If I had to pick my favorite meal of the year, it would hands-down be Thanksgiving dinner, even though I’m actually one of those people who doesn’t like the turkey. Don’t @ me (do people still say that?), it’s just who I am. But give me every possible side dish and I’m a happy woman. Multiple desserts? Yes please! A (usually) dry piece of meat? No thank you.
I’ll typically have one bite of turkey, because people get very heated about my dislike for the main dish. And even though that’s all I take at Thanksgiving dinner, I actually love repurposing turkey after the fact. Turkey-focused leftover creations are where it really shines. Turkey smothered in pesto? Pass it my way!
So while Thanksgiving dinner ranks number one in my book, the leftover meals that follow are a close second. We’ve rounded up 20 mouthwatering recipes that will turn your turkey and other leftovers into delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1. Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry, Brie, and Mashed Potato Waffle Melts
A waffle sandwich with mashed potatoes? Yes, please. These melts combine all your Thanksgiving favorites in a delectable new way.
2. Leftover Turkey Salad
Top a bed of lettuce or some fresh bread with this turkey salad for an easy and fresh after-Thanksgiving lunch.
3. Turkey Tetrazzini with Crunchy Honey Dijon Topping
Is your family sticking around after Thanksgiving? This turkey tetrazzini feeds eight and cooks in one pot for easy clean-up.
4. Croque Madame
These fancy-looking sandwiches come together in 20 minutes using eggs, leftover turkey, Gruyère, prosciutto, and even mashed potatoes and gravy.
5. Turkey Tortilla Soup
Soup is such a handy hack for leftovers, and this turkey tortilla recipe repurposes Thanksgiving dinner for a totally different flavor profile.
6. Loaded Turkey Panini
For yet another delicious sandwich, switch things up a little bit with this panini that uses fried sage leaves and a “cheese bomb” of Muenster and goat cheese.
7. Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza
Thanksgiving flavors come together in a unique and delicious way with this turkey and cranberry pizza.
8. Turkey Cornbread Casserole
This casserole takes 20 minutes to prep and can be a great savory option to feed a larger family the day after Thanksgiving.
9. Low Carb Turkey Stuffing Waffles
Perfect as a breakfast-for-dinner meal—or really any meal—the only special tool you’ll need for this recipe is a waffle maker.
10. Cranberry and Turkey Turnovers
Grab an extra container of puff pastry when grocery shopping to throw together these three-ingredient turkey turnovers.
11. Arugula Pesto Turkey Tartine
This elevated turkey sandwich with fresh arugula and mozzarella is as impressive as it is easy to throw together.
12. Leftover Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict
The perfect fuel for Black Friday shopping, leftover turkey and gravy get a breakfast makeover as eggs Benedict.
13. Vegan Orange Cranberry Waffles
For a festive breakfast, these waffles are topped with a maple cranberry compote to further repurpose your cranberry leftovers.
14. Loaded Turkey Nacho Salad Bowls
Leftover turkey and seasonal veggies—like carrots and sweet potato—come together deliciously in these turkey nacho salad bowls.
15. Creamy Turkey Soup
This hearty chowder can feed the whole gang—or you can freeze for a winter day when you need a quick and easy meal to warm up.
16. Green Chile Butternut Squash and Turkey Enchiladas with Crispy Sage
Crispy sage is the special ingredient in many of these Thanksgiving leftover recipes, like these squash and turkey enchiladas. You can also reuse your cranberries as a salsa topper for this yummy dish.
17. Turkey Pesto Panini
These easy-to-make turkey paninis have a little Italian flare with tomato, pesto, and mozzarella.
18. Easy 30-Minute Turkey Noodle Soup
The quintessential Thanksgiving leftover recipe, this turkey noodle soup will taste just like your Grandma made it.
19. Ham Cobb Salad
If your family uses ham in lieu of (or in addition to) turkey, try this Cobb salad recipe with Greek yogurt ranch dressing.
20. Holiday Hoagie with Turkey, Bacon, and Brussels Sprouts
What makes this sandwich special? It consists of thinly-sliced red pear, shaved Brussels sprouts, and bacon atop turkey leftovers. Need we say more?