Give Your Thanksgiving Leftovers A Makeover With These 5 Yummy Recipes

Okay, it’s the day after Thanksgiving and not only is your stomach full, so is your fridge. You have tons of leftovers from the big meal yesterday but don’t want to recreate the Thanksgiving feast (#RIPstomach), so what do you do? Well, here are some of our absolute favorite leftover recipes to use up all that turkey, ham, and chicken!


Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Grilled Cheese

You’re probably still in a food coma from yesterday, so you don’t want to have to do anything crazy today. Why not take those turkey leftovers and cranberry sauce, add some cheese, and viola! You’re done! This elevated grilled cheese leftover recipe is equal parts Thanksgiving and comfort food and your food-coma self will thank you with how simple it is to put together! Thanks to Vanessa from Zest & Simmer for the recipe!



  • 4 slices thick, sturdy bread
  • 5 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 100g brie cheese , cut into slices
  • 8 oz roast turkey
  • 2 tbsp butter


Spread butter on one side of each of the pieces of bread. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and put two slices of bread butter side down in the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the cranberry sauce to each of those slices, then evenly divide the brie cheese and turkey over top. Spread the remaining tablespoon of cranberry sauce on the last two slices of bread and place them cranberry sauce side down to top off the sandwiches.
Cook for a few minutes, pressing down gently on the sandwiches with the turner/spatula to gently flatten them. Allow to cook until the bread is golden brown. Carefully flip the sandwiches and cook another minute or two until that side is also golden brown. (Alternatively, if you have a panini press you could also cook the sandwiches on this.) Remove from skillet and serve immediately.

Turkey Soup

Turkey soup is the perfect end to a full day of eating followed up by a full day of online Black Friday deals. If you made a full turkey and want to use the bones to make your own stock for the soup, that’s just an extra layer of fancy! If not, feel free to use chicken broth or store bought turkey stock for this comforting recipe, and get creative! There’s a lot of flexibility with veggies if you have any leftovers that aren’t in a casserole that you want to throw in! Just make sure to add them at the end so they don’t get too mushy. Thanks to Kristen from The Endless Meal for this leftover recipe! 

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  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 6 cups turkey stock (DIY recipe is here)
  • 3 cups reserved turkey meat
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Optional: cooked egg noodles


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until it begins to brown in a few places, about 5 minutes.
Add the celery, turkey stock, and the reserved turkey meat to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are soft. Season to taste generously with sea salt.
If you’re using the egg noodles, add them cooked to your soup bowl, ladle in the soup, and garnish with a little sprinkle of parsley.

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Maybe you’re not a turkey lover and are now wondering what to do with your leftover ham — this Split Pea and Ham Soup is perfect for you! For a decadent taste with minimal effort, this take on a classic is an easy way to use up your leftovers and keep the Thanksgiving spirit going a little bit longer. Thanks to Erren at Erren’s Kitchen for the recipe!

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A post shared by Erren Hart 🍽 Food Blogger (@errenskitchen)


  • 1 large ham bone or ham hock
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped) 
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 medium carrots (chopped into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
  • 3 potatoes (peeled and diced 
  • 1 point dried split green peas (rinsed)
  • 8 cups ham stock (or chicken or veggie
  • Small bunch parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


In a large soup pot, saute the onions over medium heat in olive oil until translucent (about 4-5 minutes), add the chopped garlic and cook another minute (being careful to not let it get too dark). Add the peas, hocks, carrots, and celery. Tie the parsley and bay leaf together with kitchen string. Add the herb bundle, stock, paprika, and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer; cover and cook (stirring often) 30 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and cook until soup is thick and peas have almost disintegrated, about 30 minutes more. Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the bone to a bowl to cool. Pull meat from ham bone and shred. Remove the herb bundle from the soup and discard. Add the shredded ham and heat the soup to a simmer. If needed, season with salt and pepper. Serve hot!

Ham Breakfast Fajitas

It’s the morning after Thanksgiving and you’re looking for something easy but that will use up that ham you’ve got in the fridge. For a twist on the normal ham and egg scramble that you normally whip up, why don’t you try these ham breakfast fajitas? A mixture of traditional breakfast burritos with a few extra veggies to combat that carb overload, this leftover recipe for fajitas from Cooking Classy are the perfect solution for your post-Thanksgiving cravings.

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  • 8 large eggs 
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 small bell peppers (cored and sliced into strips)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced into strips
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 8 6” tortillas, warmed
  • 2 medium avocados, chopped or sliced
  • Salsa, lime wedges, fresh cilantro or hot sauce, for serving (optional)


In a mixing bowl whisk together eggs and milk until well blended and season with salt and pepper, set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions, season with salt and pepper, and saute, tossing occasionally, until tender, crisp and slightly charred. Pour into a bowl, and set aside. Return skillet to heat, reduce burner to medium-low. Pour in remaining 1 tbsp oil and swirl pan to evenly coat. Add eggs and cook, stirring and scraping bottom constantly with a turner, until eggs just begin to set. Push eggs to one side, add ham to opposite side and heat through then toss into eggs. Add cheese and cook until eggs have just set. To assemble fajitas, layer warm tortillas with egg mixture, top with bell pepper mixture then avocados, and desired toppings. Serve immediately.

Thanksgiving Leftover Lasagna

Thanksgiving Lasagna doesn’t sound super appealing, but that’s the exact opposite of this easy layered leftover recipe. You simply layer your leftover stuffing, turkey/chicken, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and some cheese, bake it for 20 minutes and boom, you have a low-key yet delicious way to use up multiple leftovers in your fridge for the day after. Don’t forget the gravy on top for that extra flair! Thanks MyRecipes for this amazing idea!

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  • 1 14-oz can whole berry cranberry sauce, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds cooked turkey bread, sliced into 1/4-in. slices, divided
  • 3 cups cooked mashed potatoes, divided
  • 6 oz sharp white cheddar cheese shredded, divided


Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half of the stuffing in an even layer in bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread half of the cranberry sauce in an even layer over stuffing. Layer half of turkey slices on top of cranberry sauce, then spread half of the mashed potatoes on top of turkey slices. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on top of potatoes. Repeat layers once. Bake in preheated oven until lasagna is warmed through, about 20 minutes. Increase heat to broil, and broil until cheese is golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into 9 squares. Spoon gravy over each square to serve.


And there you have it! All the leftover recipes you need to dress up your Thanksgiving favorites. Will you be trying any of these? Let us know in the comments!

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