A group of dishes made with leftover turkey

9 delicious hacks for your turkey dinner leftovers

Leftovers make meal planning so easy. But instead of ladling up the same offerings on repeat, we like to take a more creative approach, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or just a regular weekend dinner with family.

Our quick-and-easy hacks turn leftover turkey and all the fixings into dishes for every mood and season: hot or cold, inside or alfresco, at-home or on-the-go, family-sized or solo. They require minimal additional ingredients and items from your pantry — just cross-check the list below to see what lines up with what’s in your fridge.

Trick out your turkey sandwiches

Turkey Cranberry Brie Leftovers Sandwich

1. Cranberry-Brie Turkey Sandwich

A staple sandwich at antique shows and roadside stands in the eastern USA is the pilgrim, a stacked concoction of tender turkey, sweet-tart cranberry sauce, savoury stuffing and mayo. You can totally make that, but to save our stuffing for other uses (see below), we’re carving out a new, elevated way to do cold turkey: Toast a Gourmet Bun and smear with a generous amount of Garlic Aioli Spread. Add lettuce, thin slices of Turkey Breast and brie. A scoop of Muskoka Cranberry Sauce is the crown jewel. Don’t forget to serve with crispy Shoestring Fries on the side.

Open-faced hot turkey sandwiches

2. Diner-Style Open-Faced Hot Turkey Sandwich

Some like it hot — and we think that’s fair. Go classic diner by buttering the bottom slice of a warmed Petite Baguette. Pile on sliced Turkey Breast, sprinkle with crumbled leftover Gourmet Stuffing, drizzle with warmed Turkey Gravy and garnish with fresh thyme leaves. Leftover Homestyle Mashed Potatoes and Seasoned Sweet Peas are the perfect sidekicks.

Reimagine leftover cranberry sauce

A plate of cranberry muffins

1. Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

Delicious by the spoonful or snuggled up to a cold turkey sandwich, cranberry sauce likes to fit in. But have you considered adding it to your baking? Here’s our new favourite trick: Following the package directions, prep enough of your fave oatmeal muffin mix to make 12 muffins, swapping 1/4 cup leftover Muskoka Cranberry Sauce for 1/4 cup of the water called for in the dough. Stir and divide among 12 muffin cups, topping each with 1 tsp more cranberry sauce. Bake as directed.

Cranberry-glazed meatballs

2. Spicy-Smoky Cranberry-Glazed Meatballs

We love meatballs unconditionally, but a sweet-heat glaze might make them the favourite child. To revamp your leftovers game, consider stirring together 1/3 cup each leftover Muskoka Cranberry Sauce, Thai Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce and Apple Butter BBQ Sauce. Place 1-1/2 lb (680 g) Italian Style Beef Meatballs in your slow cooker and pour over this perfectly balanced sauce, stirring gently to coat. Cook on low for 1 hour, and then enjoy the glossy-good work you just performed. Well done, you.

Hack your roast turkey leftovers

Fettucini Alfredo

1. Turkey Pasta Alfredo

If we know our carbs — and we do — it’s safe to say that, alongside bread, pasta is one of the friendliest, most accepting vehicles for leftovers. Exhibit A: Heat up our Fettuccine Alfredo (made with al dente noodles in a rich, creamy Parmesan, garlic and cream sauce) and stir in cubed Turkey Breast. Garnish with shredded basil and a hearty shower of Parm. Perfecto.

Turkey Hash Cakes

2. Turkey Hash Cakes with Aioli

Crusty, herby and so satisfying, these cakes are a slam dunk with a simple green salad on the side. First, in a bowl, stir 1/2 cup regular or panko bread crumbs with 1/2 cup milk; let stand for 2 minutes. In another bowl, stir together 3 cups finely shredded Turkey Breast, 1/4 cup chopped dill, 2 eggs, salt and pepper. Stir in the crumb mixture and form into four 4-inch-wide patties. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the patties for 5 minutes per side. Creamy Garlic Aioli Spread is hanging out on the side as the perfect dunk.

Stuff it real good

Chicken Noodle Soup with Stuffing Dumplings

1. Chicken Noodle Soup with Stuffing Dumplings

Simmer Chicken Noodle Soup — you know, our hearty broth studded with five different vegetables and tubetti pasta — on the stove. In a small bowl, whisk 2 eggs with 1/4 cup flour until smooth, and then mix in 2 cups leftover Gourmet Stuffing. Roll into tablespoon-size balls and gently drop into the soup and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stuffed squash bowls

2. Stuffed Squash Bowls

Acorn squash creates a cozy home for leftover stuffing. To make, bake 2 seeded acorn squash halves on a baking sheet in a preheated 375°F oven for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together 3 cups leftover Gourmet Stuffing, 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup olive oil; set aside. Remove squash from oven and evenly divide stuffing mixture between them. Return to oven and bake until crusty on top, about 10 minutes. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and fresh sage leaves.

Stuffing muffins

3. Stuffing Muffins

Ready to make a half-dozen savoury muffins? In a bowl, stir together 2 cups Gourmet Stuffing, 2 eggs and 1/2 cup shredded cheese (we like old cheddar). Divide between 6 muffin cups. Bake in preheated 400°F oven until golden, about 20 minutes. Garnish with fried sage if you’re feeling fancy. Scarf as is or with a bowl of your must-have chili or stew.

Shopping list:

Cranberry-Brie Turkey Sandwich Diner-Style Open-Faced Hot Turkey Sandwich Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins Spicy-Smoky Cranberry-Glazed Meatballs Turkey Pasta Alfredo Turkey Hash Cakes with Aioli Chicken Noodle Soup with Stuffing Dumplings Stuffed Squash Bowls + Stuffing Muffins

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