Recipes for Using Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Did you just prepare a delicious Thanksgiving meal and there are loads of leftovers? Of course, you don’t want all of this deliciousness to go to waste, but you also do not want to do Thanksgiving on repeat for a week! Get creative! All leftover turkey does not have to end up in a sandwich. There are so many ways to use leftovers; never let them go to waste. You certainly have free rein over the recipe ingredients to change or make additions according to your leftovers!

Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Apple and Turkey

4 slices whole wheat bread

¼ cup apple butter (I used pumpkin apple butter because I made some this year)

½ teaspoon dry rubbed sage

2 ounces freshly grated sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 firm tart apple, thinly sliced

Enough turkey to make two sandwiches, about 6 ounces

1 tablespoon butter, softened

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium low or preheat your panini press to medium high.

Spread all four slices of bread with 1 tablespoon apple butter each. For each sandwich, layer one of the slices with half of the sage, half of the cheese, a layer of apple slices, and the turkey. Place the remaining bread slices on top, apple-butter-side down.

Butter the outsides of the sandwich, then once the skillet is warm or the panini press is preheated, grill on the stovetop (cooking each side for 2 to 4 minutes until the bread is toasty and golden—low and slow will guarantee the most melty, perfectly cooked grilled cheese) or place in the panini press, using additional butter or nonstick spray as needed to prevent sticking. Slice and enjoy hot.

Serves 2, each serving contains;  Calories 442, Protein 27g., Fat 15g., Carbohydrates 54g., Fiber 3g., Sugar 19g.

Cranberry Crumble Squares

For the fruit topping

2 cups cranberries

Zest and juice of ½ orange

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons almond extract

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the crust

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups almond flour

½ granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Zest of ½ orange

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

2 large egg whites

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting some overhang on the long sides. (The extra will help you lift the bars out.)

To prepare filling: Combine cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, and cinnamon in a small bowl; stir well. Set aside.

To prepare crust: Whisk all-purpose flour, almond flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and orange zest in a medium bowl. Work butter into the mixture, using your hands to pinch and rub until the pieces are flattened and the mixture is crumbly and resembles sand.

Lightly beat egg whites and vanilla in a small bowl with a fork. Pour into the flour mixture and use the fork to scoop down from the sides and up through the center until the whites are well incorporated. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture.

Press the remaining mixture into the prepared baking pan to form a bottom crust.

To assemble and bake: Give the cranberry mixture a quick stir, then pour it over the crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture on top.

Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the bars cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Lift the long sides of the parchment to remove and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into 15 bars. Cool completely. Garnish with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Serves 15, each bar contains;  Calories 199, Protein 4g., Fat 9g., Carbohydrates 27g., Fiber 2g., Sugar 13g.

Vegetable Turkey Casserole

(all of these vegetables can be substituted by whatever ones you have)

2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

¾ cup red and yellow sweet pepper

½ cup onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 cups milk

10 ounces of fresh spinach or 1 10 ounce box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups cooked turkey

½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

In a 12-inch skillet cook and stir mushrooms, sweet pepper, onion and garlic in hot butter or oil over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour, salt, thyme and black pepper. Slowly stir in milk; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in spinach, rice, turkey and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

Spoon mixture into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6, each serving contains;  Calories 287, Protein 24g., Fat 8g., Carbohydrates 28g., Fiber 2g., Sugar 6g.

Salsa Verde Turkey Enchiladas

1 large jar salsa Verde, divided

¾ cup light sour cream, divided plus more for serving

3 cups shredded cooked chicken

2 cups chopped kale

1 ¾ cups shredded Queso cheese or Pepper Jack cheese, divided

¼ low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8–10 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas

Avocados, cilantro, lime, and/or hot sauce for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 400ºF with rack set in middle position.

Combine ¾ cup salsa Verde and ¼ cup sour cream. Add chicken, kale and 1 cup cheese; season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup salsa Verde, remaining ½ cup sour cream, and chicken broth; set aside.

Brush both sides of tortillas with olive oil; stack tortillas top of each other on a plate. Cover tortillas with a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.

Spoon ⅓ cup chicken mixture onto a tortilla, slightly off-centered. Roll tortilla around filling and place, seam side down, in baking dish. Repeat filling and rolling with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture.

Spread reserved salsa Verde-sour cream mixture over filled tortillas and sprinkle evenly with remaining ¾ cup cheese.

Bake enchiladas until cheese is melted, bubbly and starting to brown, 15–20 minutes. For a golden brown top, turn oven to broil and broil for 2 minutes (optional).

Top enchiladas with cilantro and serve with remaining salsa Verde and additional sour cream, if desired.

Serves 4, each serving contains;  Calories 572, Protein 46g., Fat 28g., Carbohydrates 30g., Fiber 4g., Sugar 4g.