Lots of leftovers? 11 recipes for all that Thanksgiving turkey (and more)

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With the potatoes mashed, movies watched and football over, you may find yourself with a messy house and a full stomach — and loads of leftover turkey.

If you’re not sure how to use it all, you’ve come to the right place. We’re breaking down how long your leftovers will last, plus nearly a dozen creative recipes for what to do with it.

How long does leftover Thanksgiving turkey last?

You have two to three days to safely eat or freeze your turkey, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The same goes for giblets.

Looking for more specifics on how long you can use leftovers like soups, stews or cooked beef? Bay Area News Group’s Lisa M. Krieger breaks it all down here.

How long does leftover Thanksgiving turkey last?

Leftover turkey recipes

Try this recipe for irresistible chilaquiles that showcase slivers of cooked turkey, writes Cathy Thomas for Southern California News Group.

Recipe: Make this tasty Mexican dish with your Thanksgiving leftovers

Alternatively, turkey hash is a one-pot meal that tastes great the second day, according to Tribune News Service’s Linda Gassenheimer. “You can double the recipe if you have time and save the rest for another day. It also freezes well,” Gassenheimer adds.

Turkey hash a perfect one-pot meal


While you could pile everything into sandwiches with dollops of cranberry sauce and lashings of gravy, Bay Area News Group’s Jackie Burrell has a bit more inspiration to shake up your sandwiches. Check out these four epic sandwich recipes that utilize leftover turkey. Think artisan herbed turkey and brie sandwiches, plus a turkey salad courtesy of food show celebrity Alton Brown.

Build a Better: Thanksgiving leftovers? Hello, sandwich!

Beth Dooley of the Star Tribune put together a few more creative options, including turkey pho. (You can also grab the recipe for leftover mushroom croquettes from Dooley.)

Turn Thanksgiving leftovers into a knockout meal

Leftover pumpkin recipes

Looking for ways to use up leftover pumpkin after making the requisite pie? These three pumpkin dishes from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gretchen McKay “all put the bright orange puree to good use, in ways both sweet and savory.”

These 3 pumpkin dishes might upstage the turkey on the table

Contributing: Jackie Burrell and Lisa M. Krieger, Bay Area News Group; Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Beth Dooley, Star Tribune; Linda Gassenheimer, Tribune News Service

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