I can handle one or maybe two meals of the leftovers after Thanksgiving but after that I am so ready for some new flavors! Turkey is a fairly neutral flavor so it lends itself well to other cuisines. Go ahead and substitute it in any of your favorite recipes that call for cooked chicken. We had a 21 pound turkey on Thursday and there is no way we can eat up all the leftovers this week. No problem – turkey freezes really well. I prefer to bag it up in 4 ounce freezer zip lock bags. That way I can defrost however many bags I need for a given recipe. It makes for some easy meal prep in the busy weeks leading up to Christmas. We can all benefit from that!
Some of my favorite tried and true favorite recipes for using up that leftover turkey and cranberry sauce include:
If you like a little something spicy Turkey Jambalaya is your dish. See the recipe here. You can make this spicy or mild depending on your taste buds.
After all that bland food I’m ready for some Mexican flavors with this easy to prepare White Chili. This recipe came from my friend Judy and I have been making it for years. It is quick and easy using pantry items. You probably have everything in stock to make this right now. What are you waiting for?
Italian food is always a crowd pleaser and this Pasta Bake with Basil is quick and easy to prepare with a delicious Alfredo sauce. Sub your leftover turkey for the chicken. The Alfredo sauce from this recipe works well with any combination of pasta and vegetables. Creamy and cheesy – need I say more?
You won’t believe the transformation that takes place with that leftover cranberry sauce and turkey until you take your first bite. This salsa made with cranberry sauce, fresh pear, cilantro and a jalapeno pepper is amazing! Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa is going to be on your list of favorites!
This Creamy Chili – Corn Soup makes use of pantry items but it is super flavorful and tastes like you went to a lot of work to make it. Canned creamed corn adds flavor and thickens the chili. The Cornbread scones are also one of my favorite side dishes with soup, chili and stew.
This salad dressing uses some of your leftover cranberry sauce transforming it with the most wonderful combination of flavors. The sweetness of the dressing is the perfect contrast to the sharp flavor of blue cheese. Toss in some walnuts or pecans, pears, red onions and if you want to make this a main dish salad add some diced leftover turkey as well. Pear Walnut Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette should be on your menu today! Seriously it is that good – trust me you are going to love this salad. Have I ever let you down?
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. We enjoyed an amazing day with our daughter’s boyfriends family. They are from Honduras and it was an honor for us to treat them to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the dishes and flavors were new to them. Everyone seemed to enjoy making their own butter and it was a nice ice breaker activity to keep everyone busy while we put the finishing touches on the meal. The big hit of the day food wise for them I would say had to be the Praline Yams. A special treat for us was the incredible Flan, Anna brought to share. It was silky smooth with a rich caramel sauce. I can’t wait to try making one myself. After dinner we played bingo and a card game called spoons. It was a day filled with joy, laughter and good eats! We can’t wait to have them over for dinner again.
I would share photos with you but it seems that my computer died overnight and it appears to be for good this time! I am working on Hubby Tom’s computer this morning and of course I don’t have access to my photo gallery! This afternoon we will be computer shopping. What a pity we missed out on the Black Friday computer specials! Oh, well that is how things go sometimes.
We decided not to cook the ribs for Thanksgiving and so we invited some friends to come over tonight for smoked ribs. I will be making an easy polenta side dish and some oven roasted broccoli. We have cheese and crackers and a veggie tray for appetizers. Our guests are providing a salad and dessert. One more big meal and then it’s back to healthier eating for us!
Add Your Thoughts
What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving meal?
Do you have leftovers and if so what are you doing with them?