Rethink Thanksgiving Leftovers with These Recipes 

Shanthi Appelo
Shanthi Appelo

| 3 min read

Turkey tacos
The average Thanksgiving turkey weighs about 30 pounds, about twice as large as in 1929. Depending on your holiday headcount, that could mean a lot of leftover bird. Don’t get me wrong — leftovers are nice, but after a few meals of Thanksgiving turkey, it might be time to spice it up. Keep reading for three delicious ways to rethink your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Turkey isn’t the only staple on the Thanksgiving menu, and it’s important to plan and think ahead to avoid waste. A good rule of thumb — whether you’re receiving a Thanksgiving goody bag or storing your leftovers — is foods will stay safe for up to about four days in the fridge. Here are some other things to keep in mind:
Plan ahead. Planning for leftovers before the cooking starts is the best way to make the most of your food. Consider these tips:
  • Consider the number of expected attendees and purchase an appropriate size of turkey needed.
  • Arrange the fridge and freezer so there’s room to quickly put away leftovers.
  • Make sure there are enough storage containers and plastic bags to stow away leftovers.
  • Make sure you have containers to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold to ensure food safety.
  • When freezing items, consider how they will be thawed and how to apportion them. Rather than freezing a solid turkey breast, shred or cut it, then freeze it in the increments needed.
  • While serving, set a timer to remember to put the leftovers away in time to ensure food safety.
Save your scraps. Bones, cheese rinds, herb stems and vegetable peels make for a great stock. Keep a gallon-sized zippered plastic bag in the freezer to add to when cleaning up scraps. Stock comes in handy for many soups and sauces, and our planet will thank you for reusing the scraps.
Rethink your leftovers. There’s no reason to limit serving your turkey with leftover gravy and stuffing. Consider spicing up the bird with these ideas:
This quick and easy turkey taco recipe makes use of 8 ounces of shredded turkey heated with garlic, onion and taco seasoning. It's topped with crunchy romaine, creamy avocado, slices of tomato and cilantro for a delicious bite.
Leftover turkey is cooked with taco seasoning, garlic and onion before being stuffed into bell peppers and topped with cheese. After roasting in the oven, this recipe is a great way to serve up leftovers with a unique presentation.
Chickpea pasta is used as the base for this hearty dish. Heat leftover turkey with tomatoes, garlic and spinach in a quick white wine sauce. Finish with parmesan and basil.
More Thanksgiving content:

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