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Too Much Turkey? How To Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Nov. 30, 2015 at midnight

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and once again you are left with mountains of leftovers. Everyone has left the table and now the clean-up begins. So, what happens with the leftovers from dinner?

Certainly the easiest way to dispose of leftovers is to send them home with your guests. A stash of disposable, or reusable, containers for your guests to utilize will make the leftover splitting go much quicker. Your guests will love the fact that they do not need to return any items.

For those items that you decide to keep for yourself, like turkey and mashed potatoes, there are a variety of dishes that you can try. The ideas listed below are just a few ways to use those pesky leftovers without having your family face turkey burnout.

A great choice for leftover turkey is turkey noodle soup. There is very little work involved and this dish can help you save time in the kitchen. Whether you are hitting the after holiday sales, or sitting on the couch watching your favorite team, you do not want to have to worry about cooking the day after Thanksgiving. By simply cutting your turkey into bite size pieces and adding chicken stock, you already have the base to this delicious recipe. Add in your family's favorite pasta shape for the noodle. Additional veggies are up to you, feel free to add any ones you have leftover from the previous day. The only thing you will have to worry about is adjusting the cooking time.

Turkey pot pie can also be a great way to use up extra pieces of turkey. This recipe can be adapted to a variety of diets by changing the ingredients. Have someone that is gluten free? No problem! All you will need to do is make a substitution in the pie part of the recipe. This recipe is also great as a freezer meal. All you need to do is pick an appropriate dish and wrap tightly. If freezing, the dish works best if allowed to thaw overnight in the fridge.

If your brain can simply not think right now of what to do with all the turkey that is on your fridge, then simply freeze it! Turkey can be a great substitute for any recipe that calls for chicken. The easiest way to freeze turkey is to either shred it or freeze in individual pieces on a cookie sheet then place into a freezer bag. By freezing the turkey prior to placing it in the bag, you help to cut down on the turkey all sticking together in a big bunch. You can very easily reach into the bag and pull out the amount that you need for your current recipe.

Those are just a few ideas for the turkey, but what can you do for the big mound of mashed potatoes staring you down? One of the easiest ways to take care of leftover mashed potatoes is to make potato cakes. For these cakes, all you need to do is form in the shape and size that you desire and brown off in a skillet.

Leftover mashed potatoes could act as the top layer on a modified shepherd's pie. You can either make a traditional shepherd's pie, or you can change it up and add some of that leftover turkey as well. This is a great recipe to adapt for your family.

The main thing to keep in mind when using leftovers is that you do not want to keep presenting the food the same way each time. You will have much better results if you change up the flavors and presentation of your leftovers.



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