Outside of “what am I most grateful for?”, there’s one question on everyone’s mind come Thanksgiving: “WTF do I do with all the extra food afterward?” You can obviously stick it in Tupperware containers as is and shove it into any available nook or cranny left in your fridge — then proceed to live off those leftovers in their original state for a few days (or, if you made a really big meal, a week).
And that’s to say nothing of the extra ingredients hanging around. Because let’s be real, you know you always buy more than you need. Who can blame you? No one wants to be the holiday host who didn’t make enough stuffing to feed the entire table. But the day after Thanksgiving, you’re left to stare at leftover food and piles of things like fresh potatoes, wondering what you can possibly make with the spoils of the day.
If you want to literally and figuratively spice things up, look no further than a fiesta. Whether you’re just making a meal for your household or you invite your besties over for a Friendsgiving, a festive get-together could be the answer to your extra-food woes.
There are countless ways you can transform Thanksgiving leftovers. Here are a few of our favorites.
Why not go for a literal adaptation with turkey tacos? This recipe calls for leftover cornbread stuffing, cran-orange sauce, and sweet potato. But its real beauty lies in the fact that you can mix-and-match with your own leftovers until you find a taco-combo you love.
Get the recipe from Table for Two.
One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie
When cheesy polenta and leftover turkey meet in a single skillet, magic happens. This creamy, delicious, quick-and-easy recipe is perfect for day-after-Thanksgiving guests.
Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.
Mexican Street Corn Salad
Take that corn you didn’t end up using in your cornbread or corn pudding, and turn it into a party in a bowl with this Mexican street corn salad recipe.
Get the recipe from Goodcook.
Turkey Tortilla Soup
There are few things more comforting than soup, and this version gives you an opportunity to use your leftover turkey. In fact, you can toss in extra ingredients as you see fit!
Get the recipe from Beyond the Chicken Coop.
Stuffed Pepper Casserole
This Tex-Mex take on stuffed peppers puts them in casserole form. Spare rice? Make it sing in this hearty dish.
Get the recipe from Like Mother Like Daughter.
Chile Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sometimes the best recipes are the ones that let the main ingredient shine. Any sweet potato fan will love this chile-roasted version that is slightly sweet, slightly spicy and super-simple.
Get the recipe from Easy Peasy Foodie.
Jalapeno Popper Potatoes
That pile of tiny potatoes isn’t going to eat itself! But you’ll definitely eat them if you give them new life by turning them into jalapeno popper potato skins.
Get the recipe from Midwest Foodie.
Butternut squash, turkey, red enchilada sauce and cheese come together in this recipe to create flavorful enchiladas. Please, and thank you.
Get the recipe from Burrata and Bubbles.
Turkey, Corn & Cream Cheese Flautas
Any recipe that involves cream cheese and being fried is basically guaranteed to taste good, and this one is no exception. Grab that leftover turkey and corn, because you’re going to want to make (and eat) as many of these gluten-free flautas as possible.
Get the recipe from This Vivacious Life.
Smoked Gouda, Turkey & Artichoke Quesadillas
Not only can you repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers, but you can also elevate them! Impress friends and family with this fancy smoked gouda, turkey and artichoke quesadillas.
Get the recipe from With Salt & Wit.
You can’t get much easier (or more delicious) than this. Toss that turkey stash onto some tortilla chips and top with cheese, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and taco sauce for your new favorite post-Thanksgiving tradition.
Get the recipe from Bless Her Heart Y’all.
Leftover Turkey ‘Carnitas’
Transform your leftover turkey meat into delightfully crispy and juicy shreds. The trick? Boiling the eat to make it extra tender, then pan-frying to add crisp texture. Hello, carnitas.
Get the recipe from Serious Eats.
Fresh Cranberry Salsa
Give salsa the Thanksgiving-themed spin it always deserved by making it with cranberries! A little sweet and a little tart, it’ll be a huge hit… especially when served with tortilla chips.
Get the recipe at Home Made Interest.
Caramelized Onion & Cream Cheese Turkey Enchiladas
Your leftover turkey will feel right at home with cream cheese and caramelized onion in this decidedly more grown-up spin on enchiladas.
Get the recipe at Aunt Bee’s Recipes.
Vegan Jalapeno Queso Potatoes
Sure, those little potatoes looked rustically chic surrounding your Thanksgiving turkey. But wait until you see how mouthwatering they are drizzled with a jalapeno-infused vegan queso.
Get the recipe from I Love Vegan.
Mexican Sweet Potato Hash
Did you end up with extra sweet potatoes after making sweet potato pudding? Praise be! Now you can cube them, add spinach and black beans, toss it all with some Mexican spices and have a whole new dish. Bonus? This yummy hash is paleo-friendly and gluten-free.
Get the recipe from Feed Me Phoebe.
You love pumpkin. You love churros. So, you are going to lose your mind over these sweet pumpkin churros fried, tossed in cinnamon sugar, and then serve with cinnamon pumpkin cream cheese sauce. Prepare to become the new favorite in your family.
Get the recipe from The Novice Chef.
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