thanksgiving leftover ideas
Thanksgiving leftovers, waiting to be reborn

What’s more important: Thanksgiving dinner, or Thanksgiving leftovers? Our test kitchen chefs see a fridge full of last night’s leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing as a world of opportunity. Try these ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers from our professional chefs. 

Thanksgiving Leftovers Nacho Platter

thanksgiving leftover nachos
Truly loaded turkey nachos

Nachos are the perfect vehicle to take advantage of any leftovers that are laying around the next day—and really, who doesn’t love a nacho? Mashed potatoes, shredded turkey, stuffing, roasted vegetables, gravy (!!), it’s all fair game! Just layer your favorite leftovers with corn chips and shower it all with shredded white cheddar. Pro tip: add a diced jalapeño (or your favorite chile pepper) to your cranberry sauce to make for the perfect spicy “salsa” to dip your nachos in! —Alex Saggiomo

Thanksgiving Leftovers Mashed Potatoes & Greens Breakfast Cakes

I always have creamed kale on my thanksgiving table. For breakfast the next day I combine half of the leftover mashed potatoes and half of the greens in a big bowl. I mix those up, form them into cakes, and then fry up in a skillet to reheat. Each person gets a potato/green cake with a fried egg on top…with or without cranberry sauce! —Tim Kemp

Leftover Turkey Idea: Turkey Club With Stuffing 

It doesn’t get more classic than a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. My version is a twist on a club sandwich filled with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a fried egg. I make it for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving every year with a few good slices of sourdough. I truly look forward to it more than Thanksgiving itself. —Jessica Goodman

Leftover Smoked Salmon Roll

My uncle has a smoker, and no Thanksgiving is complete without his famous smoked side of salmon. The next day I flake up some of the leftovers and mix in mayo, fresh herbs, lemon, and capers. I’ll take a leftover roll, toast it up, and serve the salmon salad on top, open faced. It’s delicious —Lauren Katz

Leftover Pie Milkshake or Apple Crumble with Greek Yogurt 

A slice of pie blended with ice cream and milk makes for a killer milkshake. I also love any leftover apple crumble with some greek yogurt for breakfast the next morning. —Claire King