Most of us will wake up Friday morning with a fridge full of leftovers that’ll last all weekend long. But after a day or two of reheated turkey and old mashed potatoes, holiday leftovers start to lose their appeal.
We’ve asked Nick Evans, food blogger and author of Love Your Leftovers, to share his favorite ways to reinvent the remains of Thanksgiving dinner. According to him, it’s all about introducing unique new flavor profiles in ways that are easy to pull off.
Read on for some creative (and yummy) new dishes you can whip up with your leftovers this weekend.
Roasted turkey banh mi
Looking to put a new spin on the day-after turkey sandwich? Try giving it an Asian flare.
“Dice up some turkey, then heat it up with a little bit of brown sugar, some Vietnamese fish sauce and a little soy sauce,” says Evans.
From there, serve it on a baguette with some crunchy veggies. (Think cucumber, cilantro, red onions or baby carrots.)
“It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, a little savory, and really brings turkey back to life that’s a few days old,” says Evans.
If you’re looking to dial up the heat, stir a tablespoon of Sriracha into a few tablespoons of mayo. Then spread it on the baguette for an added kick.
Mashed potato gnocchi
Pasta anyone? If you’ve got some mashed potatoes on hand, turning them into a tasty Italian meal is a snap. Start by taking three cups of cold mashed potatoes and mixing it up with an egg, which will serve as your binder. Then gradually add in a cup of flour to achieve a nice, doughy consistency that’s just right for gnocchi.
“Usually a cup of flour is enough, but sometimes you might need up to two cups if you have really wet mashed potatoes,” says Evans.
After that, roll the dough into a big log, and then cut that up into little dumplings. Boil them in salted water, and you’ve got yourself some homemade gnocchi. Serve them as you would any pasta dish. (Classic red sauce will do the trick.)
“Even better, if you have leftover herbs, you can make a sage butter sauce really quickly, and just toss them in there” says Evans, who adds that the finished product will have a completely different flavor profile than your original mashed potatoes.
Elevated pancake and waffle sauce
Before you toss the cranberry sauce, consider putting it on the breakfast table. The only additional ingredients this super simple recipe requires is maple syrup and nutmeg. First, reheat the cranberry sauce on the stove and add in equal parts maple syrup.
“The cranberry sauce can be a little bitter, and that goes really well with the maple syrup,” says Evans. “So you have this perfect mix of tangy and sweet.”
From there, add a pinch of nutmeg and serve over fresh pancakes or waffles. The recipe is especially tasty with homemade cranberry sauce. According to Evans, the canned stuff will work too, but it’s not quite as knock-your-socks-off good. Either way, it’s a creative way to dress up your breakfast.