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4 Recipes that use up all your leftovers

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

I hope everyone had a great and relaxing Thanksgiving; maybe relaxing is pushing it but how about stress-free.

Thanksgiving leftovers are a good thing and particularly good when you transform them into something that is different than the original meal and is really tasty.

Here are 4 recipes you’ll love that make really good meals using all your leftovers.

  1. Turkey soup

  2. Stuffing cakes

  3. Turkey potpie

  4. Shepherd's pie a la turkey

These are basic instructions so you can use the leftovers you have. The key is tasting what you are making along the way, so you can adjust the flavors to your liking.

Remember that cooking is fun and eating good food is even better. That is something good to be thankful for.

Turkey Soup (This will also become the base of your turkey pot pie and your turkey shepherd’s pie.)


2 carrots

1 large onion

2 stalks celery

Thyme, 2 stalks fresh or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. If you want to make the broth use the turkey carcass. Place the bones into a large stockpot. Add 2 chopped carrots, 1 large onion, 2 stalks of chopped celery, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried sage, and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Add 12 cups of water.

  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer for several hours. Add more water if necessary.

  3. Drain the broth, removing all the bones and vegetables. Use as the base for the soup.

For the soup


4 carrots

2 large onions

4 stalks celery

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme or 2 teaspoons dried

Parsley, ½ cup chopped

Low-salt chicken bouillon


  1. Shred the turkey, add chopped carrots, onions, and celery. Add any leftover gravy. (Do not add potatoes, sweet potatoes, or anything that is mashed. Use chunks of vegetables for a better result.)

  2. Add herbs: bay leaf, thyme, sage, and parsley.

  3. Add broth to make sure you have 12 cups of liquid.

  4. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes and taste to check the flavor.

  5. If needed, add low-salt chicken bouillon.

  6. Take half the soup and put it aside; that is dish #1 turkey soup.

For the base for the turkey and shepherd’s pot pie

Use the remaining 6 cups of soup to make the base for your potpie and the shepherd's pie.

Start by pouring the soup you’ve set aside through a sieve to separate all the ingredients from the broth. Set the solid ingredients aside. Make sure you have 6 cups of broth; if not, add enough broth to make up the difference.


6 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup flour

Salt and pepper

Make a roux

  1. Melt 6 tbsp of butter in a pan on low heat.

  2. Add 1/3 cup of flour and mix into the butter, stirring until you have a paste. Continue to cook a few minutes but don’t let it brown.

  3. Slowly add 1 cup of broth, stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Continue adding the broth and letting it combine before adding more broth.

  4. You want the sauce to coat the back of the spoon—similar to thick gravy.

  5. Taste and adjust the flavor.

  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Place all the turkey and vegetables you set aside into the gravy you’ve made.

  8. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions and place in lidded containers.

At this point you can freeze everything until you are ready to use it. I also freeze the extra mashed potatoes I use to finish the shepherd's pie.

To make the stuffing cakes #2

Ingredients 2 eggs ½ cup flour High-heat oil, enough to coat the bottom of a frying pan 1 sheet frozen puff pastry ½ cup heavy cream ½ cup grated gruyere cheese 2 tablespoons butter

  1. Take the extra stuffing, add 1 egg, well blended, and mix well. Shape your stuffing into 3” round cakes about 3/4” thick. These can also be frozen.

  2. When you are ready to use them, let them completely defrost in the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.

  3. Pat dry, using a paper towel.

  4. When ready, coat your cakes in an egg wash and lightly coat in flour.

  5. Heat oil in a skillet. When hot, brown both sides of the stuffing cakes. Serve.

To make the turkey potpie dish #3

  1. Thaw 1 sheet of puff pastry. Cut into 4 pieces and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  2. With the remaining beaten egg, brush the top of the puff pastry.

  3. Place your cream turkey mixture in a pot and heat over medium-low heat. Stir to prevent the mixture from burning.

  4. Place your baking sheet into your preheated 400° oven.

  5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it has puffed up and turned golden brown.

  6. To serve, place the hot turkey mixture into low bowls and top with one of the puff pastry rectangles.

For the Turkey shepherd's pie dish #4

  1. Place the remaining turkey filling into a casserole pan.

  2. If you’ve frozen your mashed potatoes, let them thaw out. They will appear to have separated; all you need to do is stir them vigorously while adding heavy cream to reconstitute them.

  3. Cover the filling with the mashed potatoes.

  4. Add grated gruyere cheese on top and then dot it with butter.

  5. Place into a 350° oven for 30 minutes until the edges are bubbly.

  6. Turn the broiler on and brown the top of the casserole, being careful not to burn the dish. Serve.

You now have all these delicious meals that are ready for another day. And it’s easy to do.

Note: This blog post was inspired by a previous post.


Le Kitchen Cookbook

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Everything you need to know to be a good cook.

by Adeline M. Olmer

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