What to Do with Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving leftovers GIF

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now you’re left with a mountain of uneaten food. Don’t let it go to waste! Try these three recipes — turkey salad, sweet cranberry turnovers, and savory mashed potato pancakes — for a new spin on traditional Turkey Day leftovers.

Turkey salad sandwiches

Put that extra turkey, celery, and cranberry sauce to use in a turkey salad. Spread on leftover rolls, sandwich bread, or crackers — or try it tossed in a salad with greens.

Turkey salad ingredients


  • ¾ lb. cooked turkey meat
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. cranberry sauce
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Turkey salad step 1

Finely chop cooked turkey meat, celery, and scallions in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, use a knife.

Turkey salad step 2

Transfer the chopped ingredients to a bowl and add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, and cranberry sauce. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers
Use leftover cranberry sauce to whip up these turnovers, which make sweet breakfast treats or afternoon snacks.

Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers ingredients


  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1½ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • ¾ c. leftover cranberry sauce
  • Water, for icing
  • Optional: melted butter

How to make Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers

Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, whisk together the cream cheese, egg yolks, and 1 cup of powdered sugar until smooth, around 2 to 3 minutes.

How to make Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers

Once mixed, spoon in the cranberry sauce.

How to make Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers

Roll out 3 sheets of phyllo dough and cut into small squares, keeping the sections 3-sheets thick. Place a large spoonful of the cream cheese cranberry mixture in the center of each square.

Wet your finger with water and run it along the edges of the pastry dough, then fold the dough over to form a triangle. Press the edges of the dough together to seal.

Note: If you’d like a more buttery crust, lightly brush the outer layer of dough with melted butter. You can also use butter in place of the water to seal the dough.

Transfer turnovers to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until puffed and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers icing

While the turnovers are cooling, make the icing. Whisk together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth.

Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers

Drizzle the frosting over the turnovers using a fork or piping bag. Yield: about 14.

Mashed potato pancakes

Leftover mashed potatoes get new flavor and texture with these savory pancakes.

Mashed potato pancake ingredients


  • 4 c. mashed potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Oil, for frying
  • Optional: green onions, sour cream, applesauce

Mashed potato pancakes step 1

Using a potato masher, thoroughly combine mashed potatoes, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper.

Mashed potato pancakes step 2

In a skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Using an ice cream scooper, drop the batter onto the hot pan, 1 scoop per pancake. Brown on both sides.

Mashed potato pancakes

Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream and green onions, applesauce, or any other toppings you desire. Yield: about 10.