Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

This past week my thoughts have been more on cooking Thanksgiving dinner (which ranks high on my list) than on financial education. So I decided to write a blog post that combines the two. Here is a list of some of my more popular uses of Thanksgiving leftovers. Save a little money on your groceries to offset your Black Friday credit card bills.

leftover turkeyThanksgiving Soup

I cannot believe how good this soup turned out when I made it a few years ago. Soup is an ideal use for all those scraps that, if you are like me, you just don’t want to throw away. Stuffing is the base of this soup because when you add chicken stock to it, it acts as a thickening agent giving you a creamy soup base.

  • I don’t know how well cornbread dressing works here. I’m a Yankee and up north we use just bread in our stuffing/dressing.
  • I never have any leftover gravy, but you can add it to the base as well to make a richer soup.
  • Add those small bits of turkey that are too small to make a sandwich.
  • You can also sauté some extra onions, celery, and even a little carrot to add if your stuffing lacks enough of these veggies.

You are going to think I’m nuts, but here is the secret ingredient: that last slice of cranberry sauce that no one wants anymore. It adds a little sweetness and tartness without being overpowering. Just add a little bit.

Basic White Sauce

My next two recipes use a simple white (béchamel) sauce. Here’s the basic recipe that you can double or triple depending on how much you need:

  • Melt 2T of butter (I have also used olive oil and it still tastes good).
  • Add 2T of flour to make a roux. Heat the roux for a few minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in 1 cup of milk (use at least 2%).
  • Heat the mixture on medium heat until it thickens.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey Ala King

My husband absolutely loves this dish. I make and eat it because he is such a great guy. It’s really easy to make:

  • Sauté onions, celery, and carrots in a large frying pan until they are soft.
  • For every cup of diced turkey, add one cup of white sauce.
  • For that “holiday” taste, add a little nutmeg to the sauce.
  • Add as much peas as you want. My husband likes the canned LaSeur baby peas.
  • Heat until bubbly. I serve it over rice and with toast.

Turkey Tetrazzini

There are a lot of versions of this dish. Here is my take on it. The sauce for this dish is my basic white sauce with parmesan and fresh cracked pepper – be careful with how much salt you add.

  • To the sauce, add bits of turkey in whatever form goes better with your pasta choice.
  • You can also add steamed broccoli or cut asparagus pieces to the sauce. My husband likes sliced black olives.
  • I usually serve it with gemelli pasta and garlic bread.

Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season from The Everyday Financial Planner!