How to Revamp Your Thanksgiving Leftovers in the Hudson Valley

Whether you had a late Thanksgiving or your fridge is still packed with leftovers, here are great ways to use up that extra food.

When the classic sandwich gets a little boring, even if you spiced it up with Ross’s secret trick, get creative with your leftovers instead. Use up the last of your mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pies in dishes from breakfast to dinner to simplify your meal planning for the week. Whether you had a late Thanksgiving, the food containers are still piled up, or you prepped too hard for the holiday, don’t let any of your food go to waste this season.

 

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Cranberry Sauce

It always seems like there’s either not enough or way too much cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving each year. If your case is the latter, you’re in luck because there is so much to do with this versatile side dish. For a healthy breakfast option, add a scoop of sauce to your oatmeal in the morning for a tart and fruity twist on the morning classic and top it off with some pumpkin seeds for protein. If you’re in the mood for something on the boozy side, shake up some cranberry sauce with gin to make a festive cocktail and garnish with a rosemary sprig, or add a dash of sauce to a glass of prosecco to create a brunch cocktail like the cranberry mimosa that Heritage Food + Drink serves on the weekends.

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Mashed Potatoes

Even though this delightfully filling side dish is perfect as it is, microwaved mashed potato leftovers can sometimes be less than appetizing. To breathe new life into the starchy side, combine what’s left of your mashed potatoes with an egg and a little bit of flour to bind the mixture into a potato pancake batter. Optionally, you could also throw in shredded cheddar and chives to add flavor to the dish, then roll the batter into balls before pressing them flat on a hot oiled skillet to crisp up. Once cooked, top with sour cream and enjoy this easy revamp for lunch. For a more precise crowd-pleaser, try this potato latkes recipe and simply substitute the grated potatoes for your mashed leftovers.

Pie

You know how it goes: someone brings an apple, someone brings a pumpkin, someone brings a pecan and, before you know it, the kitchen is packed with pie. These delicious seasonal leftovers are not just great for dessert snacking, but can also be turned into something new and, dare we say, healthier. Mix up a slice of leftover pie into Greek yogurt or layer it in a glass to make a pretty parfait; either way, you’re adding much-needed protein to the sweet dish that makes dessert for breakfast totally acceptable.

Stuffing

This is where over-prepping for the holiday comes in handy. If you have dried, unused stuffing mix that never made it to the dinner table, throw a handful of the bread cubes into your salads for crunch in the absence of croutons. Even if all that’s left is the soft, cooked stuff, just throw it onto a baking pan and dehydrate the stuffing in the oven to end up with ultra-crispy herbed croutons that are amazing on a seasonal salad like this refreshing fall bounty combination.

Turkey

 

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As the weather gets colder and noses get stuffier, soup is the savior of the season. Every part of the Thanksgiving turkey plays a vital role in a flavorful, hearty, and healing soup, from the cooked leftovers to the carved bones. Freeze a turkey carcass to use for making stock in the future if you want it to keep for longer or throw the bones to boil in a pot as soon as possible for a flavorful base for all the soups you intend to make. Instead of chicken noodle, shred up your leftover turkey meat into the stock with veggies and pasta for a seasonal twist on the sick-day classic.

This season, also keep an eye out for local food donations and pantry events to help feed Hudson Valley communities and support food equality for all. Contact the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to donate food, find events near you, or volunteer to feed families for the holidays.

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