3 Recipes to Transform Thanksgiving Leftovers
Recipes/ Thanksgiving

3 Recipes to Transform Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes — Potato cakes with spinach
While I tell almost anyone who asks that my favorite holiday is Christmas, secretly my REAL favorite is Thanksgiving. And it’s not just because of the food. It’s because of the leftovers!  Okay, well, of course it’s also because of the warm and fun family gathering, spending the entire day together starting with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in the morning and finishing off with pumpkin pie piled high with whipped cream. AND the leftovers. You just can’t beat them. I’ve pulled together three of my very favorite recipes to turn traditional Thanksgiving leftovers into something fabulous and new.

Here’s my theory with Thanksgiving leftovers. One – or maybe even two – more traditional meals are delicious and wonderful after Thanksgiving Day. I don’t mind some turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy the day after and I can even handle it on Sunday before the new week starts. But after that, I’m spent. And still left with tons of Thanksgiving leftovers! Below are a couple of my favorite dishes to use up some Turkey Day favorites that may be lingering in your fridge the week after the holiday.

Three Easy Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

thanksgiving leftovers recipes

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffing Frittata

First up, a spinach and artichoke stuffing frittata! Eggs are easily one of my favorite foods, but what’s so wonderful about them is that they can work for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A frittata fits every meal perfectly and this one deliciously uses up the rest of your creamed spinach and Swiss chard artichoke stuffing. Since we throw the stuffing in the skillet, we essentially have our toast and eggs in one dish! This meal is super filling and satisfying. It’s also rather light, even if we’re tossing creamy spinach and bread cubes inside. I love making this on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for some tree-trimming energy!

thanksgiving leftovers stuffing frittata Serves 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, cheese, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large (10-inch) oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Add the leftover stuffing and stirring often, cook until the bread cubes are toasted and golden. Pour the egg mixture over top. Swirl the spinach into the eggs.
  3. Cook the frittata for 5 minutes, not stirring, until it’s just set around the edges.
  4. Place it in the oven and back for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Slice into wedges and serve with extra parmesan cheese.

Cranberry and Pear Grilled Cheese

Next up, we have a melty, gooey grilled cheese. Yes, Thanksgiving leftovers can include a delicious classic! Only one of my favorite meals, ever. In fact, there are very few things that I will not shove inside a grilled cheese, as evidenced by me sandwiching some leftover cranberry relish and a sliced, ripe pear between two pieces of bread and lots of freshly grated cheese. This hits the spot. If you’re a sweet-plus-savory fan like I am, this meal will leave you craving the flavor days after you first make it. Fruit and cheese are such a fabulous combination and the tart cranberry chutney adds a wonderful tartness, along with some texture!

Harry & David Country Cranberry Relish, great for Thanksgiving Leftovers
leftover cranberry and pear grilled cheese Serves 1, is easily multiplied

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • softened butter for spreading
  • 3 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 tablespoons cranberry relish
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Spread the outsides of the bread with the softened butter. Spread the insides of the bread with the cranberry relish. On top of one slice, place half of the grated cheddar. Top with the pear slices. Top with the remaining cheese.
  2. Cover the sandwich with the second bread slice, butter-side up.
  3. Place it in the skillet and cook until golden on both sides and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Crispy Mashed Potato Cakes with Spinach and Poached Eggs

Finally, mashed potato cakes with bacon to round off our Thanksgiving leftovers! Mashed potato cakes take me waaaay back to when I was a kid. My mom would fry these in bacon grease and often serve them with breakfast for dinner (more eggs! crispy ham!) when my dad was traveling. I fried up these caramelized onion mashed potatoes in a bit of butter. Once these were crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside, I topped them with some warmed, leftover parmesan creamed spinach and a poached egg. The flavor here is UNREAL!

thanksgiving leftovers potato cakes with spinach Serves 2

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the mashed potatoes in a bowl and sprinkle them with flour. Mix with a spoon or your hands until a dough comes together. Form into patties that are about 1 inch thick.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add the olive oil and butter. Place the mashed potato cakes in the skillet and let brown on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Serve immediately, topped with warmed creamed spinach and a poached egg. Top with salt and pepper.

To poach the eggs: Heat a pot of water over medium heat until it is just simmering. Add in a splash of white vinegar. Crack the egg into a bowl. Stir the water with a wooden spoon to create a “whirlpool” and pour the egg in the center. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove the egg with a slotted spoon.

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