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Give Your Thanksgiving Leftovers New Life

However you celebrate your Thanksgiving, whether you graze all day, settle in for a big afternoon meal, hop from place to place or host the feast at your apartment, one thing is for sure: You’re going to have your fill of leftovers. Some may say that leftovers are the best part, and that may be true. But, nobody ever said reworking Thanksgiving leftovers had to be basic. We’ve got some ideas to spice up your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Give Your Thanksgiving Leftovers New Life

Rise and shine: Thanksgiving meals are traditionally lunch or dinner foods, but your leftovers can be transformed for breakfast and brunch dishes, too. Sweet potatoes or yams lend themselves sweetly to regular batter for a new twist on pancakes. Portland’s Minimalist Baker has a sweet recipe for a quick pumpkin French toast bake. Or, chop up some classic green bean casserole to make filler for an omelet.

Croquettes: Pretty much every culture and cuisine has some form of these delicious little breadcrummed and fried (or baked) rolls. It’s easy to understand why. They’re perfect conduits for a mish-mash of leftovers, including potatoes, turkey, veggies, spices and herbs. Epicurious has a pretty forgiving recipe for turkey croquettes that seems to let you be a little loosy-goosy with the measurements. Because leftovers shouldn’t be more complicated than the original.

Waffle it: Chicken and waffles are trending on more menus lately, and you can make your own version with Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing leftovers. Just take your stuffing and waffle-ize it in a waffle iron. Then, add your turkey and cranberry sauce on top. Or, do like Food and Wine suggests in this easy video, and blend a bunch of leftovers with some egg, and waffle the whole thing together.

Something completely different: Thanksgiving staples have such distinctive flavors, that part of what makes leftovers so frustrating is that they can start to taste the same after a while. Spice things up a little, or a lot. Use that turkey in some hearty pasta with red sauce. Mix in some fire-roasted roasted chiles, tomatoes, beans and queso for turkey nachos. Or, rather than going for expected turkey soup, make it turkey tom ka kai instead (substituting turkey for chicken, of course). The Thai favorite spicy hot and sour soup with a coconut base is about as far from traditional Thanksgiving as you can get, but in a really good way.