Creative recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers

Oct 16, 2009 at 10:08 a.m. ET

The day after Thanksgiving is an even better day than the actual turkey feast day. Why you ask? Because in addition to the relief of stress over making a perfect holiday meal, you can relax and make easy and inventive recipes with the Thanksgiving leftovers. Every dish from Thanksgiving can be transformed into a delicious new dish that will make you all the more thankful for the November holiday.

Turkey Sandwich

Creative recipes with Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey and Mashed Potato Omelet

Makes 2 servings

Olive oil
3 eggs
6 tablespoons mashed potatoes
1 cup diced cooked turkey meat
2/3 cup chopped cooked vegetables (if desired)
1/2 cup grated cheese (any flavor)

1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Whisk eggs and potatoes together in a bowl and pour into skillet.

2. Cook, without stirring, until egg mixture is almost set. Top with turkey and vegetables. Place a lid on eggs and cook until eggs are completely set.

3. Sprinkle cheese on top of eggs and cook until melted. Take skillet off of heat and let cool for a few minutes. Slice in half and serve.

Cranberry Muffins

Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (if desired)
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
1/2 cup sliced almonds (if desired)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Cream margarine in a bowl with a beater. Beat in sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and egg whites, beating well. Beat in almond extract if desired.

2. Combine flour and baking powder. Gradually beat flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with yogurt. Pour batter into muffin tin and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

3. To make glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until well combined and drizzle over cooled muffins.

Day After Turkey Sandwich

Makes 2 servings

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
4 slices whole-grain bread, toasted
2 lettuce leaves
1 red apple, cored, thinly sliced
2 thin slices red onion
4 slices turkey breast

Whisk mustard together with honey and spread mixture on 2 slices of bread, top with lettuce, apple slices, red onion and turkey breast. Top with remaining bread slice.

Stuffing Bites

Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups leftover stuffing, shaped into balls
2 eggs
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts

1. Heat oil in a deep skillet to 350 degrees F. Whisk eggs and milk together. Dip each stuffing ball into egg mixture. Dredge stuffing balls in breadcrumbs and set aside. In a small bowl, blend together cranberry sauce, pepper and walnuts until fully combined.

2. When oil is hot, place stuffing balls in oil and cook, turning occasionally until all sides are golden, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve with cranberry mixture

Turkey Shepard's Pie

Makes 4 servings

2 cups cooked turkey, diced
3/4 cup turkey gravy
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups stuffing
1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups mashed potatoes, warmed

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. and coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Layer turkey, gravy, carrots, stuffing and corn in baking dish. Top with potatoes. Bake in oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until potatoes are golden on the edges and casserole is heated through.

Cranberry Trifle

Makes 12 servings

2 cups cranberry sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 angel food cake, cut into 2-inch squares
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup grated white chocolate

1. Combine cranberry sauce, sugar and vanilla in a medium-sized pot and heat over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

2. Combine 1 cup white chocolate chips with 3/4 cup heavy cream and microwave on low for 1 minute. Stir and continue microwaving in 30 seconds intervals, stirring after each until chips are fully melted. Let cool then beat the rest of the heavy cream and powdered sugar into chocolate mixture until stiff.

3. Layer cake squares, cranberry sauce mixture, whipped cream mixture, remaining white chocolate chips and pecans in a clear trifle bowl. Continue layering until all ingredients are used. Top with grated chocolate and chill for about 4 hours before serving.