3 Recipes to Make With Those Thanksgiving Leftovers (That Aren’t Totally Gross)


You survived Thanksgiving, and now it’s time to reap your reward: leftovers. In our house, the leftovers are hotly contested — and what for? Some mushy stuffing, cold turkey, coagulated gravy and the last slice of pumpkin pie? (Who are we kidding, we will fight Hunger Games style for that last slice.) But we figured hey, we can surely put our cooking chops to the test with these leftovers.

We asked the hosts of Spike TV’s Frankenfood, Josh Capon and Tony Luke Jr. what they would do with their Thanksgiving leftovers, a perfect combination since the two obviously get a little weird with their ingredients. (And can stomach some of the weirdest mashups we’ve ever seen.) The guys created three recipes (in conjunction with Pepto Bismol, which is understandable) for us, and shared a bit about what Thanksgiving looks like at home. Turns out, stuffing has never tasted better when it’s in French toast. And we promise, these are the only Thanksgiving-themed food-mashups we’ll be indulging in this holiday season.

What’s your personal favorite dish on the Thanksgiving table? What dish goes the fastest at your house?

Tony: My favorite dish would be stuffing and the dish that runs out the quickest would be the dark meat of the turkey.

Josh: Cranberry sauce! It’s one of those things that SCREAMS Thanksgiving and we don’t eat often enough. I usually make two kinds. The traditional version and one like a salsa with pureed fresh cranberries, jalapenos, cilantro and orange. I would recommend that you make plenty because both can last in the fridge for a long time. Try the cranberry salsa on some seared scallops or a piece of fish. Deeelicious!

Why create some new dishes out of Thanksgiving leftovers instead of just heating them up?

Tony: Because it’s so much fun to create new flavors for your family, yet still keep the tradition of having Thanksgiving leftovers the next day! A new twist on an old tradition it’s a win win.

Josh: Just because heating up leftovers is easy, who wants to eat the same meal the very next day no matter how good it is? Get creative! Of course the classic left over Thanksgiving Day sandwich is a staple, think outside the box.

How long do leftovers stay at your house?

Tony: We’re big eaters in my family sometimes they barely last through the night. I have been known to raid the refrigerator at 2 am.

Josh: Leftovers don’t actually stay in our house for very long – everyone usually grabs them and takes them to their house! But I do like to leave a little stash for me. Since I am responsible for most of the cooking, I often don’t eat at the same time as all of my guests. After all these years as a chef, I am certainly used to that slightly delayed gratification!

What’s the worst leftover mash-up to avoid after the holidays?

Tony: None for me, I could eat holiday leftover mash-ups all year long.

Josh: There is a fine balance between the perfect mash-up ingredients verses throwing everything imaginable into a dish. Using too many ingredients in one mash-up can get a little scary!

Any tips for storing leftovers?

Tony: I always use containers or zip lock bags just get as much air out as you can And it will keep great.

Josh: Plastic Ziploc bags are the way to go. Be sure to remove any excess air and roll them up. Keeps whatever it is super fresh and moist and doesn’t take up a lot of room in the fridge!

Thanksgiving Pizza
Recipe serves 6-8

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 cups leftover stuffing
1 cup cranberry sauce
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup cooked green bean casserole, chopped
1 cup cooked carrots, chopped
1 cup cooked brussels sprouts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and spray a pizza pan with cooking spray.

Mix two tablespoons of olive oil into the leftover stuffing and press it into the pizza pan evenly around, about 1/2 inch thick.

Spread the cranberry sauce on to the stuffing and top with shredded turkey.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and beat the eggs in one bowl and place the breadcrumbs into another separate bowl. Form the mashed potatoes into small balls around 1-1/2 inches diameter and dip into the beaten eggs, then the breadcrumbs, and place on to a baking sheet.

Add the additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the sauté pan for about a minute, and then add the mashed potato balls in an even layer, uncrowded, and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Layer the cooked green bean casserole, carrots and brussels sprouts over the turkey on the pizza. Place the sautéed mashed potato balls on top across the pizza.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the pizza is cooked through. Cut into slices and serve hot.

Seven Layer Stuffing Sandwich
Recipe makes 4 sandwiches

½ cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
8 cups of leftover stuffing
½ cup of leftover turkey gravy
½ cup carrot soufflé
4 slices of leftover cooked ham
1 cup leftover shredded cooked turkey
1 cup leftover macaroni and cheese
1 cup leftover cooked string beans
½ cup cranberry sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Beat the egg and mix into the leftover stuffing mixture well. Shape the stuffing into 8 portions, flattening to make patties about ½ and inch thick, and place on a baking sheet. Fry the stuffing patties in the oil, in batches of 4, until cooked through with a golden brown crust. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels and set aside.

Reheat the gravy in a small saucepan over medium heat until warmed through. You should also reheat the carrot soufflé, macaroni and cheese and green beans in the microwave, unless you prefer to keep them cold for the sandwiches.

Start building the sandwiches by layering the ingredients on top of the fried stuffing patties starting with 1/8 cup carrot soufflé, a slice of ham, ¼ cup turkey, ¼ cup of macaroni and cheese, ¼ cup cooked string beans, 1/8 cup cranberry sauce.

Top the layered ingredients with a second fried stuffing patty to make the sandwich, and repeat per above, until you have four sandwiches total.

Place the sandwiches on plates, and drizzle the hot gravy over the top, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the sandwiches in half, or keep them whole and eat with a fork and knife.

Stuffing French Toast
Recipe serves 4

4 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
¼ cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups of leftover stuffing
1-2 tablespoons
1 cup glazed ham, diced fine
1 cup sweet potato mash, warmed
½ cup maple syrup, warmed

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour into a shallow container such as a pie plate.

Mix the olive oil into the leftover stuffing until it is moistened and sticks together, then form 8 bread sized “slices” about an inch or so thick.

Dip the stuffing slices into the egg and milk mixture. Fry slices until golden brown, then flip to cook the other side until browned. Remove the stuffing French toast pieces from the pan and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and warm up the glazed ham bits until browned well. Remove from heat.

Reheat the sweet potato mash in the microwave or stovetop with a little bit of butter until heated through.

Place the French toast pieces on a plate. Spread some of the sweet potato mash on top. Top with the glazed ham bits, and serve with drizzled warm maple syrup.

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