Thanksgiving Leftovers: What Do You Do With Them?

Turkey pot pie? Mashed potatoes in bread? Whether you get creative with your Thanksgiving leftovers, or just "heat and eat," we'd love to know how you handle them. Napa Valley Patch editor Louisa Hufstader gets the ball rolling.

Dinner’s done and the only thing more stuffed than the bird is you. Now the question becomes: What to do with all those leftovers?

While many say simple reheating is all that’s necessary to have a “day after” feast, others have elaborate recipes for turning Thanksgiving leftovers into gourmet delights.

From savory turkey soups to sinfully delicious pot pies and mile-high sandwiches, everyone has their own ideas on what to do with what’s left over. The Food Network even has an entire recipe collection dedicated to the topic.

Napa Valley Patch editor Louisa Hufstader dined at her sister's in Corte Madera this year and didn't do any cooking — she brought the wine, a magnum of 2009 Waterstone cabernet sauvignon from Taste at Oxbow.

But she wound up with leftovers anyway.

"My sister cooked a triple batch of a really delicious side dish from the book Fresh & Green Kitchen, by our friend Susie Middleton," Hufstader said.

"We all loved it, but there were so many other incredible dishes that she wound up having plenty left over and we got to take home a quart of wheat berries and Brussels sprouts. Don't laugh," she added.

When she does have food left over from a festive meal, Hufstader said she likes making pot pie — substitute turkey for the chicken in Napa cook Jamie Brown Miller's recipe A Pretty Pot Pie — and uses leftover mashed potatoes to make bread.

Turkey soup — the Hufstader sisters' mom likes to make it with leftover wild rice — is also a reliable strategy. But we're in the Napa Valley, where culinary creativity abounds: Can you surprise us with some new ways to enjoy Turkey-day leftovers?

What are your favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipes? Share them in the comments section or upload them as an announcement.

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Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I'm surprised nobody has commented on the wheat berry/Brussels sprouts dish. It also has cranberries in it and is delicious the morning after, just as it is.
Belle (Orchid Lady) November 23, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I really want to know how to use left over mashed potatoes to make bread!
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 24, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Belle, Bernard Clayton has a good one on page 399 of the 1987 edition of his New Complete Book of Breads Revised and Expanded. I have seen this edition at the Napa County Library and the book has since been revised. His popovers recipe is also outstanding.
Cathy Gumina Odom November 24, 2012 at 03:01 AM
I'm just hungry. Will go for the basic TDay sandwich: toasted bread, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce. Yummy!


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