Leftovers and our favorite new word
November 25th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
Share this on:

I said it several weeks ago on Twitter and I still believe it to be true:

Here is a FREE ARTICLE for what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers. Ready? "Eat them; they are delicious. The end." Love, Kat.

It's true that there are dishes best served a la minute for optimum enjoyment; people aren't generally prone to stashing omelettes and pancakes into Tupperware containers for midnight noshes. Thanksgiving foods, though, tend to benefit from a night hunkered in the fridge, melding flavors and becoming exponentially more delicious.

To my mind, unless you're transmogrifying your excess sides into a wholly other form (like a Stuffpuppy), you don't need much direction other than "heat and serve," but judging from the amount of morning show coverage, newspaper articles and pitches in my inbox, folks are stumped by the surfeit of sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes currently occupying their icebox. I don't have that problem.

As for the "heat" part - I could eat stuffing that's been stored out on an ice floe, but my husband just can't deal with cold food. We're weird and don't own a microwave, but found that stock (chicken, turkey or vegetable), as always, is the solution to the problem. Just put leftovers in a pot, douse, cover and simmer just a bit for sufficiently warm, but not dried out casseroles, mashes, greens, stuffing, turkey and more.

But most importantly, the upshot of all of this is that I learned a new word today. "Crapulous" is defined by Merriam Webster as "marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking" and by Dictionary.com as "1. given to or characterized by gross excess in drinking or eating. 2. suffering from or due to such excess."

A delightful new word like that is something I'm going to be chewing on for a long time to come.

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Kate

    I always make turkey enchiladas! Very simple to do, just shred some of the leftover turkey and roll them up with your choice of toppings in your choice of tortillas. Top with sauce, bake, and enjoy! Delicious dinner and makes even more great leftovers.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  2. Nicole

    My father always made Turkey Waffles. I'm not sure if it's just a Pennsylvania Dutch thing. As a kid I was grossed out by the homemade waffles topped with the dark turkey meat simmered in gravy. But now, it's what motivates me to go home for the holidays. Sooo good.

    November 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  3. Lulu

    I look forward every year to a great dish made from leftover turkey that I grew up with....Turkey Tetrazini
    Turkey, spaghetti, mushrooms, mushroom soup, parmesan cheese and white wine.

    November 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  4. chefdugan

    My, my, how the culinarily deprived suffer! Just a few ways to educate yourself: turkey tetrazinni, turkey chili, turkey enchiladas in a cream sauce, turkey salad with walnuts and grapes, and of course turkey sandwiches with a layer of cranberry sauce on the bread or roll. That's why my cookbook, Help-I Gotta Cook! was awarded cookbook of the year, because I treat food instead of reading recipes.

    November 27, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  5. Claire

    I made a great vegetarian "gravy" for thanksgiving. It was made with walnuts, shallots, sage and other herbs. We had some leftover, so I tossed it with long whole wheat pasta and roasted mushrooms. Yum.

    REcipe for the sauce here...


    November 27, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • K9zGirl

      Sounds wonderful!

      November 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  6. The_Mick

    We replace the turkey with other meats during main meals where we use the leftover veggies. The leftover turkey is used primarily for sandwiches or turkey & gravy over bread. For main meals, we'll make fish or steak or pork chops, etc. to go with the leftover veggies and casseroles. Today, we're finishing off veggies including delicious seasoned mashed potatoes, Polish sauerkraut with kielbasa, green bean casserole and English Cauliflower with Cheddar Cheese sauce. Some extra pork would go great with all that: so we're cooking boneless pork chops to go with it. That way, we don't get so sick of turkey as we did in past years when we cooked a huge one and then ate almost nothing but turkey for a week.

    November 27, 2011 at 6:37 am |
  7. Gluteus Maximus

    Make sweet sweet love to the turkey carcass. Gravy for lube of course. Or cranberry sauce.

    November 27, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  8. hamsta

    notice obama left god out of his thanxgiving address.i guess i should thank obamas socialist agenda welfare recipients and the food stamp program for being to broke to buy a turkey.i dont have to look any further than next door to realize most welfare recipients choose not to work cuz they get paid to be lazy.

    November 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Nubian69

      My aren't we bitter! I think the topic today was what to do with the leftovers, not the crap you just spewed!

      November 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  9. John B

    My freeking family eats too much and there weren't any leftovers. I'll have to really think about who is expendable next year.

    November 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm |

    original crepe & use diced or shredded turkey w/pork gravy mush & onions.

    November 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Creepy

      Are turkey creeps people who abuse turkeys?

      November 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  11. Alohadeb

    I make turkey croquets. Gotta love the leftovers. Make a rue, add some sauteed onions, etc., pull the turkey that is left over and add to the rue. Mix together let cool, and then dip in egg and roll in bread crumbs. Fry in a shallow pot a few at a time and serve with mustard and a little salt. They even freeze well when uncooked. Another is turkey pot pie. Turkey turnovers....I bet I could come up with a host of recipes!! Enjoy the season it is a time to be thankful for everything we have!

    November 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  12. R & J

    First year we couldn't afford a Turkey much less the side dishes. So we went out and volunteered to serve food. Felt good to help someone else out and now we're full of good Karma!

    November 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • :-)

      Good for you.
      If more people were like you rather than Hamsta a few posts up, this world would be a better place.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  13. booktopiareviews

    soup, sammies, they all sound great. Our family does pot-luck so I have leftover broccoli salad and bread pudding. sigh. Oh to have the turkey and dressing in my fridge. :-( I may have to try the turkey pasties mentioned above...that sounds addictive.

    November 26, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  14. Mina

    Turkey sammiches are the best! I love to cook but when you're on the run and need a quick non-messy lunch, I always make black oatmeal bread rolls with mayo, lettuce and pulled white turkey meat. So good!
    We always save the stuffing and heat that up together with turkey sauerkraut and mashed rutabagas.
    Reheated always taste better and it skips the hassle of cooking all over again. Simplify!

    November 26, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  15. Love To Cook

    I have friends that eat Lobster & Stone Crabs for Thanksgiving so I invite them over the next night for the full dinner warmed up. This way, they feel like they had Thanksgiving and not the mess. I have a way of not wasting all my hard work because it goes around twice. Love it!!

    November 26, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Nubian69

      ask your friends can I come eat Thanksgiving with them! Lobster and stone crabs sounds good to me!!!

      November 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  16. Heather

    we take the carcass, broil it for a few minutes and then make stock. This time I got about 2 pounds of "extra" meat when I boiled the carcass – after I had already pulled off everything I could find! I shred the leftover meat (by hand) and freeze in 1 pound packages for turkey enchiladas, pulled turkey sandwiches, turkey noodle soup, etc. By getting 1 turkey, I have at least 5 different meals from it, plus at least 6 jars of stock that I freeze for other cooking needs :)

    November 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  17. ziti

    Leave the turkey n ham in the fridge and dine on the ziti that was leftover from the wake of a love one. Reflection n ziti are surprisingly comforting together.

    November 26, 2011 at 9:18 am |
  18. ann in oklahoma

    Skip the turkey, we have ham, then its ham sandwiches, ham and beans, ham and eggs, so much better, lasts better too!

    November 26, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • JD

      Don't forget to save the ham bone to make pintos!!!!

      November 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Raymond Wright

    I made Turkey pasties. (Pie dough rolled out to pizza pocket size and filled with turkey, dressing and gravy–fold it over and crimp/seal it then bake at 350 for 35-46 min).

    November 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  20. Robert

    I just made turkey pot pie, what a treat!

    November 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  21. T3chsupport

    Of course there are turkey sammiches, and various other leftovers... but there are also pot pies to be made and frozen. Yum!

    November 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  22. RICH


    November 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  23. Jeff

    The Turkey Gobbler Sandwich: Mine goes like this – toasted bread, left over turkey heated with cheese on both sides, mine was pepper jack today, then some cranberry sauce followed by thinly sliced heated left over cornbread dressing with some giblet gravy. Basically what you like from Thanksgiving put in a couple slices of toasted bread.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  24. Cristina

    I use the turkey bones to make stock and then make turkey pozole.

    November 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  25. Katrina

    Turkey a la king... family favourite

    November 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  26. Uncle

    Sandwiches. Bread, mayo, turkey, stuffing (yes, bread on bread) cranberry jelly, stack it up, squish and eat. It just don't git no better'n dat.

    I feel terrific. Played it smart this year and ate to my strengths. Now ... where's that fridge?

    November 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  27. Katie

    While I would be happy just making a second Thanksgiving dinner with the left overs, my husband's mother always mixed chunks of turkey with a can of mushroom soup, a little soy sauce, and served it over rice, which he looks forwand to every year, so he gets that, and I eat the leftover sides,

    November 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Jeff

      It sounds like his mom is not such a good cook. Yikes!

      November 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  28. Barb

    Turkey clubs, turkey noodle soup, turkey salad, turkey ala king, stuffing sandwhiches........the list goes on.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  29. Barb

    Turkey clubs, Turkey noodle soup, stuffing sandwhiches, turkey ala king, turkey salad.......the list goes on.

    November 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  30. MikeD

    Turkey is particularly good for tetrazzini.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Aaron

      good call. Im making tetrazini for dinner! enchilladas sound great too-tomorrows treat

      November 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  31. ben

    green chili turkey enchiladas and turkey noodle soup

    November 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  32. Brian

    I'm making a stock out of turkey carcass

    November 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  33. Tim

    Sandwiches...both hot with gravy or cold with cranberry...soup, or something akin to stew with everything thrown into a pot. Thanksgiving is terrific, but the after Thanksgiving leftovers officially kick off the Christmas season. It doesn't get any better than this!!!

    November 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  34. Ed

    Hot or cold, as-is or as sandwiches, are all really good to me. My favorite thing to do with the leftover turkey is to boil the carcass and make homemade turkey noodle soup. A bit of a pain I'll admit but it beats anything you'll find in a can by far!

    November 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  35. Will

    I prefer foods like potatoes or green beans warm. We make enough for a serving on Thanksgiving and one more meal later on. The main challenge is Turkey – I can't stand the amount of room it takes up in the fridge and don't want it getting bad in there and ruining other foods. The trick is to slice it up, package into storage containers, and not buying a bird that is so large we have to eat it 5 days in a row.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  36. Michelle

    I usually get a large turkey and use the leftovers in anything that would normally require chicken. I can't wait to make turkey enchiladas tomorrow!

    November 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  37. Martini

    Forty years of cooking turkeys did us in. No more turkeys. It's chicken from here on in. Enough with the gobblers. We're still good with the cornbread dressing, cranberry goo and sweet potato casserole. Anymore we're cooking with one goal in mind....leftovers. Hot or cold, just give us the leftovers and no one'll get hurt.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  38. Kara

    Here in New Orleans we often use leftover turkey to make gumbo. Yum!

    November 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Mmmmmmmmmm! Want!

      November 25, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  39. Gomo

    Thats the best thing about after thanksgiving. the delicious left overs.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  40. Tom

    Hey, I just bought a pre-cooked turkey breast from Publix so I could have nothing but leftovers. Every last bit has become turkey sandwiches so far (but I may be starting to get tired of turkey sandwiches :-).

    November 25, 2011 at 11:38 am |
| Part of