5 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes Beyond The Turkey Sandwich

<br/><br/>While there's nothing wrong with a turkey sandwich with all the fixins, thinking a little outside the box can breathe new life into Thanksgiving leftovers, especially if you're moving into Day Two of tearing apart that turkey carcass. If you haven't already set your heart on that <a href="">delicious turkey pie</a>, here are a few suggestions for avoiding turkey ennui.

It doesn't have to be this way! (Thomas M Perkins/Shutterstock)

<br/><br/><strong>Mashed Potato Turkey Cakes</strong><br/><br/>These cakes are easy and fun to make, and delicious to boot. Serve them for dinner with a leafy salad or as a base for eggs benedict at a post-Thanksgiving brunch.<br/><br/><li>2 cups mashed potatoes</li><li>1 cup shredded turkey</li><li>2 eggs, beaten</li><li>1/2 bread crumbs OR leftover, uncooked stuffing mix, pulverized (You know, that good stuff in the box/bag)</li><li>1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)</li><li>splash milk (optional)</li><li>vegetable oil</li><br/><br/>In a large bowl, mix together mashed potatoes, parsley and a little bit of milk to make the mixture more pliable. Take two small handfuls of mashed potato and flatten them into discs. Take a little bit of the turkey and place between them, closing up the edges to form one big patty. Dip the patty into the beaten eggs and then roll in the breadcrumbs/stuffing. Repeat until you've used all of the potato/turkey. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.<br/><br/>Preheat oven to 300 degrees.<br/><br/>In a large, non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan until the oil shimmers. Cook the patties on each side until they are golden brown and heated through (approximately 5 minutes per side though it depends on how thick you made your patties.)<br/><br/>Keep patties in a warm in the oven until you've fried all of them.

(Nell Casey/Gothamist)

<br/><br/><strong>Mashed Potato Gnocchi With Turkey Ragout</strong><br/><br/>This incredibly easy gnocchi recipe takes advantage of your already mashed potatoes for a quick, creamy version of the Italian dumplings. Serve the gnocchi with a simple turkey ragout to use up your leftovers quickly.<br/><br/><u>Mashed Potato Gnocchi:</u><li>2 Cups Mashed Potatoes</li><li>1 Cup All Purpose Flour</li><li>1 Large Egg</li><li>pinch nutmeg</li><li>salt and pepper to taste</li><br/><br/><u>Turkey Ragout:</u><li>1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes</li><li>1 small can tomato paste</li><li>1 small onion, diced small</li><li>3 cloves of garlic, mined</li><li>3 tablespoons olive oil</li><li>1/2 cup red wine</li><li>1 cup shredded turkey meat, without skin</li><li>1 teaspoon red pepper flakes</li><li>1 teaspoon dried oregano</li><li>1 bay leaf</li><li>salt and pepper</li><br/><br/>For the ragout, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat then add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Just before the onions are done, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and bay leaf and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook for several minutes then season with salt and pepper. Next, add the crushed tomatoes and red wine. Reduce heat low and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add the turkey cook for a few minutes to heat up. Season with more salt and pepper as needed. <br/><br/>For the gnocchi, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Depending on how dry or runny your potatoes are to begin with, you may need to add more or less flour. Start with 1 cup of flour for every 2 cups of mashed potato and add more if needed. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out the mixture until it's about an inch thick. Cut 1 inch cubes then roll each piece with a fork to create the ribs. Drop the dumplings in salted boiling water until they float to the top. <br/><br/>Strain then top with turkey ragout, parmesan cheese and fresh basil.<br/><br/><strong>Quick cheat:</strong> Use your favorite store brand tomato sauce and just add the turkey and veggies.<br/><br/><strong>Variation:</strong> Instead of a red sauce, thin out leftover gravy with chicken stock, wine or just plain old water. Toss gravy with turkey and veggies and serve as a sauce.

(Nell Casey/Gothamist)

<br/><br/><strong>Lazy Man's Turkey Pot Pie</strong><br/><br/>If you're just plain tuckered out from a full day of cooking, this extremely simple recipe combines the best of your Thanksgiving leftovers into a one-dish meal that takes a snap to put together.<br/><br/><li>2 Cups Shredded Turkey</li><li>2 Cups Gravy</li><li>Chopped Leftover Veggies, chopped (corn, glazed carrots, string beans, peas) Leftover Biscuits OR 1 Tube Refrigerated Biscuits</li><br/><br/>Preheat oven to 350 degrees.<br/><br/>Combine all the ingredients except biscuits into a bowl. If you don't have quite enough gravy to make a really bubbly sauce, supplement with a quick-made roux of butter, flour and chicken stock or just add 1/2 cup of chicken broth straight into the bowl. If you go the second route, you may need to add more salt and pepper.<br/><br/>If you're using leftover biscuits: Heat the meat, gravy and veggie mixture over the stove on low heat until everything is warmed through. Transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish and spread evenly. Cut each biscuit in half and place the halves on top of the turkey mixture so that most of it is covered.<br/><br/>If you're using uncooked biscuits: Place the turkey mixture into a buttered baking dish and top with the uncooked. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the mixture is hot.<br/><br/>Baked for 10-15 minutes or until everything is hot and bubbling. If the biscuits are starting to turn too brown, cover with aluminum foil. <br/><br/><strong>Variation:</strong> If you don't have any biscuits on hand, substitute with mashed potatoes for a riff on Shepherd's Pie.

(Robert Gubbins/Shutterstock)

<br/><br/><strong>Savory Thanksgiving Bread Pudding</strong><br/><br/>Another very simple and comforting recipe that takes advantage of ingredients you'll already have on hand. Bread pudding is a great canvas for lots of different flavors so don't be afraid to play around with the leftovers you have to create your own version of this classic dish.<br/><br/><li>1 cup milk</li><li>1 cup gravy</li><li>3 eggs</li><li>5-6 cups old bread, cubed into 1 inch pieces</li><li>1 teaspoon dried thyme</li><li>1 teaspoon dried sage</li><li>1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper</li><li>salt and pepper to taste</li><li>1 1/2 cup diced turkey meat</li><li>Leftover veggies, chopped</li><li>1/2 cup chunky cranberry sauce (as delicious as the gelatinous canned variety is, it doesn't work as well in this recipe)</li><li>1/4 cup Parmesan cheese</li><br/><br/>Preheat oven to 350 degrees.<br/><br/>Combine the milk, gravy, eggs and dried seasonings to a bowl then add bread and soak for 10 minutes. Mix in the turkey, veggies and cranberry sauce and then pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and cook for 25 minutes or until the pudding has risen and is golden brown on top.

(Nancy Kennedy/Shutterstock)

<br/><br/><strong>Turkey And Stuffing "Soup" Dumplings</strong><br/><br/>Everyone loves dumplings and this recipe is perfect when you're scraping the bottom of the turkey barrel, so to speak. While they won't be much like a real soup dumpling, the gravy heats up nicely inside the wonton wrapper, giving the filling a nice, juice quality. <br/><br/><u>For the dumplings</u>:<li>1 package wonton wrappers</li><li>1/2 cup leftover turkey, finely chopped</li><li>1/4 cup leftover stuffing, finely chopped</li><li>1 green onion, chopped</li><li>1 egg yolk</li><li>leftover gravy, cold (should be slightly gelatinous)</li><br/><br/><u>For the dipping sauce</u>:<li>1/2 cup chicken stock</li><li>1/4 cup cranberry sauce (if you're using whole berries, macerate first)</li><li>1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste)</li><li>2 tablespoons soy sauce</li><li>lemon zest (optional)</li>1 squirt sriracha (optional)<br/><br/>To make the dumplings: Combine turkey, stuffing, onion and egg in a bowl and mix until combined. If the mixture seems very dry, add a few tablespoons of water until it's soft but not wet. Lay the wonton wrappers on a clean surface and spoon approximately half to a full tablespoon of the turkey mixture onto each wonton. Spoon a teaspoon of the cold gravy on top of turkey mixture. <br/><br/>To seal the dumplings, dip your finger in water and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Fold in half, then begin making pleats with one side of the wrapper, making sure to make a tight seal with both sides. (Here's an <a href="">awesome video</a> that shows you how to seal the dumplings. Skip ahead to the 2:15 mark to see the technique.) Place completed dumplings on a floured sheet pan underneath a damp kitchen towel. <br/><br/>Heat about half a tablespoon of vegetable oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) over medium heat. Fry the dumplings until the bottoms are golden brown, approximately three minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover immediately, steaming for an additional 3 minutes or until dumplings are heated through. Serve immediately with dipping sauce. <br/><br/>To make the sauce: heat chicken stock in a small pot over medium-low heat. When the stock is simmering, add the cranberry sauce and balsamic and cook until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool, then add lemon zest and sriracha before serving.