Giving a New Name to Leftovers

Tired of boring leftovers? Try these creative recipes.


Molly Dryer

New ideas to make your leftovers unique.

Molly Dryer, Staff Writer

As we all know, Thanksgiving has always had many leftovers. Some wouldn’t even dare touch leftovers, but this year is the year leftovers don’t get pushed back to the fridge. With the surplus of food, a question often arises: What do I make with all of this extra? 


There are many creative routes to take when recycling your leftovers. Here are a few leftover recipes for you to try this Thanksgiving!



Before we start, personally Turkey isn’t something I go for on Thanksgiving, but after further leftover recipe research, I have been intrigued to make some leftovers using the dreaded turkey. 

  • Turkey and Green Bean Casserole Pot Pie
    • This recipe is a quick whip around from Thanksgiving day, requiring not much culinary excellence. Combine the two leftovers and throw it into the dough. 
  • Turkey Panini 
    • Can you go wrong with panini? No. A warm sandwich is definitely the way to go. Many different ways to go about this: throw some cheese on, maybe even leftover cranberry sauce, or some fresh veggies for lightness. The one linked above is definitely the fancy route but delicious.
  • Turkey Croquettes
    • This worldwide fried dish can’t go wrong, everyone loves fried food. Combining turkey with leftover mashed potatoes and a quick fry is a delicacy. Dipping sauces on the side can include gravy and cranberry sauce. 


The leftover routes are seriously endless for potatoes. Any food that comes to mind, I am sure potatoes can go right alongside of it.

  • Potato Cakes
    • This side dish works for any meal of the day, but my personal favorite is breakfast. After a long day of Thanksgiving festivities, a good hearty breakfast sounds perfect to me, and potato cakes go right with it.
  • Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
    • Casseroles have been made even simpler with this one. Throw whatever you have in the fridge right on top to make your perfect baked potato. This casserole skips the dreaded skins and leaves the “meat” of the potato for you. 


I can’t exactly say in my family that there is usually leftover bread, but when we do, it is often quick to be gone the next couple of days.

  • Cornbread Croutons
    •  A new trend to all, Carly Triplett says it’s quite tasty. Although cornbread isn’t common for all Thanksgiving dinners, it may become a necessity. Taking your leftover cornbread and tossing it in a salad to add a sweet tang or on top of a casserole
  • Rolls
    • Rolls alone are great; there is no recipe. Eat them by making a sandwich with leftover turkey, or even alone. Either way, you don’t have to dress them up. 

Endless Desserts

We all love desserts, but at the end of Thanksgiving our stomachs are too full and we can’t eat much of what there is, thus leaving many leftovers.

  • Cranberry Muffins
    • This was a brand new find to me. I had never thought to make a muffin of any sort. A sweet and refreshing delectable, something a little lighter for the weekend that follows the holiday.
  • Milkshakes
    • Where can you go wrong with this classic? The possibilities are endless for throwing any
    • dessert into a shake: pumpkin, apple, pecan pie, or even coconut cake.


Whatever your plans may be for Thanksgiving this year, don’t let your leftovers be thrown away. Try to think of a new recipe to repurpose your leftovers or even try one of these!