A Few of My Favorite Leftover Things

It’s about time to cue the complaints about how much turkey everyone has left over and how sick they are of turkey sandwiches. At our house, though, it seems like we never have enough leftovers from Thanksgiving because two of our favorite recipes work best prepared straight from the remains of the feast-laden table.

I probably should have posted this yesterday since often I do most of this leftover prep while clearing the table after dinner, but dinner wasn’t at our house yesterday so I wasn’t even thinking about leftovers! Hopefully these recipes will still come in handy, or at least you’ll have them for after future turkey feasts.

Both are ridiculously easy and can be made ahead of time. The scalloped turkey freezes well. The consistency of the stew gets weird in the freezer, but it does just fine sitting in the fridge for a few days before you cook it.

Without further ado, some favorite Valentine family recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers. You’re welcome.

Scalloped Turkey

What you need:

  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Stuffing

What you do:

  1. Tear bite size pieces of turkey off the carcass until you have enough to generously cover the bottom of a casserole dish.
  2. Pour leftover gravy over top – enough to keep it moist, but not so much that you get soup.
  3.  Spread leftover stuffing over that, enough to cover the whole thing, but it doesn’t need to be thick.
  4. Bake at 350 until everything is hot—the gravy is bubbling nicely and the stuffing is crispy on top (usually about 20-25 min, longer – 40-50 minutes? – if you take it straight out of the freezer).

If you’re running low on leftovers, jarred gravy and stuffing from a box work just fine for this dish. This does really well going straight from the freezer to the oven, so if we have enough we make one for dinner the next day and one to freeze for later.

Leftover Stew

What you need:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Turkey or veggie or chicken stock (made by boiling the carcass or dumped out of a can – either is fine)
  • Spices to taste
  • Turkey
  • Corn
  • Peas

What you do:

  1. In a crock pot, add enough stock to leftover mashed potatoes, stirring often, until it gets to be the consistency of slightly thick stew base (it will get thinner when it’s warm, so judge accordingly).
  2. Throw in some spices like parsley, maybe a little salt (but not much), etc. Whatever sounds good, but keep it on the mild side.
  3. Add in bite size pieces of turkey and the leftover corn and peas.
  4. Cook on low until you’re ready to eat.

This recipe is forgiving and adaptable—play around with it and make it your own, using whatever you have on hand.

These two recipes are the reason that we create leftovers when the big meal isn’t at our house. (I spent today dismantling rotisserie chickens for scalloped chicken. Not quite the same, but close enough in a pinch.) What are your favorite things to do with leftovers?

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5 Responses to A Few of My Favorite Leftover Things

  1. Kurt Shirey says:

    This was very nicely written. That Scalloped Turkey sounds very delicious. I just might try it. Maybe I’ll make some turkey salad, though, too.

    • ayvalentine says:

      Scalloped turkey is really yummy, and you can make it any size – we often do a 13X9 pan, but we’ve also done individual 4X4 dishes.

  2. Clark Valentine says:

    Sage. Sage in the turkey stew.

  3. Christie says:

    Frankly I’m always tempted to make another small turkey even if I did get some leftovers – I don’t get sick of turkey sandwiches as long as they are made with a little bit of mayo and some homemade cranberry sauce. MMMMmm!

    My favorite post turkey day tradition is making stock from the carcass and then sometimes that turns into making turkey soup – we’ll have to try your version one year when we have enough mashed potatoes left overs. :)

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