By: Jennifer Bacher


The turkey has been carved, the stuffing unstuffed, and your parents have given you the gift of Thanksgiving leftovers. Your fridge is filled with Tupperware with no end in sight, and all you can think to yourself is “What to do with all this poultry and canned cranberry jelly?” Well, lucky for you here are a few ideas that will give new life to your leftovers.

Thanksgiving Day Panini

This recipe is pretty straightforward but tastes delicious. You will need a Panini bun and all of your leftovers.

1. Cut open your Panini bun down the middle

2. Layer your leftovers; mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

3. Squish and press the filled Panini on a Panini press (alternatively you can toast your sandwich or grill on a BBQ but a press yields the best results)

4. Once the top is toasted and definite toast lines are present, the sandwich is ready

Thanksgiving Leftover Soup

This recipe takes a bit more effort and requires a few more ingredients than the last, but is worth it. Depending on how many vegetables you would like in the soup, you may add them all or only a few.

  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 2 peeled carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups leftover stuffing
  • 2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
  • Turkey broth (you can also use chicken or vegetable)

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and flour together until smooth. Add the stuffing and mix until well combined; cover and reserve. This will be your dumpling mixture.

In a pot heat the oil over medium heat and add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the sliced carrots, celery and broth. Bring to a simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Roll tablespoons of the dumpling mixture into balls with wet hands. Make sure that the dumplings can hold their shape (if the dumpling dough is too soft to roll, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is firm) and drop into the simmering soup; cook until dumplings float, 3-4 minutes. Gently stir in the turkey meat and simmer until heated through. Serve immediately.

Both of these recipes will keep for a few days but are best enjoyed fresh. The soup can be frozen immediately then reheated when needed. I hope these new takes on leftovers will help to keep your love of turkey alive. And keep in mind, there’s only 75 days until Christmas!


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