Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

Thanksgiving is coming up soon, which means it will be time for leftovers! I love Thanksgiving dinner, and I love these easy to prepare dishes featuring Thanksgiving leftovers just as much. Now you can keep enjoying the results of all your holiday cooking for days to come. Below you’ll find 20 easy and creative recipes using leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce. Dishes include soups, sandwiches, salads, savory pies, and even 2 breakfast dishes!

[Note: this is an update to an earlier post, adding 12 more leftovers recipes!]

Best way to store Thanksgiving leftovers to use in these recipes

Here are my recommendations on how to store your leftovers that you can use in my recipes:

  • Turkey – remove any leftover cooked meat from the bone, chop into smaller pieces and place in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. (I like to use a zip top baggie.) Can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Stuffing – remove any leftovers from inside the turkey, and place in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Mashed potatoes – store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing, as they can become watery.
  • Gravy – store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Cranberry sauce – store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Most cranberry sauces will last for around 14 days in the refrigerator, so how long it will keep depends on when you made it. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

How long are Thanksgiving leftovers good?

How long your Thanksgiving leftovers will last depends on what they are. Most will last 4 days in the refrigerator, and anywhere from 1 to 4 months in the freezer. See details by type of food above.

Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey – 16 Recipes

close up shot of 4 Kentucky Hot Browns on a foil lined pan

Kentucky Hot Brown Recipe

Kentucky Hot Browns are pure comfort food – an open-faced turkey sandwich topped with sliced tomatoes, bubbly cheese sauce and crispy bacon. Mom added unique touches to the original hot brown recipe – yellow Cheddar cheese and sliced ham – making our family’s version unique, and we think even more tasty. Note that the recipe can easily be scaled up or down, depending on desired portion size as well as number of portions.

blue pie dish filled with Tourtiere

Tourtière – Meat and Potato Pie

Tourtière – sautéed pork, onions, turkey and mashed potatoes flavored with garlic, thyme, sage and spices are the flavorful filling in this delicious double-crust pie. Comfort food at its best!

Leftover Turkey Casserole with Rice

Turkey and Rice Casserole is an easy to prepare, healthy and clever way to use up leftovers, including roast turkey (or chicken) and rice. Fill a spinach-brown rice crust with turkey, onions and cheese, then top with a curry-spiked mushroom gravy.

Mug filled with Zucchini Soup, on a plate next to a panini sandwich

Zucchini Soup with Turkey and Cheddar Panini

Robert and I love enjoying a warm bowl of soup alongside a delicious sandwich for a casual Sunday supper. I particularly love this Zucchini Soup because it is actually healthy (low in fat and carbs), a snap to put together – and, best of all, scrumptious! We enjoy it together with a Turkey, Chutney and

Simply substitute leftover cooked turkey for the cooked chicken in these 12 amazing, quick and easy recipes:

Creamy Chicken Artichoke Soup

A Cheesecake Factory copycat, Creamy Chicken Artichoke Soup with Mushrooms is the perfect fall soup recipe: rich, ultra comforting and filling. Mild, nutty artichokes, meaty chicken, earthy mushrooms, sweet peppers, onions, garlic and potatoes are simmered in a white wine-broth-thyme mixture, then finished off with creamy milk and sharp Cheddar Cheese.


Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Who doesn’t like Chicken Noodle Soup? I know it always makes me feel better, any time of year. Rich chicken broth is combined with carrots, celery, onion, fresh herbs – and of course chicken and noodles. (Tips for making perfect Chicken Noodle Soup are included above the recipe.)

white platter showing Pesto Chicken and Vegetables with Pasta

Pesto Chicken and Pasta with Veggies

Easy to prepare in under 25 minutes, this chicken and pasta recipe is perfect for busy night dinner. And it’s super versatile! Use in-season vegetables, and any size or shape pasta. Plus, choose from three unique scrumptious pesto recipes.


Mexican Beans and Rice with Chicken

Mexican Chicken Black Beans and Rice is a quick and easy casserole that takes minutes to prepare and is guaranteed to please!

white plate with Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

Chicken Enchiladas Suizas are easy enough for every day, impressive enough for casual entertaining. “Suizas” roughly means Swiss, and when used to describe enchiladas, it means the dish is topped with a cream or creamy cheese-based (not cream cheese!) sauce.

white plate with a slice of Crustless Southwestern Chicken Pie

Crustless Southwestern Chicken Pie

Super quick and easy to prepare, Crustless Southwestern Chicken Pie is perfect for busy day dinner. It’s a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken or turkey, and can be easily made gluten free, too (see Note below).

Rowes of Curried Chicken Bites

Curried Chicken Bites

Curried Chicken Bites are colorful, a bit spicy (depending on how much curry powder you use), a bit earthy, and super flavorful. They are easy to prepare, make ahead two-bite appetizers that are sure to please!

close up shot of Tarragon Chicken Salad, igredients in rows

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Our Tarragon Chicken Salad is a unique twist on the iconic deli chicken salad, adding in complementary fresh ingredients as well as offering two elegant presentations to choose from. And it can be prepared the day before serving, making it perfect for a luncheon or casual busy day dinner.

White plate filled with Chicken,Blueberry and Mango Salad

Chicken Blueberry Salad Recipe with Mango Salad Dressing

Chicken, Blueberry and Mango Salad with Mango Vinaigrette is cool, crisp and beautiful. Easy to prepare with readily available ingredients, this main dish chicken salad is perfect for summer dinners.

round white shallow bowl filled with Chicken, Artichoke Hearts, Quinoa and Brown Rice Salad

Chicken, Artichoke Hearts, Quinoa and Brown Rice Salad

Earthy, flavorful and colorful, Chicken, Artichoke Hearts, Quinoa and Brown Rice Salad is easy to prepare and oh, so delicious!

Chicken and Orzo Salad with Peanut Dressing

This main dish salad recipe is super quick and easy to prepare. Chop while the pasta cooks, mix the dressing while it cools. Dinner in 20 minutes! Great for picnics and potlucks, too.

Curried Chicken Pasta Salad

What could be better on a hot summer day than a cool and refreshing summer salad of roasted chicken, pasta, apple and celery tossed with a delicious mango-curry sauce. Another timeless recipe out of my mom’s recipe box that never disappoints. It is one of our favorites to take to outdoor summer concerts at the

Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffing – 2 Recipes

My favorite way to use up leftover stuffing is in these 2 creative and yummy breakfast dishes.

Blue baking dish with Cheesy Baked Eggs with Leftover Stuffing

Thanksgiving Leftovers Breakfast: Stuffing Breakfast Casserole

Have you ever had breakfast with Thanksgiving leftovers? Let me tell you, Stuffing with Eggs is a must-try breakfast casserole. So easy to prepare, it’s the perfect way to quickly use up any flavor of leftover stuffing. The stuffing crisps up in the oven and is the perfect crunchy base to hold luscious, soft baked eggs that are topped with gooey grated cheese.

White platter with Leftover Thanksgiving Stuffing and Gravy Eggs Benedict

Leftover Stuffing Patties for Eggs Benedict with Gravy

Leftover Stuffing Patties for Eggs Benedict with Gravy is a quick and easy, creative way to use up holiday leftovers. Flavorful and moist with a crispy crust, Stuffing Patties are topped with poached eggs and finished with reheated leftover gravy. 

Thanksgiving Leftover Mashed Potato Recipe

overhead shot of Shepherd's PIe, with a corner scooped out showing the filling

Shepherd’s Pie

Hearty and satisfying, Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect warm and comforting dinner on a cold evening. Ground beef and lamb, root vegetables and mushrooms are simmered in a rich sauce of beef broth, tomato paste, herbs and spices. Topped with creamy mashed potatoes, it’s baked until all the flavors meld together into a perfect blend of earthy, deep deliciousness that will please even the pickiest of eaters!

Thanksgiving Leftover Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Narrow necked bottle filled with Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Bold and beautiful Cranberry Vinaigrette is a quick, easy and festive way to brighten up most any holiday salad. It can be prepared with cranberry relish, chutney, sauce or even frozen cranberry cocktail!

collage of photos of favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipes

Share This With The World


About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

Sign up for recipes, tips & more!
Join the club

Latest Posts

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *