Here’s What to Do with All That Leftover Turkey
Gravy-covered sandwiches and easy turkey soup are the real Thanksgiving MVPs
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Thanksgiving Day is great, but most of the food served at the Big Feast is actually even better the day after. Chef Ryan Harris, founder of Contimo Provisions, knows his way around a sandwich—he serves epic specimens made with housemade charcuterie at his Napa sandwich shop. To help keep the Thanksgiving spirit alive, Harris has provided the blueprint for the Best Ever Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich here.
“The best part of cooking with leftovers is that you rarely have to measure. That’s why we love this great sandwich and why we always make a lot of extras for Thanksgiving dinner.” —Ryan Harris, Contimo Provisions
- Leftover turkey, dinner rolls (or your favorite soft bread), stuffing, and gravy
- Pickled onions (3/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. salt; bring all to a boil and pour over thinly sliced onions)
- Optional: Leftover squash casserole, or other creamy, cheesy casserole, and cranberry sauce
How to Make It
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Start by slicing your dinner rolls open (if they are pull-apart, leave 4 of them together and separate the tops from the bottoms).
- Smear the bottom with leftover winter squash gratin (or other casserole).
- Add a layer of turkey (a mix of light and dark meat is best) and top with a generous sprinkling of pickled onions. Top that with a layer of stuffing, spread out across all the turkey.
- Place sandwich base and top half of dinner rolls on a cookie sheet, toast in the oven for 8 minutes; leave the top dinner rolls on the side until there are 2 minutes left.
- Heat leftover gravy in a pot or in the microwave.
- We prefer to pour the gravy over the sandwich and eat it with a fork and knife, but you can also use it as a dipping sauce.
—Ellen Fort, food editor
Fully Embrace the Long Weekend with This Turkey Leftovers Soup
Can we take a moment to appreciate how good this bowl of soup looks? It’s Slow-Cooker Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey, and it’s the only thing I want to eat the day after Thanksgiving. If you’re like me (i.e., lazy and in Long Weekend Mode), you want a post-Turkey Day meal that’s warming but not super heavy, delicious but requiring very little effort. (Hey, you just spent an entire day chopping onions and making small talk with relatives—“very little effort” is a completely valid request.) Aside from dried split peas, you likely have the rest of the ingredients in your fridge or pantry from yesterday’s feast: yellow onions, carrots, celery, leftover turkey, and chicken broth. If you don’t, a quick trip to the grocery store falls under the “very little effort” list of approved activities.
—Maya Wong, assistant editor
More to read this week:
- Put those Thanksgiving leftovers to good use with these 17 recipes, from One-Pan Portobello Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie to Turkey Enchiladas with Sour Cream.
- Dungeness crab season is officially delayed until Dec. 22, but here are nine seafood recipes to make in the meantime.
- Bay Area chef and restaurateur Michael Mina has opened a location of his upscale tavern, Bourbon Pub, at Tahoe’s Northstar California Resort.
- A gingerbread house kit for every type of person in your life, from a Mickey and Minnie one for the Disney+ subscriber in your family to an A-frame for your design-loving friend.
Looking for more inspiration? Head over to Sunset Recipes for our fall cooking highlights.