Kelsey Rumburg
3 min readNov 24, 2021


3 Tips for Using Your Thanksgiving Dinner Leftovers

Turkey being carved on a table set for a Thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Of course, you know you are going to have a ton of leftovers to eat. How many years in the past have you ended up throwing out your leftovers? This year, why not try to reduce the waste and find some more creative uses for them?

  1. We all have people in our community that are lonely or cannot help themselves. Chances are, you know someone in need or you know someone who is aware of an individual or family in need. This is a perfect home for some of those leftovers! Giving something that someone can be thankful for, is what Thanksgiving is all about. Ask around to find out who is spending the holidays alone and could benefit from a pre-cooked holiday meal.
  2. Another great tip is to make individual meal portions and freeze them. That way you can have them later on in the year as a home-cooked TV dinner. It is perfect for those days when you don’t have time to cook an entire meal because you’ve been too busy. Just taking it from the freezer and popping it in the oven is a great way to use those leftovers.
  3. There are also some new and unique recipes to mix things up a bit. We all get tired of the same meal day after day. Here are a few new ways to revive the same old tired leftovers:
  • Make an Asian meal! First, decide on wonton or egg rolls to have with this stir fry. For fried wontons, your mixture should include finely diced turkey, scallions, and ginger. Beat one egg and use it to seal the wonton before frying. For egg rolls, dice your turkey into rather small pieces. Next, add some shredded cabbage and carrots. Separate 2 eggs, mix one full egg and two egg yolks into the meat and veggie filling. Use the egg whites from those two separated eggs to seal the egg rolls before frying. For your stir fry dinner, use all of your leftover veggies; slice them and toss them in a pan, add some stir fry or oyster sauce if you’d like for a more authentic flavor. You can throw in strips of turkey or ham if you desire. Saute the vegetables and serve over rice.
  • Breakfast casserole: warm stuffing in the microwave so it is easier to work with and not so clumpy. Add beaten eggs, shredded cheese of your choice; pour into a baking dish and bake at 350 until done.
  • Mashed potato pizza has been a trendy way to use leftover potatoes. Make sure your potatoes are creamy and warm. If they don’t already have garlic in them, sprinkle on some finely chopped cloves or garlic powder. Add a spoonful (or two) of sour cream, mix it all thoroughly. Simply spread the mashed potatoes on a precooked pizza crust of your choice. Sprinkle on cheese, crumble some cooked bacon and throw on some chopped green onions. Then, bake until the cheese is melted! Voila! A yummy meal that will please even the pickiest eaters.
  • Turkey (and/or ham) Pot Pie is a well-known favorite. Toss your meat, veggies, potatoes and gravy into a baking dish. Mix up some biscuit dough and top the mixture. Bake until the dough is cooked and the filling is hot.

The point is, be creative, and use what you’ve got! Let’s face it, no one is too thrilled with the traditional turkey soup and sandwiches a couple days after Thanksgiving. So, make something new! Let’s all try to make this holiday season, waste-free!

How are you re-using your thanksgiving leftovers or reducing your waste this Thanksgiving? Share a pic and tag @trashtotreasuremindset on Instagram! Can’t wait to see your ideas!



Kelsey Rumburg

As an adventurous farm girl, I am a creator on a mission to build a better economy. I question our idea of trash and look for new ways to use our resources!