Question: what cheery holiday dish also happens to make use of last night's leftovers? Answer: a turkey and cranberry wreath! This baked number is not only the perfect showstopper to bring to a Christmas party, but it also comes together in well under an hour. It's our favorite way to use leftover turkey (or chicken) without it feeling like leftovers. Watch the video to learn how.
When it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers, the turkey and cranberry sandwich is a classic, but the duo work just as well layered between two tortillas. These cheesy, addictive quesadillas are a delicious snack or light meal. Use my recipe as a guide and adapt the filling to suit your family's liking.
Stir minced jalapeños and chipotles in adobo with leftover sweet potatoes and slather on the tortillas instead of using cranberry sauce. Substitute monterey jack, brie, or parmesan for the white cheddar cheese. Enjoy with sour cream, sliced avocado, salsa, or alone. Get the quick and easy turkey quesadilla recipe.
When it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers, generally I'm a purist. A simple carb-on-carb sandwich might slip into the mix, but otherwise my plate is fully loaded with reheated turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, all the fixings (heavy on the gravy), and nothing else. Don't get me wrong, this strategy is less on principle, and more a matter of practicality; if someone (wink wink) set before me a turkey pot pie or the like, I'd gobble it up with glee. But after a marathon day in the kitchen, I have little desire to repurpose leftovers in any ambitious manner.
This year, the proverbial light bulb went off: why not simply sub shredded turkey for chicken in ultra-simple hot-sauce-laden tacos? Little more than a reheat-and-assembly job, these tacos are easy as can be, immensely craveable, and might even fool family members into thinking you put forth more than the bare minimum of effort.
Keep reading for the turkey tacos recipe.
Listen, we get it. After Thanksgiving, you are so done with the kitchen. While we're apt to microwave leftovers for the next few days, it helps to have at least one meal that tastes a little different from the rest. This nourishing soup is also a light reprieve from all the heavy fare.
Whole Foods sent us a roast turkey, and alongside it, they also sent along an "after-Thanksgiving turkey soup" recipe. I took inspiration from the recipe, but made it with brown rice instead of egg noodles, as well as my dad's secret ingredient for just about anything.
Keep reading to find out the secret ingredient, then make the easy leftover turkey soup.
You've grilled, braised, or roasted up a beauty of a bird, but now what? While carving a turkey might seem daunting the first go-round, all it takes is a little know-how and practice (it gets easier every time!) to carve and plate a turkey worthy of centerpiece status.
P.S. Don't forget to show off the intact bird before you dig in, but carve it up in the kitchen (rather than table-side) to avoid prying eyes, all the pressure, and contain any potential mess.
We may be living and breathing Thanksgiving plans this week, but we've got nothing on the experts answering phones over at the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, who stand by each holiday season to answer your every turkey conundrum.
I recently dialed the company's talk line headquarters in Naperville, IL, where I caught up with veteran talk-line expert Marty Van Ness. She's been offering turkey advice all day, every day, two months out of the year, for the past 20 years. Since — obviously! — she's got quite a way with turkeys, Marty shared some sage turkey advice, plus a few of her favorite Butterball hotline stories.
YumSugar: How and when did you get started as a talk-line expert?
Marty Van Ness: This is my 20th year. Years ago, in the 1980s, I went to work in a test kitchen and met a group of women who did the talk line. I applied, got the job, and was thrilled. Now I do both jobs, all at the same time.
YS: How do you gear up for the holiday cooking season?
MVN: We start Nov. 1; prior to that, we have Butterball 101 at Butterball University, where our staff of 55 in home economics trains on all different methods of cooking turkey. We learn different methods of cooking turkey and cook all our turkeys, from opening the bag until carving at the end. It's interesting to see 10 different turkeys and their different [cooking] methods; each is wonderful for its own reason.
Read on for more turkey talk-line questions, answered.
It's time to talk turkey: will you be serving yourself white meat or dark? Perhaps you'll be skipping the bird altogether and opting for a tofu version instead. Many people avoid dark meat, thinking it's not quite as healthy as white, but depending on your nutritional needs, a big ol' drumstick might be for you. We've created a handy chart to see how the different meats compare and have added the stats on Tofurky too. See how they all compare after the break.
Regardless of your family's Thanksgiving traditions, it's safe to say gravy ranks pretty high on the list of must-make dishes. Sure, you might swap out New Orleans-inspired andouille dressing for the traditional variety, or whip up potato-basil puree instead of the classic mash, but would Thanksgiving be Thanksgiving without glossy gravy drizzled over the whole lot?
And why stop there? Rich and creamy, this superlative gravy tastes like the essence of turkey, which it is, and was so tempting that I found myself sneaking spoonfuls from the fridge after my Thanksgiving dry run.
In my fantasy world, I'd be the sort of put-together individual who plans things out far enough in advance to lovingly brine a heritage bird. Realistically, though, my actual Thanksgiving planning is more of a fly by the seat of my pants sort of endeavor.
Years of crunch-time prep (and admittedly a bit of unnecessary panic) have taught me that even when I only get down to business the morning of the big day, it can still lead to a juicy, flavorful bird that my family will devour with relish.
Turkey Day is rapidly approaching, and you can get the littlest members of your family ready for the big event with a non-edible turkey find just for them from Etsy. From onesies and hats to puzzles and stuffed toys, these 11 turkey finds are tons of fun and will make your kiddos grateful for that little holiday that lies between Halloween and Christmas.