Five Creative Uses for Leftovers

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Loved Thanksgiving dinner this year? Then you’re probably looking to make the leftovers in your fridge last as long as possible. Not only might they taste as savory and scrumptious as when you had them fresh on Thanksgiving night, but they’ll definitely save you time on making new meals from scratch. And with these five creative uses for leftovers, you can make everything in your fridge last even longer.

1. Make a broth

Leftover turkey tastes great on its own, but you can use bones from your gigantic roasted turkey too. Add these bones to a stockpot full of boiling water to get a homemade turkey broth that you can use in soups, pasta and rice dishes, and more. After an hour or two of boiling, the water will have absorbed enough juices from the bones to make a broth – taste-test it to make sure. Once it’s ready, you can combine your turkey broth with your actual turkey to…

2. Make a soup

Want to take your leftover turkey and newly created broth to the next level? Submerge shredded turkey (tear it up with your hands or use a shredder) and some chopped vegetables in a stockpot full of your broth. You can even add leftover stuffing too if you’re feeling extra creative with your post-Thanksgiving soup! Set the burner to high, and then turn the heat to low once it reaches a rolling boil to sustain a consistent simmer. After 20 to 35 minutes, your soup will be ready – you know the time has come when everything is warm and tender.

3. Throw together a Buddha bowl

If you feel like you’ve been hearing the term “Buddha bowl” a lot recently, you’re not alone. This newer culinary item combines grains, veggies, proteins, seeds, and a dressing of your choice to make a filling, healthy meal option for any time of day. Your leftover turkey can function as a top-notch Buddha bowl protein, and you can use cranberry sauce in place of any classic dressing.

4. Whip up a stir fry

Turkey and starchy Thanksgiving vegetables such as corn, peas, and green beans can all be tossed together into a quick stovetop stir fry. Fill a wok or large pan to between one-fourth and one-half full of these foods, then add vegetable oil. Turn your burner to medium-high and consistently stir everything as it absorbs the oil. If you find your stir-fry burning or heating too quickly, turn your heat down to medium or even medium-low. Once the mix is steaming and aromatic, it’s ready to serve.

5. Enjoy sides night

What if you could have a dinner comprising solely sides and no main? Leave the turkey in the fridge and heat up your mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, and other Thanksgiving sides. Together, they should all be filling and nutritious enough to work as a full meal. You can heat each side individually in the microwave, but for faster, more even heating, consider adding everything to a baking tray and putting it in the oven for three to five minutes.

What are some of your favorite creative ways to use leftovers? Share them in the comments!

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