Every family has leftovers during the Thanksgiving holiday keep reading to hear about about how these COM 200 student’s families transform their leftovers into new dishes.

Turkey Soup

For as long as I can remember, my mom, aunt, grandmother, and I have been in a debate over whether or not we should even make a turkey for Thanksgiving. Most of the family including my mom and grandmother love it, my aunt and I however despise the bird. Every year I ask can we just have chicken, and every year my mother says “Gabriella it’s Thanksgiving we are having turkey stop being dramatic”. Given that a quarter of the dinner table refuses to eat turkey we always have a lot left over which is used to make what is supposedly a really delicious leftover turkey soup. So if you like turkey and you like soup keep reading to learn the steps to this recipe

My mom, grandmother, and aunt
Photo By: Gabriella Bamford
  1. Place the turkey carcass (aka what’s left of the turkey bones after all the meat has been cut off) in a large stock pot. *In my family this pot literally only comes down from the top shelf of my grandmother’s pantry once a year and is used solely for this soup. Pretty sure its been in the family for like a million years* Anyways back to the recipe!!
  2. Cover the carcass with water 
  3. Add in cut up celery, carrots, onions, tomatoes, a bay leaf, and peppercorns *Pro tip- cut extra celery carrots and onions when chopping them to stuff your turkey with. Saves a lot of time later on in the process!!*
  4. Let simmer for two to three hours to really let the flavors seep out from the carcass bones
  5. Stain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth 
  6. Discard the solids specifically the carcass… you should be left with some very hearty and flavorful broth
  7. Re add the cooked veggies leftover turkey meat 
  8. Top with parsley and parmesan cheese
  9. Enjoy!!  
The aforementioned “special” stock pot
Photo By: Gabriella Bamford

Although this meal does take some time to cook it makes a lot and the soup can easily be frozen and used for meal prep in the future. So if you are a turkey lover this soup is the perfect way to make sure all parts of the bird are used while providing a creative and tasty way to use your veggie and turkey leftovers. I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving and enjoys their dinner and their leftovers with those they love. 

-Gabriella Bamford

Turkey Pot Pie

There’s no one in my family who doesn’t like every delicious Thanksgiving food that is set out on our table. However, at the end of every Thanksgiving meal, we still seem to have heaps of turkey, potatoes, vegetables, and anything else you can think of left over. There’s always a typical, light-hearted family argument at the end of Thanksgiving as to who is bringing what home. My aunt and mom always insist that one another keep the leftovers because it’s too much for them to eat. However, when it comes to these leftovers that no one wants responsibility over, it’s very possible to make something yummy with them. Everyone is familiar with the delicious and flakey classic, chicken pot pie. However, with an overload of turkey, potatoes, and vegetables leftover from Thanksgiving, turkey pot pie is an easy and tasty way to use your leftovers. 

With my mom and grandparents
Photo By: Kira Chick

Turkey Pot Pie can literally be made with nothing more than your leftovers, ensuring that nothing goes to waste. You can create this meal using solely:

  •  Chunks of leftover turkey
  •  Leftover gravy
  •  Leftover peas and carrots (or whatever veggie your family eats on Thanksgiving)
  •  Potatoes

With this recipe, you can make a completely new meal with food you’re probably sick of eating the traditional way. For more details on this leftover recipe, click here!

-Kira Chick

Turkey Salad

For years, a large amount of my family gets together to celebrate the holiday of thanksgiving. Typically, there are about 50 members that eat dinner together. Our dinner is comprised of the basics; turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, etc. In addition to these, we usually have a few pasta dishes such as stuffed shells as well. For dessert, we have chocolate pudding pie, pumpkin pie, fresh fruit, and fruit tarts.

With my sisters
Photo By: Janine Gasarowski

Although there are so many of us that gather together, we still have so much food left over. My favorite thing that we do without leftovers is make Turkey Salad with the leftover turkey. This is usually eaten after dessert with some ritz crackers.

What is in the turkey salad

  • Chopped up leftover turkey 
  • Onions 
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Mustard 

It is a simple and easy dish and is my favorite part of our thanksgiving celebration.    

– Janine Gasarowski 

Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

As much as my family loves food, we are definitely not the best chefs. We have tried to utilize our dining room table on Thanksgiving once in the past decade, and it was not very successful. In order to accommodate the vegetarians, picky eaters, and just plain stubborn relatives, we had an assortment of dishes including turkey, stuffed shells, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, and so many more. Although all of the dishes were tasty, the one that all of my relatives can always agree is the best is the mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Rosta house
Photo By: Katie Rosta

My family always makes sure to have plenty of leftover mashed potatoes because it is the one food that will definitely not go to waste. We usually just eat the mashed potatoes as mashed potatoes, but sometimes we decide to get creative and make cheesy leftover mashed potato cakes. This quick and easy dish puts a new spin on an already-loved classic. Using the mashed potatoes that you already have, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, an egg, some flour and oil will get you this dish that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. 

-Katie Rosta

Cornbread Stuffing

If you have any leftover stuffing but are a little tired of the same old, consider adding some different ingredients to the stuffing you already have.  Check out this article for Cornbread Stuffing to get some ideas.

My mom and grandfather preparing for thanksgiving dinner
Photo By: Skylar Althouse
  • Add a kind of meat, like spicy sausage, or leftover turkey
  • Get some walnuts to add a crunch
  • Cranberries can add a burst of sweetness, but you could also use any other kind of dried fruit
  • If you need to add more bread just take whatever you have from Thanksgiving and add in little bits, make sure that its stale!
  • To get it tasting good as new add a little bit of chicken broth and mix it together
  • Stick in the oven and you are good to go!

-Skylar Althouse

Onion Rice

Throughout my whole life, Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite traditions in my life. However, since my freshman year,  I have been traveling to New York to see my mom, dad, sister, and some of my friends. However, this year, I am excited about coming back to my main island, Puerto Rico, to get the real Thanksgiving meal that both of my grandparents do it for my whole family. 

Coming from a big family, 17 cousins, it is sometimes a chaotic time when it is time to serve our dinner. We usually have a central order from the younger to the adults. Typically, my grandparents divide all the dishes and the turkey for that day. All my family meets on my mother’s side house, and we eat a delicious meal together. My grandfather is in charge of the whole turkey and helps my grandmother with the side dishes. After all the side dishes, my grandmother does dessert, and my aunt brings a delicious cherry pie. These side dishes are onion rice, turkey stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, and pumpkin mash with melted marshmallows on the top. Finally, between my grandmother and aunt, they create a delicious pumpkin pie, apple pie, and cherry pie dessert that are one of the best desserts I ever try. My grandmother’s best recipe is onion rice, which is one of the best ones she has made. This recipe large onion peeled, white rice, garlic cloves, a cup of basil, a tablespoon of corn oil, salt, pepper, butter, onion soup and spanish sausage called “chistorras,” which this year we will added to the onion rice. Also, another Puerto Rican traditional side dish known as relleno de pavo (turkey stuffing) is made with ground beef, pork, and jam and it is added spanish sausages, meat broth and “sofrito.”

Some of my Cousins
Photo By: Carolina Rodriguez

Celebrating Thanksgiving with all my family is a tradition my whole family cherishes. Besides giving thanks as a family, we share many beautiful memories. In the future, when I have children of my own, I plan to keep this beautiful tradition to honor my grandparents and keep my family united. 

-Carolina Rodriguez

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