By Chad Beuter, Test Kitchen Chef for Meijer
According to a piece that ran on MarketWatch.com in 2016, Americans generate nearly $300 million worth of food waste. And that’s just from the turkey. Since a typical Thanksgiving meal on average costs about $150 in groceries, it makes “cents” (get it?) on getting your money’s worth on making the most out of the leftovers. From freezing to making gallons of turkey soup, there’s lots you can do with Thanksgiving leftovers. If you happen to be hosting guests for a long Thanksgiving weekend, Chad Beuter, our True Goodness Test Kitchen chef came up with a few easy recipes to try.
Make Turkey Stock
If you have leftover turkey bones don’t throw them away! Follow the simple instructions below and cook the stock low and slow to extract the flavors gently for about 4 hours. You can portion it into quart size containers and freeze for up to 2 months. Turkey stock can be turned into a delicious gravy at your next holiday meal or used to make soup!
Bones from leftover Thanksgiving Turkey
3 Celery Stalks
2 medium sized onions
Fresh herbs like Sage, Parsley and Thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Place your turkey bones and place them in a large stock pot (cut them down to size if they don’t fit) and fill the pot just above the bones with cold tap water, at least 1 gallon.
Large dice carrots, celery, onion and add to the pot. Bring the pot to a simmer and turn it down to low where you see a few bubbles break the surface every few seconds.
Continue cooking the stock low and slow to extract the flavors gently for about 4 hours.
Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer and add about a tablespoon of salt per gallon to season the stock.
You can portion it into quart size containers and freeze for up to 2 months.
Make Savory Potato Waffles
We always make far too many mashed potatoes and reheating them does not deliver. In this recipe we add eggs, shredded cheese and bacon to create a savory breakfast item for you to try before you head out into black Friday. Top them with a fried egg or maple syrup for a sweet and savory twist.
Makes 6 waffles
1/3 cup sliced green onion
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
½ cup Meijer sharp shredded cheddar
2 Meijer eggs
½ cup Meijer AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a waffle iron to medium high and coat with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl place mashed potatoes, green onion, cheddar, and eggs and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients into the potato mixture and stir to combine.
Add about ½ cup of potato batter to the waffle iron and cook until deep golden brown and crispy.
Top with a fried egg or maple syrup if desired and enjoy!
Make Holiday Egg Rolls
Instead of the typical leftover sandwich we opted to take all those flavors and roll them up inside an egg roll wrapper. These can be baked or deep fried. Turn leftover cranberry sauce into a delicious sweet and sour dipping sauce as well.
For the egg rolls:
12 egg roll wrappers
2 cups leftover shredded turkey
1 cup leftover stuffing
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
For the dipping sauce:
1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp sriracha style hot sauce
Whisk together dipping sauce ingredients, season and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay out egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface with a corner pointing down.
Starting near the corner closest to you, lay 2 tbsp turkey, 1 tbsp stuffing and 1 tbsp mashed potatoes on the lower middle of the wrapper.
Fold the bottom corner up and over the filling.
Fold the two side corners in towards the middle of the egg roll.
Wet the top corner of the wrapper with your fingers and tightly roll all the way up.
Repeat until all the egg rolls are shaped and sealed and place on prepared baking sheet.
Place egg rolls in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Enjoy with cranberry sweet and sour sauce!
Make Turkey Shepard’s Pie
This recipe works best when you have leftover green bean casserole and homemade gravy to go along with turkey and toasted mashed potato topping. Feel free to adjust the ratios to whatever leftovers are available. Also, sweet potatoes can be substituted for a fun twist.
2 cups leftover stuffing
4 cups leftover turkey, chopped
2 cups leftover green bean casserole
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
½ cup frozen peas
1 cup leftover gravy
Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 13”x9”glass baking dish.
Place leftover stuffing on the bottom of the baking dish and press into an even layer.
In a large bowl combine turkey, green beans, peas and gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Evenly spread filling over the stuffing crust.
Spread leftover mashed potatoes over the top of the filling and run a fork along them to create more surface area.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the mashed potato crust are golden brown and the filling is hot. Enjoy!
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