Gobbling Up Thanksgiving Leftovers


When I was first married, I learned pretty quickly that my sweetie didn’t like leftovers. Remember, this is the man who threw away leftover tiramisu. (gasp!) Well, here’s my simple theory about why folks don’t like leftovers. They don’t eat them because whoever reheated them didn’t know how, or didn’t take the time, to do it right. Pretty simple.

And if it’s Thanksgiving leftovers in your fridge, there are entire books written about what to do with all those veggies, casseroles, potatoes, turkey legs and pie. Here are 3 recipes for Turkey Day leftovers that your entire family will love. One for breakfast. One for lunch. And one for dinner. You’ll never throw leftovers away again.


Photo by Farrar Food Photography


Potato Pancake Benedict with Poached Eggs and Cranberry

4 English Muffin halves

4 eggs, poached

4 potato pancakes (recipe below)

1 can Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

To make the potato pancakes:

2 C leftover mashed potatoes

1/4 C finely chopped onion

1/2 C Italian Bread Crumbs, plus extra for rolling in before frying

1 egg

Salt and pepper if needed (stuffing and potatoes may already be seasoned enough so be careful with seasoning)

1/2 C vegetable oil for frying

1 T butter for frying

Simmer the cranberry sauce in a small pan about 30 minutes on low until thickened and let cool. Set aside.

Make the potato pancakes:

In a large bowl, mix potatoes, onion, bread crumbs and egg. Mix well and form into patties. Heat oil and butter in a skillet, add potato pancakes and fry about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Poach 4 eggs.

To assemble: Toast the English muffins. Top each with warm potato pancake, a poached egg and a dollop of cranberry sauce on top or on the side. Absolutely delicious! Serves 4.

Thanksgiving leftovers-30

Photo by Farrar Food Photography


Turkey, Brie and Cranberry Quesadillas

4 flour tortillas


1 C leftover turkey, chopped (smoked turkey is delicious in these, but traditional is great too)

4 oz. Brie cheese, sliced thin enough to melt easily

1 package dried cranberries (or any cranberry sauce you have leftover)

Creme fraiche

Butter one side of a flour tortilla. Place butter side down into a hot skillet. Top with 2-3 slices of brie. Add some chopped turkey on top of the brie. Then top the turkey with about 10 – 15 cranberries. Cook on medium low heat until cheese melts. Fold in half and cook another minute or until golden brown. Flip the folded quesadilla once and cook for another minute. Remove from pan. Slice into 3 sections with a pizza cutter. Top with a dollop of creme fraiche and a cranberry and serve. Repeat all above steps with remaining tortillas. Serves 4.


Photo by Farrar Food Photography


Turkey Croquettes

4 C chopped turkey (smoked turkey tastes delicious in these)

2 C leftover stuffing

2 C leftover mashed potatoes

3 eggs, beaten

2 C Italian bread crumbs

Pam cooking spray


1 C leftover turkey gravy

small amount of milk if gravy is too thick

1 C frozen peas, defrosted

salt and pepper to taste

Heat all ingredients together and keep warm.

Mix turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes together and roll a small baseball sized amount into a cone shape. (you can also roll into a burger patty shape or log shape if you prefer) Dip each croquette in the egg wash and then coat all over with the bread crumbs. Spray each croquette with Pam cooking spray to aid in browning. (you can also roll into melted butter if you prefer.) Bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Top with gravy and serve. You can also fry these if desired. Crispier when fried. If you fry them, you won’t need the Pam. Serve with mashed potatoes and a nice green salad. Makes 12.

A special thanks to Central Market for providing the groceries for all my columns and videos. You can also find all my recipes in my monthly column in Fort Worth Texas Magazine.


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