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Turkey, potatoes, and pie, oh my! Leftovers are all but guaranteed following your holiday celebrations, but while a turkey sandwich sounds great the day after, it becomes a bit less appealing with each day that goes by. Thankfully, given the variety of food served during the holidays and the variety of ways those foods can be repurposed, there is plenty of potential for an enjoyable series of post-holiday meals. The following recipes will have you looking forward to piles of leftovers, rather than dreading them. Whip them up yourself, or impress a friend with your culinary skills.

Turkey Soup

On a cold winter's day, there's nothing quite like a bowl of warm, nourishing turkey soup. This is a great way to put nearly all of your leftover turkey to good use -- even the parts you might ordinarily throw out. This particular recipe isn't all that strict, and will depend, in part, on what else you have sitting in your fridge.


  • Turkey carcass, including leftover giblets if available
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of chopped celery
  • 2 cups of chopped carrots
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Remove whatever turkey is usable from the carcass to eventually add to the soup or use in other leftover recipes. Place the carcass and bones in an 8 quart stock pot and cover with an inch of cold water. Feel free to add drippings if any are left over. Add the onion and a small portion of the carrots and celery. Place the pot on the stovetop on high heat and bring to a boil, before switching to low heat. Add salt and pepper as desired. In most cases, about 1/2 a teaspoon of each is sufficient, but this will depend on the size of the carcass and the amount of leftover meat. Simmer for at least three hours. Once finished with simmering, remove the bones with tongs and strain with a sieve. This is the last step for creating stock, which can either be saved or used immediately in soup.

Once you decide to make soup with your homemade turkey stock, heat olive oil in a large pot and add vegetables. Add the stock and bouillon, or other seasoning if you prefer. Bring to a simmer and then add leftover turkey meat or even leftover mashed potatoes if desired. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Turkey Tacos

Turkey tacos are just as easy to make as sandwiches, and arguably even more satisfying. Feel free to use a seasoning mix instead of the listed spices, or to substitute pico de gallo with your favorite salsa or picante sauce.


  • 1 1/2 cups turkey
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Tortilla shells

Mix salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika together. Let oil warm in skillet on medium heat. Add turkey to skillet. Once warm, add dry ingredients to season the turkey. Put the desired amount of turkey in a tortilla shell and top with cheese and pico de gallo.

Penne Ham Skillet

Ham is always a holiday favorite but what do you do with the leftover? After all of the hustle of the holidays you might not be in the mood to do a lot more cooking. This quick recipe can be ready in about 30 minutes and makes good use of that leftover ham.


  • 1 package of penne pasta (16 oz)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups cubed cooked ham
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4  cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can chicken broth (14 1/2 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the directions. In a large skillet add the butter and oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add in the ham, red pepper and onion and cook for 4-6 minutes or until the ham is browned and the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and herbs and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half which should take about 10-15 minutes. Mix in the pasta and sprinkle it with the cheese.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

Holiday leftovers aren't just for lunch and dinner -- a surprising number of main dishes and sides can be incorporated into your favorite breakfast foods. These delicious mashed potato pancakes will have you ready to tackle those long post-holiday days. These pancakes are great on their own, but even better served with leftover cranberry sauce and sour cream.


  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Beat eggs and mix into leftover mashed potatoes. Add flour, salt, pepper, and chives. Heat oil on the skillet or griddle and then pour on the batter to create desired size pancakes. Fry over medium heat until the pancakes are crispy and golden brown on both sides. This should take around four or five minutes. Between batches, add additional oil if needed.

Stuffing Muffins

Stuffing gets eaten a lot faster than turkey, but if you do have some sitting around after the holidays, you can transform it into a batch of savory muffins. Better yet, these muffins incorporate some of that turkey you're so desperate to get out of your fridge. Enjoy them with breakfast or bring one or two to work to snack on during that long post-holiday Monday.


  • 2 1/2 cups stuffing
  • 1 cup turkey or other meat
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix eggs into leftover stuffing and then combine with cheese and turkey. Divide the ensuing mixture into 12 baking cups or a greased muffin pan if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Pie Casserole

The best way to use up leftover pumpkin pie is to eat it as is, ideally with a little ice cream or whipped cream topping. But if you're absolutely sick of standard pumpkin pie, you can always turn it into a delicious breakfast or dessert casserole.


  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of milk
  • About 4 pie pieces worth of leftovers

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a standard casserole dish. Chop about four pieces of leftover pie into small chunks. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl before adding milk and vanilla extract. Fold in the chopped pumpkin pie. Pour into casserole dish and bake for approximately half an hour. Add whipped cream or other toppings as desired and enjoy.


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