Thanksgiving leftover recipes, including soup, sandwiches and strata

Turkey Tetrazzini With Butternut Squash. (Peggy Cormary/food styling by Nicola Justine Davis for The Washington Post)

There are people who are only into Thanksgiving for the leftovers. We see you. And we get it.

We appreciate the joys of a cook once, eat twice approach, and after such a big holiday with so much food, that can easily stretch to at least three or four additional meals. Turkey is a prime culprit when it comes to managing leftovers, so we’ve combed our archives for a few tasty, exciting options to help use it up. Plus, we have options for making the most of other elements of the big meal, including vegetables and cranberry sauce.

Before we start, some reminders: Perishable Thanksgiving dishes (turkey, many sides) should not sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours (less is better!). Use or freeze leftovers within 4 days. Oh, and have fun. With all the work you’ve done for the feast, you deserve it.


Turkey Tetrazzini With Butternut Squash Sauce

Pictured above. Use two types of leftovers — turkey and butternut squash — in this lightened-up dish that features whole-wheat spaghetti and eliminates the typical butter and cream from the sauce. Get the recipe.

Tetrazzini is a creamy one-pan pasta hit, with or without chicken


Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Po’ Boy

This sandwich from Ann Maloney is designed for leftovers, specifically cornbread dressing, gravy, turkey and cranberry sauce. Get the recipe.


Dorie Greenspan’s Next Day Turkey-and-Cranberry Sriracha Strata

Use leftover bread (or cinnamon-raisin bread as the recipe suggests), spinach or kale, cranberry sauce, turkey and cheddar for this tasty strata. Get the recipe.


Turkey Tortilla Soup

You can use both leftover turkey and turkey broth in this quick soup (you can make a fantastic turkey stock from leftover bones). Get the recipe.


Southwest-Style Turkey Hash With Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

Get creative with what you add in here. You can add leftover veggies or even toss in some of your leftover corn casserole, and it will fit right in. Get the recipe.


Turkey Fried Rice, Kung Pao Style

The turkey gets a brief soak in a flavorful marinade, but then this dish spiked with Sichuan peppercorns comes together in minutes. Get the recipe.

5 fried rice recipes for fast, flavorful meals


Pumpkin Cranberry Waffles

You can have leftovers for breakfast! Use any leftover pumpkin puree from that pie and add to the batter. Dollop your leftover cranberry sauce on top. You can also go the waffle route with leftover stuffing: Just put it inside your waffle machine, press down and presto, stuffing waffle. Get the recipe.


Lentil-Mushroom Farmer’s Pie

If you have leftover mashed potatoes, use them to top this vegetarian twist on shepherd’s pie. Or just make shepherd’s pie. Get the recipe.

How to make better mashed potatoes — just the way you like them


Vegetable Frittata

Have leftover veggies? Throw them in here. Get the recipe.


Barbecue Sweet Potato Tortizzas

If you have extra mashed sweet potatoes that are unseasoned or very minimally seasoned, use them in this fun combo of pizza and quesadillas. The toppings are flexible, meaning you can experiment with other leftovers, such as roasted vegetables. Get the recipe.


Whole Wheat Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Cranberry sauce adds a boost of brightness to these hearty muffins. Get the recipe.


Maple and Cranberry Drumsticks

If you’re not tired of poultry, try this one-pan meal that combines cranberry sauce or relish with maple syrup for a marinade that bakes into a lovely glaze. Get the recipe.