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Thanksgiving leftovers? What's your fave?

I have a whole file of turkey and other recipes for using up the meal....sometimes I wait all year for these. They involve turkey chili, fancy turkey sandwiches, enchiladas and my own self-invented
version of the Hot Brown sandwich from Kentucky which is really good. (Apologies to everyone in Kentucky because this isn't authentic AT ALL.)

My favorite by far, and the one I wait for every year is:

2/3 c. mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. diced cooked turkey or chicken
2 red apples, cored and diced
2/3 c. sliced celery
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (make sure they’re fresh)
pinch of cinnamon
small handful of dried cranberries (Craisins)

In large bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add turkey, apples, cinnamon and craisins and celery. Toss to coat well. Cover and chill.

Serve on a beautiful lettuce leaf. Just before serving sprinkle with walnuts.


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  1. That sounds wonderful. I live all year for the day after Thanksgiving Sandwich. Wheat bread toasted; best foods mayonnaise; crisp lettuce leaf; slice of jellied cranberry sauce; scoop of stuffing; and sliced turkey.

    1 Reply
    1. re: laliz

      At about nine o'clock that night ... you wander into the kitchen and slice some turkey reallyreally thin, and make a sandwich with good mayo and the leftover dinner rolls, and salt and freshly ground black pepper. And life is good.

    2. and yes, you can add cream cheese, bacon, and avocado and put it on a tortilla and call it a wrap.

      1 Reply
      1. re: laliz

        I am so with you on the sandwich. I think I look forward to this more than the Thanksgiving meal. I like your idea of a wrap. Sounds interesting. Will have to try it this year.

      2. A turkey sandwich the day after is our look-forward-to lunch as well. So simple, Such a throw back to younger days. Then, if you're lucky and have the carcass, the expectation of the turkey soup to come.

        1. Turkey chower with wild rice.crimini and pancetta very easy very elegant.



          1. Tetrazzini! It's what Thanksgiving's all about. And the sandwiches of course!

            1. I got this recipe for turkey enchiladas a few years ago from The Splendid Table on NPR, and I make it now every time I have leftover turkey. It's great with regular roasted bird, but if you smoke yours, it's even better.


              1 Reply
              1. re: MsMaryMc

                I am definitely going to try this green version.
                I also make a version when I have leftover dark meat of red enchiladas New Mexico style for me and my husband. Make a good red chile sauce (roast dried New Mexico, seed, soak in a little warm water, drain and grind up in the blender with a minimum of water, fry in oil or lard, thin down with chicken or turkey broth). Warm the tortillas briefly on a griddle or more authentically oil, dip in the warm chile sauce, place on an oven proof dinner plate. Lay some shredded turkey and jack cheese, then another tortilla. I usually make 2 layers of turkey, finish with a tortilla. Spoon more sauce over the top, more jack cheese. Make another plate for husband, pop into a hot oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with sliced green onions and sour cream. Yum!

              2. My favorite is cold leftover bread stuffing.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jpc8015

                  I especially love the stuffing that's still stuck in the carcass!

                2. The leftovers are heavenly!!
                  Cold turkey with a dash of salt, right outta the frig!
                  The classic turkey sandwhich - cranberry sauce, stuffing, turkey, the works!
                  Turkey with warm gravy over fresh yeast bread.
                  Hot browns.
                  i always make the carcass into turkey and wild rice soup.
                  Tukey pot pie.

                  1. My all time favourite thanksgiving leftover is Sludge. :)

                    Leftover mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and turkey all mixed up in a bowl and heated thoroughly. I make all of these from scratch, and I brine my turkey (a la Alton), and I think it tastes wonderful, despite its unappetizing appearance. :)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Morganna

                      And my favorite is turkey hash, which is your "sludge" without the potatoes. I make extra stuffing, just for the hash encore to T-day.

                        1. re: Sharuf

                          Ooh extra stuffing... I have a huge, I mean HUGE, lasagne pan that I make my stuffing in. It's got to be at least 20X15X4 or something like that (I should measure it when I get home). Half is sage and onion stuffing, half is sage and onion with hot Italian sausage stuffing. :) I LOVE stuffing for breakfast, just nuked with some butter on top. ;)

                          My mother's stuffing recipe is, I've come to learn over the years, not something most people would think of as stuffing/dressing. I think I posted it here last year, I'll see if I can find a link. ;)

                        2. re: Morganna

                          Love the term sludge.

                          I was thinking I was just no good low-class trash for my version .. and probably am

                          1. Heat butter in a skillet

                          2. Add a little of everything that is heatable ... turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, peas, etc ... cover with hot gravy when heated ... serve with leftover OCEAN SPRAY cranberry sauce on the side to cut the fat. It is the cranberry sauce that keeps this from killing me.

                          Yep. Gotta make them turkey sandwiches. The one time I buy white bread like Home Pride butter top. Must have mayo and cranberry sauce

                          Turkey soup goes without saying.

                          1. re: Morganna

                            Rather than "sludge-ify" the leftovers, my grandma & mom always kind of made a casserole of it. Stuffing topped with turkey, topped with gravy, topped with potatoes with gravy on the side. Heated at 350 & devoured.

                          2. the leftover turkey for turkey salad sandwiches.

                            and of course the turkey carcass for stock.

                            1. Turkey hash with poached eggs the next morning. Turkey stock made on Saturday. Couple of days later:

                              Turkey and Noodles with Peanut Sauce

                              1 lb. linguine
                              3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
                              ½ t hot red pepper flakes
                              2 t veg oil
                              ¾ c chicken broth or water
                              2/3 c peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
                              2 T soy sauce
                              2 t sugar
                              1 t minced fresh ginger
                              2 T lemon juice
                              1 lb. shredded cooked turkey (4 c)
                              4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
                              1 c thinly sliced scallion greens

                              Cook noodles in boiling salted water until tender. Reserve 1 c cooking water and drain, then rinse noodles under cold water. Drain well.

                              While noodles are cooking, sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in oil over medium heat, stirring, until garlic is golden. Whisk in broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar and ginger and simmer, whisking, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice.

                              Toss together turkey, celery, scallions, noodles, sauce, and (if necessary) some reserved cooking water to thin. Serve immediately.

                              Gourmet, Nov 2001

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: dgreenwood

                                I do something very like this with buckwheat soba noodles.

                              2. My classic turkey sandwich: pan de mie bread spread with Hellman's mayo on one side and spicy honey mustard on the other, thin sliced turkey, slices of brie cheese, lettuce and tomato. Delicious.

                                For the leftover mashed potatoes, DH's recipe for fried potato balls. Well chilled mashed potatoes - should be on the thick side - rolled into about 3" diameter balls. Cubes of cream cheese rolled in cayenne pepper. Push the cream cheese into the potato ball and cover the entrance hole. Dip balls into an egg and milk mixture and then into a mixture of seasoned flous and fresh bread crumbs. Skillet fry in about 1" of cooking oil. Serve hot.

                                1. In our house we look forward to the Saturday after Thanksgiving just as much as Thanksgiving Day! For years, we invite friends over to watch college football and eat Left Over Turkey Gumbo. It is a satisfying and delicious way to use up all the leftovers. So much so, that I usually cook a turkey that is twice as big as we need.

                                  Turkey Gumbo

                                  1 gallon Turkey stock - made from the picked carcass.
                                  1/2 c Left over turkey drippings
                                  1 c flour
                                  1 large onion, diced
                                  1 bunch green onions, chopped
                                  1 large green bell pepper, chopped
                                  1/2 c italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
                                  2 celery hearts, diced
                                  3 large cloves garlic, minced
                                  2 lbs smoked sausage or spicy andoille, sliced thin
                                  3 cups (or more) leftover turkey
                                  dash of hot sauce
                                  1 T worcestershire sauce
                                  Salt and pepper

                                  Make a dark roux with the turkey drippings and the flour. Add onions, pepper, parsley and celery, stirring continuously and cooking until starting to brown. Add a ladle full of stock and stir to form a paste. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add sausage and turkey and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes. Season with hot sauce, Worcestershir and a small amount of salt and pepper. Add remaining stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occassionally. Serve with white rice and file powder.

                                  This is a version of an original recipe by Justin Wilson - in his Homegrown Louisiana Cookin Book.

                                  1. I will generally make turkey and dumplin's. A spin off of chicken and dumplin's obviously.
                                    After our Canadian TG I made a turkey stew though and it was excellent as well.

                                    I also like grilled turkey sandwiches with some stuffing right in the sandwich and a bit of gravy as well.


                                    1. My family is convinced that the only reason to have Thanksgiving is the turkey tetrezzini that shows up the next day. Mine uses the very fine egg noodles, sauteed fresh mushrooms and artichoke hearts, along with just a splash of sherry.

                                      As for me, it's all about pulling the thin skin from the inside of the turkey carcass after dinner, especially with the little bits of stuffing that get attached to it. But that's my secret pleasure. Don't tell anyone.

                                      1. Turkey and Grits!!!!

                                        Shred some left over turkey. Warm in pan. Heat up gravy. Make grits. Fry eggs over easy.

                                        Put all components on a plate. Eat!

                                        The best meal of the year. (As long as your gravy is as good as mine, that is. :P)

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sekelmaan

                                          Sekelmaan, Any special secrets you would share about how you make your gravy!?

                                        2. Hot open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy!!

                                          Also turkey soup made with the carcass.

                                          1. Turkey sandwiches! Several types:

                                            - Hot, open faced, with stuffing and gravy
                                            - Cold, on sourdough with mayo on one side, butter on the other, two slices of turkey breast and salt/pepper. Simple and perfect - I usually have one of these before bed time on Thanksgiving
                                            - Turkey, brie and cranberry 'paninni' on sourdough. Homerdrooooool

                                            1. Leftover cottage pie for us!! Just layer all dishes in a pie pan, ending with the potatoes. Bake at 350 until warmed through. SO GOOD!! Just like Sludge, but a bit prettier.

                                              1. Beetlebug's leftover turkey pie. It's so good; I make it every year now, freeze it, and have Thanskgiving again in the winter. I also freeze a container of gravy, and cranberry sauce to go with:

                                                Details and pics

                                                1. Pie and cold leftover stuffing for breakfast. (With coffee)
                                                  Pie and 1/2 a turkey hoagie with more stuffing = lunch
                                                  Turkey nachos! (pie optional)

                                                  1. My uncle makes an Asian stew that is sweet and savory and redolent with exotic spices. It is very forgiving to dry meats and manages to blend together lots of disparate seasonings into a delicious whole. The below turkey paksiw recipe is based off a recipe I found on this blog: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/....

                                                    Turkey meat
                                                    1-1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
                                                    5 tbsp. soy sauce
                                                    7 cloves garlic, smashed
                                                    4 bay leaves
                                                    20 peppercorns
                                                    3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
                                                    1 stick cinnamon
                                                    2 cloves star anise
                                                    5 sprigs thyme
                                                    1 bottle lechon sauce

                                                    Combine turkey with liquids and enough water to cover. Add everything except the lechon sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer until liquids are reduced by a quarter. Add lechon sauce and heat until thickened.

                                                    1. I so agree on the Kentucky Hot Brown. I really look forward to those for lunch the next day.