5 Ways to Reinvent Leftover Thanksgiving Ingredients
These five recipes approach the idea of Thanksgiving leftovers in a simple way. Instead of jumping through hoops to repurpose fully realized dishes, such as mashed potatoes or stuffing (which is probably the last thing you want to do after a day on your feet cooking), we’re sharing easy ideas that use up the leftover ingredients you might have bought for the meal—that half-bunch of celery, for example, or the lone sweet potato on the counter. Each recipe offers zippy flavors to offset the richer ones from the holiday—also most welcome in the days after feasting.
Carrot-Apple Muffins with Orange Glaze
Muffins Use Up: Carrots, apple, orange, and pecans
These tender, lightly sweetened whole-grain muffins have a special can’t-put-your-finger-on-it flavor thanks to garam masala. Look for garam masala in the spice aisle; large spice brands make it. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, you can substitute an equal amount of cinnamon.
Celery-and-Parsley Salad with Wine-Soaked Raisins
Salad Uses Up: Raisins, sherry (or other wine), lemon, celery, parsley, and Parmigiano-Reggiano
This easy salad is zippy, crunchy, light, and fresh—an antidote to an overindulgent Thanksgiving. And it happens to pair especially well with a leftover turkey-and-cranberry-sauce sandwich. We love the depth that the wine-soaked raisins add, but you could also omit the wine and instead use raisins straight out of the box.
Curried Sweet Potato–Yogurt Dip
Dip Uses Up: Sweet potato, yogurt, lemon, and leftover vegetables such as celery, carrots, green beans, Brussels sprouts, etc. (for crudités)
Sweet potatoes make a wonderful base for a creamy dip, creating a smooth texture and faintly sweet flavor. Toasting the curry paste in the first step helps to deepen the flavor and is worth the extra couple of minutes.
Silky Garlic Soup with Sourdough Soldiers
Soup Uses Up: Sourdough, shallots, garlic, carrot, chicken stock, wine, thyme, and half-and-half
If you’ve never had garlic soup before, don’t be scared off by the idea. The garlic flavor is present, but it’s quite mellow and sweet after cooking. The soup is barely thick, with more of a “coats the back of a spoon” texture than, say, the thickness of a creamy potato soup—making it perfect for dunking toasted breadsticks into.
Mushroom-Potato Tacos with Scallion Relish
Cubed potatoes make a great taco filling. They crisp up nicely and take on the smokiness and faint heat of the spices. Kale adds a little toothsome chew; you can use any hearty green you have on hand (such as Swiss chard, collard greens, or spinach). The scallion relish is a fresh, tangy condiment that brightens the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and kale. It would also be delicious with your next batch of fish tacos.