Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

Like so many American’s my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Therefore, I have a ton of leftovers after Thanksgiving. Ok, this might have been done on purpose ?.  Who doesn’t love an open faced hot turkey sandwich.  But there are so many other things that you can do with the leftovers.  Here are my favorite ideas. Read more

Thanksgiving Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

Thanksgiving Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

I don’t know about you, but we always make way more food than we need for Thanksgiving so that we can have leftovers.  I almost think that the leftovers are better than the original meal.  I know it sounds wrong, but Thanksgiving leftovers are the bomb!  Usually we have a pretty well balanced amount of leftovers.  However, this time we had more leftover potatoes than usual.  So, I decided that it was time to come up with a recipe that featured leftover mashed potatoes.  This Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie features leftover turkey, gravy, vegetables all topped with a nice layer of potatoes.  It was a hit and I am sure it will be a hit at your house!

Read more

Cheddar Cheese Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Cheddar Cheese Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

For Easter we love to have a nice oven roasted Ham.  Sometimes we glaze it, sometimes we just coat it in a beer and go for it.  Either way, we always end up with a ton of leftovers.  I do this on purpose as then we can have leftovers.  The ham goes great in omelets, in sandwiches and of course, Scalloped Potatoes.  This variation utilizes sharp cheddar cheese layered within the scalloped potatoes. Yep, that is why I call it Cheddar Cheese Scalloped Potatoes and Ham.  It pretty much named itself.  Haha.

Cheddar Cheese Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Cheddar Cheese Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

The key to making this quick and easily, is to prepare all of the ingredients before starting.

Using awesome knife skills or a mandolin slicer, slice 3 pounds of potatoes.

Slice the potatoes

Grate 1 medium onion.

Grated Onions

Cube 2 cups of leftover cooked ham.

Diced ham

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Stirring frequently to form a light roux.  Mix the parsley, salt an thyme in with the milk.

Light Roux

Then slowly add the milk while whisking to form a smooth mixture.  Bring to a boil, reduce and cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

Thickened Sauce

While he mixture comes to a boil, grease a 2.5 quart oven safe baking dish with vegetable spray.  Create a layer of potatoes, top with 1/3 of the onions and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.

Layer the ingredients

Once the sauce is thickened, remove from the heat and spoon 1/3 of the sauce over the layered potato mixture.

Sauce

Repeat the layering process two more times.

Repeat

Cover the dish and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Remove and add cheese

Uncover and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Place back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.

Remove and serve

Remove from the oven and serve.

Remove and serve

Cheddar Cheese Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
The ultimate combination of potatoes, cheese, onions and ham.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1.5 cups leftover cooked ham
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp dried parsley or 1 tbs fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • ¼ tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. The key to making this quick and easily, is to prepare all of the ingredients before starting.
  3. Using awesome knife skills or a mandolin slicer, slice 3 pounds of potatoes.
  4. Grate 1 medium onion.
  5. Cube 2 cups of leftover cooked ham.
  6. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring frequently to form a light roux. Mix the parsley, salt an thyme in with the milk. Then slowly add the milk while whisking to form a smooth mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce and cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
  7. While he mixture comes to a boil, grease a 2.5 quart oven safe baking dish with vegetable spray. Create a layer of potatoes, top with ⅓ of the onions and ½ cup of the shredded cheese.
  8. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from the heat and spoon ⅓ of the sauce over the layered potato mixture.
  9. Repeat the layering process two more times. Cover the dish and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  10. Uncover and top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Place back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and serve.

This dish was delicious and easy to make.  Although it takes a while to cook, it is totally worth it.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftovers

I love thanksgiving so much that I often cook way more than I could ever eat.  So I usually end up make a  variety of leftovers that utilize the ingredients.  Here are my favorite ideas.

Thanksgiving Potato Skins

I love potatoes and I believe that they are the perfect vessel to deliver any food.  Thanksgiving leftovers is no exception.

Thanksgiving Hand Pie

Thanksgiving Hand Pies

There is nothing like placing your favorite ingredients into a pie crust and baking it till golden brown.  These were a hit.  Just douse them in the turkey gravy.

Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza

With a biscuit crust and all of your favorite ingredients on top, you can not beat this as the ultimate leftover recipe.  I make this whenever I can.

Hopefully these will give you some ideas for your leftovers. If you have any other suggestions let me know in the comments.  I would love to hear what you do with your leftovers.

Easter Leftovers – Hawaiian Pizza

Easter Leftovers – Hawaiian Pizza

Even though it was just Dana and I for Easter, I made a giant honey glazed ham. I could not help myself. Plus I love leftovers. But then you have to figure out what leftovers to make. There are a million tasty little creations that you can make with leftover ham. I decided to make one of Dana’s favorites, Hawaiian Pizza.

Hawaiian Pizza

  • 1 pizza dough – (recipe for Basic Pizza Dough)
  • 1 cup Pizza Sauce – Store Bought or Recipe below
  • 1 cup ham, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups mozzarella

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 Can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 15 basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake – (optional)

Garlic oil

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • dash of cracked pepper and kosher salt

Pizza Dough

The first step is to make the pizza dough and let it rise till it doubles.  Here is a simple and easy pizza dough. If you are running short on time, almost all grocery stores have pre-made pizza dough in the deli section.  Or, you can always stop by a local pizzaria and purchase the pre-made dough.

My pizza dough recipe makes two portions.  So try some breadsticks too.
My pizza dough recipe makes two portions. So try some breadsticks too.

Pizza Sauce

If you are going to use a store bought pizza sauce you can skip the next couple steps.  Otherwise, pour the can of whole tomatoes into a bowl and crush with your hand, a potato masher or a pastry cutter.  Once you have all of the big chunks broken up you are good.

Whole tomatoes Crushed tomatoes

Now take the 15 leaves of basil and roll them together like a cigar.  Then thinly slice them into ribbons.  The technical term is chiffonade.  Sounds fancy doesn’t it.  It means breath of butterflies, joking it really only means thin long strips.  Sorry to dissappoint.

Stack roll Chiffonade

Add the chiffonade basil to the bowl with the three cloves of garlic finely minced.  Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flake.  This is a good time to taste the sauce.  If it needs more salt or pepper feel free to add it.

This sauce is tangy and works great with the shrimp
This sauce is tangy and works great with any pizza

Assembly

First form the pizza dough into a round pizza.

Start with the center and slowly move outward till you have the perfect size pizza.
Start with the center and slowly move outward till you have the perfect size pizza.

Using a brush spread the garlic oil around the edge of the pizza.

Oil the edges

Now evenly spread the sauce over the pizza. Then top with the 2 cups of cheese. Make sure not to use too much cheese. You want bits of red from the sauce to peep through the cheese. Then finally top with the ham and pineapple.

Place the pizza in a preheated 475 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  Cook until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Perfect Easter Leftover, Hawaiian Pizza

This pizza is awesome.

Awesome Crust

The garlic oil makes the crust more like garlic bread.  Awesome!

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie

When I used to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Pasty (pronounced “Past – eee”) was king. It is a meat filled hand pie that was usually topped with gravy or ketchup. The pie was all meat and potatoes and lacked the gravy or liquid inside of a pot pie. I though this would be the perfect meal for all of my Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie – makes 2 hand pies

  • 2 pie crust – (Easy Pie Crust)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 cup leftover stuffing
  • 1 cup leftover turkey
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • 1 cup leftover vegetable – (corn, green bean casserole, etc..)
  • 4 tbs butter melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel the potatoes and place them into a large pan.  Bring to a boil and partially cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.  We want the potatoes to be softened, but still hold together. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and rinse with cold water.   When cool to the touch, dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.

Dice up the ingredients

Roll the dough out into 14 inch rounds.

Place 1/2 of the potatoes, turkey, stuffing and vegetable into the center of the pie dough.

Place the ingredients on the pie crust

Fold the pie dough over the filling and form a half-moon shaped hand pie.  Place on a greased cookie sheet or a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Cut a few vent holes in the top of the pies and then brush the tops with the melted butter.

Brush with Butter

Bake in the oven for 18-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Cook till golden brown

Let cool for a minute and then plate.  Cover with warm gravy and serve.

Plated and ready to eat

These pies were delicious and amazing.  The diced potatoes added a nice texture to the pies.  Then topping them with gravy was amazing.  You need to try these with your leftovers.

Leftovers – Thanksgiving Potato Skins

I am a huge fan of potato skins.  The other day I made bbq chicken potato skins.  While making them I realized that potato skins are the perfect vessel for Thanksgiving leftovers.  Fill the skin with your leftovers and your are there.  I must say that these are some of the most delicious potato skins that I have ever had.

Thanksgiving Leftovers - Potato Skin Edition
Thanksgiving Leftovers - Potato Skin Edition

Serve with a side of gravy and you will be in heaven.

Read more

Cheap Eats – Chicken Salad

Every time I cook chicken I always have left overs. Maybe it is because I live by myself or it is the fact that nobody can (let me rephrase that) should eat a 5lb chicken. Earlier this week I made beer can chicken. Probably the best way to roast a chicken. Even with having friends over, I still had 2-3 cups of chicken meat left over. So what is the cure? Homemade chicken salad, of course.

I have always loved chicken salad.  It is amazing.
I have always loved chicken salad. It is amazing.

Chicken salad is amazing for lunch, dinner or even an appetizer. 

Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups cooked chicken – (cubed or shredded)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 cup of red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonnaise  – (add based on your taste)
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper – (optional)
  • salt and pepper – to taste

The first step is dice your vegetables. 

Simple and Fresh
Simple and Fresh

Try to dice all of them so that they are about the same size.  I diced mine about a 1/4 inch square.

 

 Green Peppers  Green Onion Celery 

Then place the vegetables and the chicken in a bowl and mix it up.

Place everything in the bowl and then toss together.
Place everything in the bowl and then toss together.

Now add the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, cayenne pepper (optional) salt and pepper.  Mix everything together.  If you feel you need more mayonaise add a bit more. 

As you can see the vegetables give the salad a nice color.
As you can see the vegetables give the salad a nice color.

That is it.  Chicken salad is extremely easy.  You can add fresh herbs if you like.  Cilantro, tarragon and parsley make good additions.  Serve the chicken salad on nice bread for sandwiches.  Serve it on a bowl of iceberg lettuce for a dinner salad.  Or, carve out a nice heirloom tomato, slice it partially through into quarters forming a flower shape, spread out petals and place a spoonful of chicken salad in the middle for a nice appetizer.

I love chicken salad so I always pile it high and eat up the bits that fall out with potato chips.
I love chicken salad so I always pile it high and eat up the bits that fall out with potato chips.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Doesn't that look delicious!!
Doesn't that look delicious!!

This chicken salad recipe is quick easy and full of fresh flavors from the vegetables.

It was amazing
It was amazing

If you are in the mood for some chicken salad and you don’t have any leftovers, you can can always pick up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.  Most supermarkets have a day where they have them onsale.  Even if you don’t want to eat it, it can be affordable to pick it up for lunch meat.  You can also make open face hot chicken sandwiches with it.