Because leftovers are the best part

By Kate Welsh
February 07, 2018
Photo by Teresa Sabga

As truly great as Thanksgiving is—and it is, what with all of those amazing once-a-year dishes and the days off from work and the family traditions—it's the day after Thanksgiving that can feel like an even bigger treat. All of the complicated, time-consuming cooking and baking is behind you; there is a refrigerator full of delicious food in front of you. All you have to decide is what Thanksgiving leftovers you want to eat before your ravenous little brother gets to it first. 

Of course, you could just load up your plate, zap it in the microwave, and carry on. But if you're feeling a little inspired, we rounded up 19 easy, creative ways to take down the towering pile of Tupperware in your fridge—and make yourself, and the people you love, very satisfied in the process. 

Here's how you can gobble up those leftovers.

Leftover Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

PHoto by Kelsey Hansen

Your gran's famous pumpkin pie deserves a twist. (Adding bourbon is optional, but encouraged.) 

Fried Turkey and Waffles

Photo by Teresa Sabga

Leftover turkey gets a quick fry for a seasonal take on chicken and waffles. 

Breakfast Burritos

PHoto by Alex Tepper

Sometimes you want Thanksgiving, but don't want to use utensils. Putting everything you want to eat in a tortilla helps. 

Nom Wah Nolita Katz-Giving Congee

PHoto Courtesy of Nom Wah Nolita

Inspired by Nom Wah Tea Parlor and Katz's Delicatessen—two New York institutions—you know this savory rice porridge is good. 

Turkey and Stuffing Hash

Photo by Teresa Sabga

Everything tastes better with an egg on top—and that includes this gravy coated turkey and stuffing hash. 


PHoto by Alex Tepper

Wrap all the best bits of Thanksgiving into bite-size servings. (And don't forget the cranberry-soy dipping sauce.) 

Leftover Mashed Potato Doughnuts

Photo bY Daniel Agee

Mashed potatoes make super soft, fluffy doughnuts. Stuff them with cranberry sauce, and you've got yourself a post-Thanksgiving gamechanger. 

Stuffing Waffles

PHoto by Alex Tepper

Will stuffing waffle? You bet it will. 

Fried Rice

PHoto by JOrdan Edwards

The best parts of Thanksgiving get combined with rice, scrambled eggs, and a hearty stream of soy sauce.

Turkey Breakfast Sandwich

Photo by Anjali Pinto

A turkey sandwich is a classic in the Thanksgiving leftover repertoire—but have you thought about adding bacon and eggs?

Savory Pop-Tarts

PHoto by Alex Tepper

Did you make extra pie dough? Do you have lots of leftovers? Use all of that up in these savory pastries.  

Stuffing Butter

PHoto by Stacey Ballis

Take the herbs you didn't use on your turkey and make a butter to spread on literally everything. 

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

PHoto by Alex Tepper

French toast is even better stuffed with a full slice of pumpkin pie. 

Bar-B-Que Turkey Hash

Photo by Alex Tepper

Tired of gravy? Give your turkey a slathering of barbeque sauce in this leftovers-based hash. 

Mashed Potato Egg Clouds

PHoto by Teresa Sabga

Mashed potatoes give these egg clouds a stick-to-your-ribs quality that can't be beat on cold November mornings. 

Easy Cranberry Babka

PHoto by JML  Images via Getty Images

Combining crescent roll dough and leftover cranberry sauce results in a wildly impressive looking babka. No one needs to know it was also wildly easy to make. 

Turkey Congee

Photo by Daniel Agee

You can transfom every last bit of your leftover turkey into this savory, soul-warming porridge.

Stuffing Breakfast Strata

Photo by Alex Tepper

Give thanks for the mountain of stuffing you have packed in your fridge: You can make this baked take on egg-in-a-hole. 

Cranberry Sauce Waffles

Photo by Teresa Sabga

Tart cranberry sauce is a perfect match for sweet waffles. You won't even need syrup. (But, you know, you can still use it.)