5 Creative Ways to Refresh Your Leftovers

This post is sponsored by Pioneer, however, all opinions are my own!

It’s only early December and you’ve probably already had your fill of leftovers. Not accustomed to cooking for only our little family, I think we just finished our Thanksgiving leftovers about five seconds ago. My kids bailed on eating leftovers oh….the day after Thanksgiving, so we had to get a little creative to use all that food! Pioneer is a lifesaver when you’re brainstorming (plotting?) ways to eat up all your leftovers. Below are some family favorites, and some we’re anxious to try with our next round of leftovers later this month! And let’s be honest – meal planning ahead of time saves a lot of stress when you’re completely OVER being in the kitchen.

  1. The Turkey Sandwich

    I know, I know – this does NOT sound like “getting creative”. But the one thing I make after every single Thanksgiving is “The Moistmaker” a lá Ross Geller. If you’re a Friends fan, I know you remember the post-Thanksgiving episode in which a coworker of Ross’s eats his beloved Moistmaker sandwich. Ross has a complete meltdown and takes a leave of absence from work…”YOU ATE MY SANDWICH?!?” It still makes me laugh out loud. The trick, though, to the Moistmaker is a gravy-soaked piece of bread in the middle of the turkey, stuffing, and 2 other pieces of bread. Just try to keep your coworkers’ paws off this sandwich.

    Another tasty variation of an ordinary turkey sandwich is to make it an open-faced sandwich. A slice of bread topped with turkey, stuffing, some cranberry sauce if you like it, all topped with a smattering of leftover gravy. You’ll need a knife and fork, but it won’t even feel like you’ve been eating leftovers for days.

  2. Turkey Casserole

    I was born and raised in Minnesota, so eeeverrrrrrything went in a casserole at some point. Also, they were called “hot dishes” and were a staple of every potluck. Leftover meat? Casserole. Leftover vegetables? Casserole. Leftover potatoes? Breakfast casserole. Mix any of these ingredients with some cheese and a starch, and you can pretty much call it a casserole. Add cheese, a starch, AND gravy, and you’ve got a winner. This turkey casserole recipe from Pioneer is delicious, and ready in less than 30 minutes!

    Pioneer brand gravy

  3. Turkey Stew

    There’s nothing like a good soup or stew on a cold December day. Throw your leftover turkey and vegetables into a big soup pot with chicken or vegetable broth and some Pioneer gravy for thickening. Alternatively, try this Chicken Corn Chowder recipe, subbing out the chicken for leftover turkey and chicken gravy for turkey gravy. Does your family make roast beef over the holidays, rather than turkey? I got you covered with this beef stew recipe.

  4. Turkey and Dumplings

    Truth be told – I just have to say the word “dumplings” in our house and my kids come running. They can’t tell the difference between chicken and turkey – and you can use either. This chicken and dumplings recipe is hearty goodness sure to have everyone in your family asking for seconds. Best part? Also ready in less than 30 minutes.

  5. Turkey Pot Pie

    Although pot pie is also typically made with chicken, this is one more recipe that can be easily reimagined with turkey. Pioneer’s Chicken Pot Pie Comfort Meal Solution is a super quick and easy way to prepare this dish without spending even MORE hours in the kitchen this holiday season. It already includes all of the seasonings and sauces you need to make the perfect pot pie – every time.

What are YOUR favorite ways to refresh your holiday leftovers?? Let us know in the comments!

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Stacy grew up in Minnesota, but spent the next several years of her life traversing the globe, temporarily setting down roots anywhere and everywhere. Stacy is extremely passionate about the world of adoption and foster care, having spent a year in Uganda adopting her oldest daughter in 2008. Stacy married her husband Jesse in 2011, and they moved to Oklahoma City to grow their family. After a brief hiatus in Minnesota, Stacy and her beloved family of five returned to Oklahoma City in June of 2017. They are thrilled to be back "home" where sweet tea flows like water and they can fully embrace saying "Y'all". Stacy obtained a Master’s degree in child psychology in 2007, but currently uses it only on her own children! A stay-at-home mama since Baby #3 was born, Stacy has stayed busy keeping her children alive and relatively entertained. She loves her little crazy crew fiercely and is enjoying returning to all of their favorite local haunts. When she’s not chasing her kiddos, Stacy is likely traveling or daydreaming about traveling. She also enjoys coffee shops, copious amounts of “cop drama” shows, and perusing pinterest for ideas that have little chance of ever getting done. But they’re good to have. Just in case.


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