11 Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers
We're not saying a standard turkey sandwich isn't satisfying the day after Turkey Day, but depending on how much food was cooked, you might need creative inspiration to help jazz up all those leftovers. Here are some of our favorite leftover recipes from simple and delicious to day-after deluxe.
Butternut Squash and Date Ravioli
Recipe courtesy Elise Wiggins, executive chef, Panzano, Denver
These delectable homemade squash- and date-ravioli have a hint of sweetness that make them a prime candidate for a crisp wine pairing.
For the ravioli filling:
½ cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 dates, pits removed, diced small
2 cups leftover roasted butternut squash, diced small
Pinch of Maldon salt
Fresh sheet pasta (from Whole Foods or other gourmet store)
8 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons rosemary, chopped finely
¼ cup shaved Parmesan
12 small sprigs Italian parsley
Combine the cheeses and dates in a bowl and mix using a paddle until gently incorporated. Gently fold in the squash and add pinch of salt.
Dust a countertop lightly with flour and place a pasta sheet on top. Add 1 tablespoon of the filling at a time to the sheet to form a small mound. Place another sheet on top of the filling, then seal and cut the pasta sheet into individual ravioli using a ravioli cutter, or a glass to create pasta circles. Moisten the ravioli with water to seal, then pinch closed.
In a pot with boiling water, cook the ravioli for approximately 3 minutes. In the meantime, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then add the rosemary and cook gently until the butter just starts to brown. Add the cooked and toss ravioli gently just until they are coated.
To plate, place the ravioli in a bowl and garnish with shaved Parmesan and parsley. Yields 2 dozen ravioli and serves 4.
Chef Pairing: A white wine, like Caldaro’s 2011 Pinot Grigio from Alto Adige, nicely complements the touch of sweetness in this dish.
Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Sweet Potato Topping
Recipe by Susan Russo
This amazingly simple recipe combines leftover turkey and some of the groceries that didn't get used for the big meal to create a satisfying, hearty dish.
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 cup diced peeled carrots
1 cup diced celery
3 cups whole milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
5–6 sage leaves, finely diced
1 medium sprig rosemary, finely diced
¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups cooked diced turkey meat
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (If you aren’t using already seasoned Thanksgiving leftover mashed potatoes, then add 1/2 cup milk and 2 tablespoons butter to the plain mashed potatoes and heat for a couple of minutes on the stove top.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a large baking dish (10–12 inch round or an 11×7 rectangular) with cooking spray. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions, carrots and celery, and sauté 5-7 minutes, or until just tender. In a medium bowl, whisk milk and flour until flour dissolves. Add herbs, salt and pepper. Add turkey to the vegetables. Add the milk-flour mixture. Stir occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the peas and stir. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, leaving a ½-inch space between the potatoes and the dish. Cook for 20–25 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble around the edges and the potatoes are lightly browned. Serves 6-8.
Wine Recommendation: Comfort food calls for comfort wine. A big, round, ripe Chardonnay such as the Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Canoe Ridge Estate ($22)—or a rich Washington Merlot. Try the Columbia 2007 Crest Grand Estates ($12). —Paul Gregutt
Turkey Mole Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Recipe courtesy Nicole Pederson, chef, Found Kitchen and Social House, Evanston, Illinois
These toothsome mole-slathered tacos replace that dry, next-day turkey sandwich. The key is to salt the cabbage before making the slaw in order to ensure a satisfying crunch.
1 pound tomatillos, peeled and washed
1 large white onion, peeled and halved
2 whole jalapeños
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon allspice, ground
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
2 dried mulato chilies, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or until tender
4 dried guajillo chilies, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or until tender
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt
8 cups of cooked, pulled turkey
8 3-inch corn tortillas
1 tablespoon salt, plus additional to taste
2 cups cabbage, red, napa, or green or a combination, sliced thin
2 cups chow chow (a pickled Southwestern-style relish available at Whole Foods or other gourmet stores)
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon salt, plus additional to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
On a grill or in the broiler set to medium-high heat, roast the tomatillos, onion and jalapeños until they’re well charred, approximately 3–5 minutes on each side. In a medium skillet over high heat, toast the seeds and spices until they’re fragrant. Combine the vegetables with the spices, chilies, honey and salt, and purée them in a blender to the make the mole sauce.
Heat a large rondeau (or wide, heavy-bottomed pot) over high heat until it’s very hot, then add the mole sauce all at once (it will bubble and boil rapidly). Let it boil for 3–5 minutes, then remove it from the heat. Incorporate the pulled turkey until it’s well coated.
Next, fill a large bowl with water and add the salt and cabbage. Let the cabbage sit for 30 minutes, then strain it in a colander and squeeze out any extra water. Combine the cabbage, chow chow, cilantro, lime, zest and juice, and season with salt, to taste. Add a dash of the cayenne pepper if desired.
Pile chunks of the mole-coated turkey on corn tortillas and top with cabbage slaw. Serves 8.
Chef Pairing: The 2011 Dry Riesling from Good Harbor Vineyards intensifies the flavors of the mole sauce and refreshes the palate.
Curried Turkey Salad Wraps
Recipe by Susan Russo.
Variation: Make two sandwiches with toasted bread, such as rye, whole wheat, or pumpernickel. The addition of dried cranberries will add tartness.
2 ¼ cups cooked, shredded or chopped turkey meat
¼ cup diced celery, preferably the inner white stalks
½ up diced tart apple, such as Granny Smith
¼ cup diced ripe mango
2 scallions, finely sliced
¼ cup coarsely chopped cashews
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 teaspoons hot curry powder
salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
3–4 (6-inch) tortillas
1 tablespoon dried cranberries (optional)
In a medium bowl, mix together turkey, celery, apple, mango, scallions, cashews and cranberries. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour over turkey mixture, stirring until well coated. Place in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours before serving. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas for 1 minute per side. Divide turkey evenly and close wraps. Makes 4 wraps.
Wine Recommendations: The curry rules this dish, so you might bring out the spicy Hogue 2009 Gewürztraminer ($11); the off-dry Apex 2008 Riesling ($15); or a fruity Oregon Pinot Gris such as the Adelsheim’s 2009 from the Willamette Valley ($19). —P. G.
Seared Foie Gras and Stuffing Terrine with Cranberry-Pomegranate Reduction
Recipe courtesy Ruben Garcia, executive chef, The Ritz-Carlton, Denver
This sumptuous recipe, inspired by Chef Ruben Garcia’s days in culinary school, kicks up the traditional Turkey Day flavors by adding a touch of fatty duck liver.
2 cups cranberry sauce
1 cup orange juice
½ cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus extra for brushing
6 cups stuffing (at room temperature)
2 cups blanched green beans
5 ounces cooked, pulled turkey meat
1 tablespoon craisins
6 ounces foie gras, cleaned and sliced into 4 1½-ounce pieces
1 cup hot chicken stock, plus additional if necessary
Fleur de sel, to taste
1 ounce pomegranate seeds
3 mandarin orange slices
½ cup mache lettuce
In a skillet over high heat, add the cranberry sauce, orange and pomegranate juices, and reduce the mixture, approximately 8 minutes, or until the mixture resembles a glaze. Remove the mixture from the heat, strain it and set it aside.
Preheat an oven to 300˚F.
Brush the inside of a terrine mold with oil. Line the inside of the mold with plastic wrap, carefully lining and adhering the wrap to the walls, leaving about 1 inch of extra wrap hanging over all the edges of the mold to cover the terrine with later.
Line the bottom of the mold with stuffing, pressing it down, until it’s about ½ inch high. Carefully line the stuffing with green beans, lengthwise. Cover the beans with another layer of stuffing about ½-inch high, and top with pulled turkey meat. Add the craisins in a line down the center of the mold. Fill in mold with more stuffing and press firmly and evenly to seal all layers.
Cover with hot chicken stock (about 1 cup, depending on the dryness of the stuffing) to help bind the terrine in the oven. Seal the terrine with the remaining plastic wrap and press firmly.
Next, place the terrine in a large pan that allows for about an inch on all sides. Pour water into the pan until it reaches the top of the terrine mold. Place it in the oven and cook it for about 25 minutes. Once it’s cooled, cut out a piece of cardboard from a box to the size of the mold and place it on top of the terrine. Press down with the cardboard and place a can or brick on top to add pressure. Keep refrigerated overnight.
The next day, carefully remove the terrine by placing the mold upside down and gently pulling away the plastic wrap. It should stand firm. Cut it into ¾-inch slices and set aside.
Preheat a nonstick pan. Add canola oil and sear the slices of terrine on both sides, then set aside. Preheat another pan until it’s almost smoking and quickly sear the foie gras on both sides. Season with fleur de sel.
On a plate, carefully set down one piece of the terrine and cover with a slice of foie gras, then layer another piece of terrine and finish with the last piece of foie gras. Drizzle cranberry- pomegranate reduction, then garnish with pomegranate seeds, oranges and mache lettuce.Serves 4.
Chef Pairing: Hartford Court’s 2009 Land’s Edge Vineyard Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast shows well-balanced acidity that will cut through the flavors of the foie gras.
Turkey and Prosciutto Sandwich with Gorgonzola and Arugula
Recipe by Susan Russo.
Elevate the classic next-day turkey sandwich by adding creamy gorgonzola and prosciutto.
4 thick slices rye bread
1 teaspoon olive oil
6–8 ounces sliced leftover turkey
4 slices of prosciutto
2 tablespoons mayo
2 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
8 fresh arugula leaves
Preheat broiler. Drizzle bread slices with olive oil and place under broiler for 4–5 minutes, or until golden brown. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the turkey. Heat it until warmed all the way through, usually about 5–6 minutes. Place prosciutto slices in a hot skillet for 1 minute until slightly crispy. Spread mayo on the toasted bread slices. Top with crumbled gorgonzola, fresh arugula, heated turkey and prosciutto. Note: Crusty ciabatta bread is also a delicious alternative. Makes 2 sandwiches.
Wine Recommendations: A blended red works, as the gorgonzola can sometimes clash with a too-tannic Cabernet. Go with something young and fruity such as the Columbia Crest Two Vines 2008 Vineyard 10 ($8), a mongrel blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, Grenache and Cabernet Franc. —P. G.
Sweet Potatoes, Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Soup
Recipe courtesy Randal Gresham, sous chef,The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming.
Short on time? In less than an hour, you can pull together this rich, warming sweet potato soup, where turkey and cranberry reduction act as tasty toppings, and sweet potatoes are the star.
1 cup cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 celery ribs
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart turkey stock
2 pounds leftover mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash Sherry vinegar
8 ounces cooked turkey
In a skillet over high heat, reduce the cranberry sauce by half and set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat, add the olive oil and sweat the onion, celery, leek and garlic. Once translucent, deglaze them with the white wine and reduce by half. Add the stock and sweet potatoes, and cook for 10 minutes. Blend thoroughly with either an immersion blender or by carefully transferring in batches to a traditional blender. Return the mixture to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Add the cream and cook until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. Season the mixture with nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne and vinegar.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, reheat the turkey. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with the turkey and cranberry sauce reduction. Serves 4.
Chef Pairing: Pair this creamy soup with the buttery 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay from Terlato Family Vineyards.
Turkey and Sausage Jambalaya
Recipe by Jill Silverman Hough.
An easy, one-pot meal that turns Thanksgiving leftovers into something deliciously different.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
9–12 ounces cooked andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally into ½-inch slices
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
1 large onion, cut into ½-inch dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cooked turkey, shredded or cut into ½-inch dice
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (with their juices)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½-cups long grain white rice
In a stockpot over medium heat, warm the butter and olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the turkey, tomatoes, broth, wine, thyme, bay leaf, salt, paprika and cayenne. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost all absorbed, about 25 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
Wine Recommendations: Here we’re into a winter stew with a bit of heat, so crank up the volume on the wine. A Cabernet Syrah or Rhône will work well. Two to look for: Hogue 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($11); and Olsen Estates 2007 Rouge des Coteaux ($18). —P. G.
Pan-fried Stuffing Cakes with Poached Eggs and Truffled Hollandaise Sauce
Recipe courtesy Toni Robertson, chef, Asiate Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York City
These simple-to-make stuffing cakes are perfect for a post-Turkey Day brunch. Just add poached eggs and dress them up with truffled Hollandaise sauce for a sumptuous, wine-friendly dish.
4 cups stuffing
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional
4 poached eggs
3 egg yolks
¼ cup water
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup clarified butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup chopped white truffles
½ teaspoon truffle oil
Microgreens, if desired, for garnish
Form 8 stuffing patties using about ½ cup of stuffing for each. Sprinkle oil onto a nonstick pan and sauté the patties over medium-high heat until they are crispy on both sides. Press down occasionally and add additional oil if necessary.
In small saucepan, whisk egg yolks, water and lemon juice until blended. Cook it over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles at the edges. Stir in the butter slowly until it’s melted and the sauce has thickened. Remove it from the heat immediately. Stir in the salt, paprika, chopped truffle and truffle oil.
Per plate, place the poached egg on top of the two patties and add a spoonful of the truffle hollandaise sauce. Add a sprinkling of microgreens for garnish, if desired. Serves 4.
Chef Pairing: Pour J&H Selbach’s 2012 Riesling Spätlese for its citrus character and crisp sweetness.
Turkey Linguine Alfredo with Mushrooms
Recipe by Karen Berman
Perfect for a chilly night, this creamy pasta dish will make you forget you're eating leftovers.
1 (16-ounce) package linguine
1 stick (4 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
10 ounces sliced white mushrooms
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1½ cups light cream or half-and-half, plus more if necessary
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese or Parmesan and Romano cheese blend, plus more for serving
¼ teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
2 cups cooked turkey, boned and roughly cut into bite-sized pieces
Few sprigs fresh oregano for garnish (optional)
Cook the linguine according to the package directions. When it’s done, drain and keep warm. Reserve the pasta water.
In a frying pan set over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with the oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 20 to 30 seconds (be careful that it does not burn). Add the mushrooms, stir to coat with the butter, and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring often for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their liquid (it evaporates and they begin to turn golden brown). Stir often and adjust the heat if necessary to keep the mushrooms from burning.
In a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter. Add the cream a little at a time and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and you can draw a line at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the mixture frequently and reduce the heat if necessary to prevent it from burning. (If necessary, remove the skillet from the heat for a minute.
Reduce the heat to medium, if you haven’t already done so. Add the cheese to skillet and stir gently to combine. Add the oregano, if using, and season with black pepper.
Add the turkey and the mushrooms, reserving a few golden ones for garnish, toss to coat with the sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through. If the mixture becomes to dry, add a few ladles of pasta water and stir to incorporate, until you achieve a saucy consistency. With a slotted spoon, transfer the linguine into the skillet and toss to coat with sauce and incorporate the turkey. If the mixture again becomes too dry, add a little more pasta water and stir to incorporate. Taste and if necessary, season lightly with salt and a little black pepper. Spoon into large pasta or soup bowls, sprinkle with grated cheese and garnish with the reserved cooked mushrooms and a few sprigs of fresh oregano, if using. Serves 4.
Wine Recommendations: A spicy, sassy Chardonnay is a good bet here, such as the 2009 Nake Chardonnay from Ryan Patrick Vineyards ($9). Continuing the theme, there is also the organically grown 2008 Naked Chardonnay from Snoqualmie ($12). —P.G.
Turkey and Bacon Wrap with Herbed Cranberry Mayonnaise
Recipe by Karen Berman
An elegant but simple wrap, this turkey-bacon club is elevated by the addition of Herbed Cranberry Mayonnaise made with dried sweetened cranberries and fresh thyme. To remove the leaves from the thyme quickly, hold a stem from the top end with one hand and slide your fingers firmly down its length the other. The leaves will slide off.
Herbed Cranberry Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup mayonnaise
Turkey and Bacon Wraps
8 strips bacon
4 8-inch flour tortillas
4 to 8 leaves romaine lettuce
2 cups cooked turkey, boned roughly cut or torn into long strips
To make the mayo, process the thyme leaves, cranberries and olive oil in a food processor until well chopped; the mixture will almost have the consistency of a paste. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the mayonnaise until combined. (If you are tempted to mix in the mayonnaise in the processor, do so only for about 5 seconds. Longer processing will cause the mayo to separate and become oily.) Set aside to let the flavors marry while you make the rest of the wrap. (You can make the mayo several hours ahead if you wish. Cover and chill it in the refrigerator.)
To make the wraps, cook the bacon: Cover a platter with paper towel and place the bacon strips on it in a single layer. Cook for 3 minutes, stopping to check for doneness halfway through the cooking, and if necessary, continue microwaving until crispy, stopping every minute or so to keep it from burning.
Place a tortilla on a work surface and lay 1 large or 2 small romaine leaves about half an inch from the edge nearest you. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the mayo into the leaves and top with about ½ cup turkey. Place 2 bacon slices on top, roll up the wrap and secure with 2 toothpicks placed so you can cut the wrap in half and each half will be secured by 1 pick. Cut the wrap on a diagonal. Then trim the outside ends to make a neat, flat surface so the pieces can stand upright if you like. Repeat with the other 3 tortillas and serve. Serves 4.
Wine Recommendations: Anytime there are cranberries involved, thoughts turn to Grenache or a sappy Rhône blend. The Subduction Red from Syncline ($18) is always a favorite—generally a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Carignan. —P. G.