For the Foodies: How To Make Use of Thanksgiving Leftovers

Isabella Hewitt, Multimedia Photo Editor

After Thanksgiving — a holiday characterized by an abundance of food — many “suffer” from the leftover crisis. As families prepare large turkeys and a plethora of side dishes, they often are left with an overflowing fridge and confusion about how to not waste the dishes they spent hours preparing. 

Due to the endless solutions and ways to use leftovers, this feeling of uncertainty and guilt towards throwing away food is no more.


One useful and feel-good way to minimize the number of leftovers in one’s kitchen is through donations to local homeless shelters or other service programs for the underprivileged. This allows for the whole community to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, embrace the spirit of thankfulness and giving back. 


An eco-friendly alternative, one can compost fruits, vegetables and other select foods that easily decompose. The numerous benefits of this solution include soil enrichment and a decline in wasted food.

Sharing with Neighbors/friends:

As the holiday focuses on celebrating with friends and family, a Thanksgiving-appropriate way to make use of leftovers is through sharing/giving to others around the community. One can walk over to their neighbor and offer to share the meals made with love, or even bring them to the next family or friend event. 

Making new meals with leftovers:

A creative and fun way to reuse food from the night before is to make new meals with the dishes. If one has turkey leftovers, using turkey slices to make turkey BLTs or sandwiches makes for a delicious and simple snack. Leftover mac ‘n cheese can be used for casseroles or other forms of mouth-watering foods, such as mac ‘n cheese mozzarella sticks.