about Thanksgiving…all of the leftovers!
Yes, leftovers have to be one of the best things about Thanksgiving, after being surrounded by friends and family of course! Making a sandwich with your leftovers on Friday is one of the most common ways to use them up, but let’s be honest, that’s just a little ho-hum. It’s time to put a little excitement back into your Turkey Day leftovers. Here we have three recipes, one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner; so that no matter what time of the day it is you’ll be able to enjoy all of those delicious leftovers.
When you think of Thanksgiving leftovers, breakfast probably isn’t the first meal that pops into your head. However, if you think about it, it’s the perfect match. All different kinds of vegetables and meats are used in omelets, scrambles, and casseroles, just to name a few. Round up some leftover turkey, green beans, and Brussels sprouts to make this tasty frittata.
Leftover Turkey Frittata
* 8 eggs
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 shallot, thinly sliced
* 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
* 1 cup green beans, cut in one-inch pieces
* 2 cups shredded turkey
* Salt and pepper to taste
* Fresh parsley for garnish
1. Adjust broiler pan to 6 inches under element and preheat broiler to high. Season eggs with salt and pepper and beat until foamy in a bowl. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shallots and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and green beans and cook until they start to brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add the roast turkey to the green beans and Brussels sprouts and stir together to warm it through, about 1 minute. Spread the ingredients evenly in the bottom of the pan and cover with the beaten eggs. Lower the heat to medium, then cover and allow to cook until the eggs are almost set, 8 to 10 minutes. Place under the broiler and cook until the top sets, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Lunch is quite possibly the easiest meal of the day to use your Thanksgiving leftovers for. Just make a turkey sandwich and call it good. However, there’s so much more that you can do. Liven up lunch with a Southwestern twist and make quesadillas!
Roast Turkey and Black Bean Quesadillas
Makes 2 quesadillas
* 1 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
* 1 cup shredded turkey
* 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
* 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
*2 flours tortillas (10 inch)
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* Kosher salt
* Salsa, for dipping
1. Combine cheese, turkey, black beans and cilantro in a medium bowl. Spread half of cheese mixture over one half of one tortilla, leaving a small border around the edge. Fold tortilla firmly in half to enclose the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortilla.
2. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add both folded tortillas to skillet and cook, shaking pan gently until first side is golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip tortillas with a flexible slotted spatula, sprinkle with salt, and cook on second side until golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to rest for 1 minute. Cut each into four pieces and serve with salsa.
When it comes to dinner and leftovers, it’s easy to simply reheat everything and serve. I don’t know about you, but two dinners full of rich food back-to-back is a bit much. An easy solution is to take those leftovers 0and make a savory soup with them.
Roast Turkey Soup
* 2 quarts low sodium chicken or turkey stock
* 1 turkey carcass, cut into chunks
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 thyme sprigs
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 2 carrots, diced
* 3 celery ribs, sliced
* 1 lb turkey meat, shredded
* 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
* Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine stock, turkey parts, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour. Strain broth into a medium saucepan and discard solids.
2. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in turkey pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs, stir in parsley and serve.
Be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we’ve got you covered with creative ways to enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers.
For more creative leftover ideas, check out our recipe for Thanksgiving Leftover Tamales or Leftover Turkey Pie!
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