The average American will spend more than $50 cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, which means nearly everyone will head home Thursday with a container of leftovers. And if you don't want to eat the same meal two days in a row, you need a creative way to repurpose the extra food. Don't cop out and simply shove it all in a sandwich à la "Friends" — you can do better.
Here are five ways to use your Thanksgiving leftovers:
This recipe from Giada De Laurentis will use up your turkey in a delicious — and simple — way. Shred a pound of cooked turkey and add it to sautéed onion, garlic, carrot and celery in a frying pan with olive oil. Cook it for a minute, then add three cups of marinara sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Add basil, salt and pepper. Add to cooked spaghetti and top with parmesan.
It doesn't get any easier than this Delish recipe. Grab a cookie sheet and spread out a bag's worth of Ruffles. Sprinkle a cup of gouda cheese, a cup of shredded turkey and 1 1/2 cups of stuffing on top, then cook for about eight minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is finsihed cooking, add spoonfuls of cranberry sauce and drizzle with gravy.
This CountryLiving concotion will get rid of extra vegetables and mashed potatoes. Simply cook the leftover carrots and onions in a pan over medium heat, then add ground turkey and brown. Add a tablespoon of flour and stir. Throw in peas and 2 1/2 teaspoons of rosemary, then season with salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth and simmer for five minutes. Throw it all into a pie pan, top with mashed potatoes and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turkey Cobb Salad
To make this gorgeous Martha Stewart recipe, dice up your leftover turkey and put it on a serving platter. Next to it, lay diced plum tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs in wedges, 3/4 cup of bleu cheese, a thinly slice avocado and four slices of crumbled bacon. Separately, stir together three tablespoons of red wine vinegar, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and two tablespoods of olive oil. Toss with one head of romaine lettuce. Then let your guests add whatever toppings they want.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
This recipe from Serious Eats' J. Kenji López-Alt will finally get that sweet potato casserole dish out of the fridge. Simply stir together 1 1/4 cups of mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 3/4 cup of milk, an egg, two tablespoons of melted butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrup in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together one cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine the two bowls so it makes a batter, then cook on a skillet. Enjoy warm.