Last year was the first year we thought about this and it worked out pretty well. We wanted to do a full on Thanksgiving Day meal but I was concerned that after a couple days of leftovers, we were going to end up with a bunch of it still in the fridge and then, eventually, in the trash.
We went in to Turkey Day meal preparations with a plan for what to do with the leftovers. It worked out really well. We had plenty for Thanksgiving, then the dishes below to either have the next week or put in the freezer, and we still had just enough to enjoy some reheated leftovers without getting sick of it.
Just add a few extra items to your shopping list ahead of time and then you can prepare some meals for the future during the long weekend.
Turkey Shepard’s Pie – My husband kind of “winged” it but if you need some instruction, this looks like a good one. Basically, we get a frozen deep dish pie crust, mix together and put in leftover turkey, either leftover vegetables or frozen mixed vegetables, and leftover gravy then top with mashed or sweet potatoes and bake.
Turkey Broccoli Rice Casserole – This is one of my personal favorite freezer recipes. We usually half this recipe and get 2-3 meals out of it. You can get fresh or frozen broccoli and “cream of’s” pretty cheap leading up to Thanksgiving and then we use turkey instead of chicken. A couple weeks later, we aren’t sick of turkey anymore and this heats up pretty quickly for an easy dinner.
Think ahead for Christmas, too! We are making this cranberry sauce again and freezing half to save for Christmas dinner, as well.
You can also freeze leftover turkey. We ended up with some in the freezer and after Christmas we had lots of ham. I found this recipe and we used them to make Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole. It sounds weird, but it was really good.
For Thanksgiving Day dinner this year, I am weirdly excited that we are planning on using herbs that we dried or a friend dried for us from our garden on the turkey and in the from scratch stuffing. I’ll be making bread in the bread machine for the stuffing and we are using the green beans we grew this summer in the garden. My husband is making Sweet Potato Casserole and Chocolate Chess Pie from scratch, too.
This year we are looking at doing Turkey Shepard’s Pie again and trying this recipe to make Turkey Rollups with leftovers. We are planning on doing Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole again, too.
While you are planning for Thanksgiving, check out how to make this Ribbon Turkey Bow for the little girl in your life.