Holiday Leftovers You’ll Actually Want to Eat

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Lynda Layng
We hope these ideas inspire you to get creative with leftovers. If you try any of these let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you. And happy long weekend from all of us at Art & Cook.

After the guests leave, you’re left with a fridge full of leftovers. Yes, you can make a classic turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce. I won’t argue with that. In fact, I’ll join you! But after we’ve enjoyed our sandwiches, then what? 

How about taking it to the next level with the rest of the leftovers? Because we’ve still got a lot! So, as we nibble on pumpkin pie over the kitchen sink (yes, I do that too), let’s consider those mashed potatoes, leftover cheese platter ends, stuffing, and let’s create something new. Here are three dishes I created for my family that got rave reviews. How do you get creative with your leftovers? Leave us a note in the comments.

Crispy Potato Pancakes with Goat Cheese and Chives  

Combine 4 cups of cold mashed potatoes with ½ cup of your favorite goat cheese (or your favorite cheese) and 2 tablespoons of fresh chives with plenty of salt and pepper.  Stir until combined.  On the stovetop, heat up a cast iron skillet, or any skillet, with 1-2 tablespoons of oil. 

While the skillet is heating up, form potato mixture into hamburger slider size cakes.  Once the pan is heated, fry the potato pancakes a few at a time, cooking both sides until crispy, brown and heated through, about 4-5 minutes each side.  Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Watch closely.  Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. 

Serve with leftover cranberry sauce or warm cinnamon applesauce.  And garnish with fresh chives and more salt and fresh ground black pepper. 

Chef Note: If your potatoes are too wet, add some dry breadcrumbs to the mixture, a ¼ cup at a time, until it’s easier to form into patties.  

Turkey Pot Pie with a Stuffing Crust

An upgraded version of an old favorite, turkey pot pie.  This recipe uses all those leftovers in a new way, using one pan for easy clean up.  First thing to do is, dice up all the turkey into bite-size pieces.  Next add in frozen (or leftover) carrots, peas, corn and pearl onions.  In a skillet over medium heat, heat up one to two tablespoons of oil.  Once warm, add in the leftover vegetables.  Allow to warm through for 3-5 minutes, especially if frozen.  Then add in your diced turkey, stir to combine. 

Now for the liquid: Take leftover gravy and add either water or chicken broth to make a loose liquid, resembling the gravy in the pot pie.  Not too watery, but thick enough for the pot pie.  Add this liquid into the saute pan and stir to combine with the turkey and veggies.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside. 

In a greased oven-safe casserole dish, pour in the turkey vegetable mixture.  Then top the casserole with a healthy amount of stuffing to form the crust.  Heat in the oven to toast the stuffing and heat the casserole through.  Start at 375 degrees, for 10-12 minutes or longer depending on your oven.  Once the top is lightly browned and crunchy, and the turkey vegetable mixture is heated through, it’s ready.  Just add a fresh green salad and dinner is served.  

Turkey Melts on Sourdough with Gravy 

Last, but not least is a fun sandwich idea.  A buttery, crispy turkey melt using leftover cheese ends from your charcuterie board or a mild, melty gruyere.  The key here is good bread.  A thick slice of fresh sourdough, with just enough tanginess to combine with the mellow turkey and cheese for a party in your mouth.  Dip it into a cup of warm gravy and you’re all set. 

This amazing sandwich comes together quickly, so you can get back to your latest Netflix binge and enjoy the long holiday weekend feeling full.  

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