Salt & Wind Travel

33 Must-Make Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Thanksgiving deserves another day — it’s as simple as that.  For those of us who love to cook, it goes by in the blink of an eye. We spend all day (nay, days!) cooking, and before we’ve put our feet up, it’s over.

Everyone has plates piled high, they’re gathered around the TV and settled in for a cozy marathon. That’s why we like to make the most of the holidays with these Thanksgiving leftover recipes.

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes
Table of Contents

Our Top Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Some are ideas for how to use up that extra cranberry sauce and others to get you started on the holidays ahead. 

Turkey Waldorf Salad Recipe

Give Your Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes A Boost

Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving leftover recipes to make the most of your leftovers while still keeping your spirits bright.

Make Some Healthy-ish Recipes

We understand if you’re determined to reset after Thanksgiving (while still using up leftovers). Here are some ways to do just that:

And be sure to check out our full list of 20 Healthy Winter Recipes to Help You Eat Better This Holiday Season.

Sparkling Apple Cider Punch Recipe

Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas

If you’re taking the long weekend, you’ll likely be mixing up a drink or two. Here are some seasonal cocktail ideas that use leftovers:

Or peruse our classiest cocktails for holiday entertaining for more inspo!

Easy Homemade Pasta Dough Recipe

Take On A Weekend Cooking Project

We say turn the weekend after Thanksgiving into its very own occasion. Make it two days focused not on shopping but on lounging and cooking.

As in creatively working through leftovers and taking on a few only-at-the-holidays projects. Maybe try your hand at those candy wrapper pasta (then freeze them for Christmas Eve) or make your own ricotta and then use it to make homemade ravioli. And be sure check out our pasta making tips to make your cooking project a success!

Noni's Shortbread Italian Walnut Cookies Recipe

Get A Head Start On Christmas Cookie Making

If you’re like us, you’ll start getting requests for holiday cookies as soon as December starts. Use the extended holiday weekend to get a head start on cookie baking. Either bake recipes all the way through or make the cookie dough now and freeze it for later.

Or make a cake that lasts for days like our go-to coffee cake, this caramel bundt cake, this brown butter mango bread, or this pound cake with candied kumquats.

Aged Eggnog Recipe

Make Aged Eggnog

Haven’t heard of aged eggnog? Well, now you have, and things will never be the same come mid-December in your house.
After a minimum of 14 days (some people age it for years!) in the fridge, this eggnog takes on a perfect smoothness, the sweetness mellows out, and the alcohol softens.

It’s just the thing to toast the holidays with, and it’s the perfect excuse for a Black Friday leftover party.

That’s exactly what goes on in Aida Mollenkamp’s house: she makes an annual event of it, throwing in the Black Friday towel, reclaiming the kitchen, mixing up some eggnog for edging, then bringing her family back to feast on second, third, and fourth helpings of leftovers — revamped in their own delicious, but easy ways.

Or, if you don’t want to wait, make our classic horchata and use it in this horchata cocktail that’s akin to a White Russian!

Cinnamon Chipotle Spiced Popcorn Recipe

Get Your Snack On

Perhaps all you can manage right now is snacking and that’s perfectly okay. Here are some recipes for easy and (pretty) healthy snacking:

Toasted Brioche with Whipped Goat Cheese and Asian Pear Compote Recipe

Make A Big Breakfast

Since you have a few days off, you could do breakfast in bed, a big brunch, or just a lazy Sunday cook session.

Carrot Muffins Recipe

Get Your Bake On

Finally, if you’re making a culinary beeline for December, you’ll likely want to bake and bake some more. But if you’re not quite ready to make holiday cookies, here are some other ideas:

Okay, now that you have plenty of cooking inspiration, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, head into the kitchen, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Opening photo by Kevin Gilgan

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