4 Delicious Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes & Ideas - BioTrust (2024)

You prepared all month for the BIG DAY and had enough food to feed an army (despite likely having fewer guests than usual this year), and now that the festivities are over, you are left with ALL THIS FOOD. What now?

Well, if you didn’t send your guests home with Tupperware containers stuffed with leftovers, and you aren’t a fan of freezing them, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

1. Thanksgiving Leftover Burrito

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You could always take a page from a local establishment here in the Carolinas named Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn. They create what is lovingly referred to as the “Churkeychanga.” It is described as a roasted turkey breast, mashed garlic red skin potatoes, and jalapeno cornbread dressing all rolled up in a flour tortilla and then deep fried. It is topped with a heaping ladle of gravy and served with a cranberry salsa.

Now of course, being the health-conscious individual I am, I would forego the deep-fried part and just make a traditional burrito. But to illustrate what I am talking about, I went ahead and took one for the team and splurged on a Churkeychanga. This. Thing. Did. Not. Disappoint.

Load up your favorite low-carb tortilla and voila! Homemade day-after-Thanksgiving burrito.

2. Thanksgiving Leftover Frittata

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As delightful as that was, it is also important that I mention I like to think of these as “ingredients” and not necessarily as leftovers. Each of these food items can be reinvented by using them in a whole new recipe. So, don’t always assume you have to use everything you have [leftover] in the same meal.

For example, eggs pretty much go with EVERYTHING. And since I can name on one hand people I know who can successfully make an omelet without it turning into a jumble of sorts, we are going to make a Thanksgiving leftovers frittata. Turkey and all the fixin’s can absolutely get tossed into a frittata.

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It’s pretty much foolproof in that you scramble some eggs, toss it with your [leftover] ingredients, and bake at 400 degrees F until the eggs are no longer runny. You could also cook on the stovetop over medium heat if you prefer.

3. Thanksgiving Leftovers Soup

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A soup would be delightful as well. Add some bone broth or stock to the same [leftover] ingredients and simmer until all the flavors marry. Add a few of whatever herbs and spices you have on hand—keep it simple. Add beans, rice, or even pasta if you are looking to stretch it out. My mouth is already watering.

4. Cranberry Sauce Muffins

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My mom whipped up some cranberry sauce muffins one year with the leftover cranberry sauce. My brother is really the only person who would eat the squishy cranberry log from a can. In fact, I used to trade him my serving for another side. But these muffins were amazing. I tried my hand at a healthier recipe, and they turned out pretty darn good.

Here is the recipe I used:


  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/4 cups leftover cranberry sauce


  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar substitute
  • 3 Tbsp oats
  • 2 scoops Low Carb Protein Blend (Vanilla Cream)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine butter and sugar substitute.
  4. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and stir to combine.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold together.
  6. Add cranberry sauce and stir until just combined.
  7. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins.
  8. Mix topping ingredients until crumbly mixture forms.
  9. Sprinkle a spoonful on top of each muffin.
  10. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Yields 24 servings

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbs: 19 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipe: A Recap

As previously shared, I also have an article with some great recipes for using up leftover turkey. Additionally, there are many organizations that would love your donations, one being Feeding America. Or you could always stop by your local homeless shelter, or even deliver to a family in need that you know of or in your neighborhood.

I know this year the holidays may not be what you envisioned, or what you remember from previous years, where it was an expression of unity and gathering with your loved ones. This year, I think it is most important to remember the reason for the season. While you may not be able to gather with the usual suspects, use this time to give thanks and be grateful for what you have, who you are, and offer your resources to help those who are less fortunate.

We’re so grateful for everyone in our BioTRUST community and wish you a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

4 Delicious Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes & Ideas - BioTrust (2024)


How long are Thanksgiving leftovers good for in the fridge? ›

How long do the turkey and trimmings stay safe in the refrigerator or freezer? The answer is simple: leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days. This means you have until the Monday after Thanksgiving to eat all those delicious leftovers or place them in the freezer to enjoy later.

What is made from Thanksgiving leftovers? ›

Instead, try turning your leftovers into a casserole, like our turkey divan, our chicken stuffing casserole, or our turkey pot pie; a soup, like our turkey noodle soup, our leftover turkey & wild rice soup, or our homemade turkey stock (made from your turkey carcass); or something lighter or more flavorful than before, ...

What ratio of Americans like leftovers better than the Thanksgiving meal itself? ›

A next-day Thanksgiving sandwich tastes better than the freshly served dinner, according to 66 percent of 2,000 U.S. residents surveyed by research group OnePoll in mid-November.

How long does stuffing last in the fridge? ›

Dressing/stuffing: Like turkey, if stored properly, stuffing or dressing will be safe to eat for three to four days after cooking. It will last for about a month if stored properly in the freezer. Cranberry sauce – homemade and store-bought: Homemade cranberry sauce lasts seven to 10 days.

Is it OK to eat 5 day old leftovers? ›

Leftovers can be kept for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. After that, the risk of food poisoning goes up. If you don't think you'll be able to eat leftovers within four days, freeze them right away. Frozen leftovers will stay safe for a long time.

Can you eat leftover turkey after 5 days? ›

USDA recommends using cooked turkey within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. Turkey can be frozen for 3 to 4 months. Although safe indefinitely, frozen leftovers can lose moisture and flavor when stored for longer times in the freezer.

What are 4 commonly consumed foods at Thanksgiving other than turkey? ›

Cornish game hen, goose, duck, ham, beef, salmon, and mushroom recipes make worthy centerpieces for holiday meals.

What are 4 other traditional Thanksgiving foods? ›

The classic Thanksgiving dinner includes old-time favorites that never change: turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, and pie. But the way these dishes are made or added to is everchanging because of food trends and different dietary requirements.

What are 3 foods that are eaten on Thanksgiving? ›

Millions of people across the United States will sit down to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, potatoes, squash, corn, and cranberries.

Which president refused to celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday? ›

While Thanksgiving technically isn't a religious holiday, the “giving thanks” part of it struck Jefferson as being far too religious for his tastes. As our nation's third president, he stirred controversy by refusing to recognize Thanksgiving.

What is the main meal for most Americans on Thanksgiving? ›

Turkey. Turkey is at the center of the classic Thanksgiving feast. Today we eat domesticated turkeys, which come from wild turkeys, a species only native to the Americas, making the bird an all-American entrée.

What food was present at the first Thanksgiving but is rarely eaten now? ›

Culinary historians believe that much of the Thanksgiving meal consisted of seafood, which is often absent from today's menus.

Can I eat 2 week old stuffing? ›

Use or freeze the leftover stuffed meat within 3 to 4 days. The leftovers may be reheated in the microwave or in an oven set no lower than 325 °F. Use a food thermometer to make sure the stuffed meat reaches 165 °F in the center.

Is week old stuffing OK to eat? ›

Leftover Stuffing and Gravy

Stuffing — which is often soaked through with meat drippings — shouldn't be consumed after a maximum of two days in the fridge. The same two-day rule should be applied to the gravy, which should always be brought to a rolling boil to properly kill bacteria before serving again.

When should you throw out Thanksgiving leftovers? ›

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends throwing out refrigerated leftovers after three to four days. If foods are kept in the freezer, they can usually still be consumed for three to four months.

Are leftovers good after 7 days? ›

According to the FDA Food Code, all perishable foods that are opened or prepared should be thrown out after 7 days, maximum. No leftovers should survive in your fridge for longer than that. Some foods should be even be thrown away before the 7 day mark.

Do leftovers last 7 days? ›

Typically, leftovers will safely last for three to four days if they're refrigerated within two hours and packed in an airtight container. According to the Mayo Clinic, after this time frame, illness-causing bacteria are more likely to grow, even in the cold environment of a refrigerator.

Are leftovers OK after 4 days? ›

Discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs, side dishes, or casseroles, left at room temperature longer than two hours; one hour in room temperatures above 90 °F. Once leftovers are stored safely, they will remain safe three to four days.

Is it safe to eat Thanksgiving leftovers on Monday? ›

The Monday after Thanksgiving means anything still in the refrigerator needs to go. This is your last chance to eat it, freeze it or dump what's left of the leftovers.

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