“What am I going to make with all these leftovers?”
It’s a pretty common phrase used during the holidays, especially after Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. The refrigerator is overflowing with half-full serving dishes or packed storage containers of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and half-a-dozen desserts still grace trays on the counter tops.
Rather than going for the “same-old-same-old” reheated plates and turkey sandwiches, I prefer to use the leftovers as creatively as possibly. This dish has been one of my favorites over the years and I still go back to it on a regular basis.
The concept is simple. Take all the flavors that were at the table for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, mix them all together and add a little of this or that to freshen them up a bit. It’s a truly comforting meal that you wouldn’t peg for a leftover dish if you didn’t know that it was.
- 3/4 to 1 lb leftover turkey meat (I prefer dark meat for this one)
- Approximately 4 cups leftover dressing.
- 2 to 3 pieces sourdough or whole wheat bread, crumbled.
- 1 cup turkey stock, chicken stock or giblet gravy.
- 1/2 small onion, chopped.
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried sage.
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or butter.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Break turkey into bite sized pieces. Saute celery and onions in olive oil in a large oven proof skillet or stove top safe casserole over medium low heat until just translucent. Remove from heat.
- Add remaining ingredients except stock and mix well. Drizzle stock over mixture evenly and press flat gently with back of a large spoon.
- Place dish in oven and cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until steaming. Remove cover, increase oven to 425°F and cook an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until top crumb is nicely browned and crisp.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Don’t have leftover dressing? Use some instant dressing out of a box, it’s still wonderful!
If you’ve got some leftover cranberry sauce, by all means, add it in. It makes for wonderful bursts of flavor throughout.
Sauté some mushrooms with the onions and carrot for a deeper, more earthy flavor.
Add some left over sweet potatoes.
Make up your own variation!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
It’s hard to say, really. I tossed this dish together this year and was extremely satisfied with the result. I’ve added most of the things in the variations list at one time or another as wee with good results. I would steer away from using mashed potatoes, though… Just trust me!
Links to other recipes like this:
- Barley and Shitake Rissoto with Leftover Turkey from the Accidental Hedonist.
- Thanksgiving Recipes from Simply Recipes
- Turkey wild Rice Casserole from A Veggie Venture
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