Cook up Thanksgiving Leftovers

Go beyond the everyday cold sandwich—try these recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers.


Now that everyone's enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinner, the annual parade of leftovers is about to begin.    

Let the record state there is no better use of leftovers than the construction of the traditional gobbler sandwich. Turkey, stuffing and cranberry between two slices of hearty bread (a little mayo if you like) cannot be beat. But with a little creativity, there are some other options out there to extend your enjoyment of the annual feast. Here are three alternatives:

  • Leftover lunch casserole
  • Turkey croquettes
  • Cranberry quesadilla. 

Both the croquettes and the casserole freeze well if you need a little poultry break.

Leftover Lunch Casserole


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely crushed herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1 cup cooked, diced turkey meat
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • Cranberry sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in the flour. Slowly stir in evaporated milk and water, then season with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. In a separate saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Blend in the dry stuffing mix. Place the turkey in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over turkey, then sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Spread mashed potatoes over cheese. Top mashed potatoes with the stuffing mixture.
  4. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Turkey Croquettes


  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups finely chopped leftover turkey
  • 1 1/4 cups fine dry breadcrumbs, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes without browning.
  2. Gradually whisk in milk and broth; cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
  3. Remove from heat; let cool 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. In large bowl, combine turkey, 1 cup of breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and eggs. Mix well. Pour in sauce, blend well. Cover and chill for about 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4-cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
  6. Shape turkey croquettes mixture into 2 1/2-inch balls, then roll to form oval shapes; makes about 8. Roll shaped croquettes in breadcrumb mixture. Arrange in a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
  7. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over turkey croquettes. Bake turkey croquettes 30 minutes until golden brown.

Cranberry Quesadillas


  • 1 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce
  • 4 oz brie


  1. Heat 10-inch skillet coated with cooking spray.
  2. Spread cranberry sauce on one tortilla.
  3. Sprinkle Brie evenly over cranberry and place second tortilla on top.
  4. Heat 2 minutes on each side until slightly browned and cheese is melted.


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