Is there anything better than a fridge full of leftovers? Turkey Day is fun and all, but a next-day sandwich — now that’s the stuff. As for the rest of your leftover fare, click through for tips from Chef Tina Bourbeau on how to use ’em up (as well as what we used to make this amazing sandwich).
For the sandwich above, we piled the following on our FreshDirect wheat Pullman bread. (Make sure to toast your bread — that’s key.)
- 2 oz. Turkey meat, shredded or sliced
- 1 head of green leaf lettuce
- 2 tbsp. mayo
- 1 tomato
- 2 tablespoons of FreshDirect cranberry and herb stuffing
- 2 tablespoons of FreshDirect cranberry sauce
What to Do with Your Leftover…
Use for breakfast omelets or biscuits, sandwiches and savory baking; it’s less important when it has been slightly compromised from sitting out to cook with it vs. serving it again as is
First, put out your vegetables only as needed and replenish frequently so they stay fresh. Blanch some (beans, broccoli, cauliflower) and keep some raw (fennel, celery, peppers, radishes) to use in salads, stir-fries, omelets, or quiche. If you have leftover asparagus, you can make a creamy soup with the tips.
Use for crostini (salsa, artichoke or crab dip, hummus) or flatbreads, day-after omelet filling, wraps or soft tacos. Artichoke dip reheats superbly well — don’t be afraid to bust it out again for your Sunday football spread. Repurpose ranch or blue cheese deeps for your homemade salads or pack into the kids’ lunches with carrots, celery, or your fresh leftover crudite (peppers, radishes).
Don’t store roasted and salted nuts for long — they go bad very quickly. Use them in salads (turkey cranberry salad!) and roasted vegetable preparations. Make a pesto (walnut/marjoram/pecorino or almond/parsley/aged goat cheese). Garnish your turkey (and kale) soup with them.
These are great for quiche or grain salads (garlicky leftover kale and farro salad with walnut pesto), savory quick breads or muffins (Swiss chard, hazelnut, and Parmesan muffins). Try chopping and putting into dips (spinach/lemon/yogurt or bacon/sour cream/horseradish/cheddar/kale).
Corn is an excellent addition to risotto made with chorizo and pumpkin seeds. Mix it with lime, cotija cheese, chili, and mayo for a great warm escarole salad topping. Of course, corn is also great for savory baking (cornbread, frittatas, muffins, souffles).
Mashed Vegetables (Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips):
Besides being a perfect topping for shepherd’s pie, leftover mashed veggies are great for fritters (add eggs and flour, shrimp, or salt cod), and a perfect binder for vegetable pancakes (zucchini, kimchee, spinach). Mix mashed sweet potatoes with grain mustard and some maple syrup for an amazing spread to go on your turkey sandwich.
Pick all of the meat from the legs and slice all remaining breast meat before storing so it’s ready to use. Cover the leftovers in gravy so that they stay moist.
To serve cold: dice and make salad with either mayo or extra-virgin olive oil, herbs, and citrus. Reserve the bones to make stock, then freeze your stock to use throughout the winter season. (Of course, make a huge batch of turkey soup first.)
Looking for more ideas? Here’s a little more inspiration from Chef Tina.