Thanksgiving Leftover Hacks and Ideas

Now that Thanksgiving and the food coma have passed, what do you do with the fridge full of leftovers? Eat them of course!
Welcome to a special Thanksgiving post of Food Finances Friday. Here’s another great post by my beloved husband (I love you!). Even he learned some great tips researching today’s article.

I usually don’t mind just having another plate of Thanksgiving leftovers because I usually don’t eat too much on the big day. The Debt Shrink likes to take a leftover King’s Hawaiian roll and load up the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and of course mashed potatoes into a huge leftover bonanza sandwich.

Here are a few of my favorite leftover ideas that are a little more creative than what we do:


There are numerous ways to use leftover turkey meat, but did you just throw away the picked over carcass? DON’T THROW THAT OUT! It makes for a great homemade turkey stock. This recipe from is a really great way to use all of the bird and has great tips on prep and uses.

My cooking hero Alton Brown has a wonderful recipe for the leftover turkey and carcass that is “the essence of Thanksgiving in liquid form”: Bird to the Last Drop

Photo by Alison Marras

Mac and Cheese

Mr. Brown also has a great idea on how to use leftover mac and cheese. FRIED! Do I need to say any more? Leftover mac and cheese is a foreign concept around our house, so make a second batch using his recipe.

Mashed Potatoes

I know all of you made my perfect mashed potatoes and may not have any leftover. If you happen to have some saved in the back of the fridge that you took out of the batch you brought to your family. This recipe from for mashed potato croquettes is a great way to use up those potatoes.

Stuffing or Dressing

Whether you make stuffing from scratch, a bag, or my favorite Stove Top (don’t judge me) it all works great in this recipe from for Leftover Stuffin’ Muffins.

Apple Pie

This one is a little out there, but think about it and it makes perfect sense. Alton Brown’s Leftover Apple Pie Milkshake! Just take 1 slice apple pie, 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup apple cider, and 1/4 cup apple jack (optional?) and blend. As Alton says “You’re Welcome”.

Photo by Hugo Aitken


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let the feast continue.


What are your favorite ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers?


You May Also Enjoy:

Reasons to be Thankful: How the Other Half Really Live

7 Things I Don’t Buy for the Holidays

Creative Ways to Save Money: Upcycle

Don’t Throw that Out, I’ll Eat it!

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