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How to use those leftovers from Thanksgiving Day dinner

After spending hours and hours—even days, cooking Thanksgiving Day dinner, most of us find ourselves with a full belly and lots of leftovers. Instead of just eating “leftovers,” why not transform them into something completely different? Here are a few of my favorite ways to use up those leftovers. 

What is more comforting than a turkey pot pie? You can make a big one, but making individual ones in oven-safe ramekins make a spectacular and personal presentation.

Turkey Pot Pies

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

1/3 cup butter

1 cup onions, minced

½ cup carrots, diced

½ cup celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ teaspoons thyme leaves

1 teaspoons rosemary leaves, minced

1 ½ cups mushrooms, sliced

2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup flour

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

3 ½ cups cooked turkey, diced

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 egg plus 1 tablespoon milk, whisked

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a pot, melt butter. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add thyme, rosemary, mushrooms, potatoes, salt and pepper and cook another five minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and cook a minute. Slowly add chicken broth and milk and heat to a boil. Stir until thickened. 

Simmer and add turkey and peas. Pour into ramekins (or pie plate) that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cut puff pastry to fit ramekins. Brush with egg/milk mixture and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Turkey Tetrazzini

1 pound spaghetti

6 tablespoons butter, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

½ cup dry white wine

2 ½ cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

5 cups cooked turkey, diced

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup parmesan, grated

2 tablespoon olive oil

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti in plenty of salted water until done. Drain. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook five minutes. Add dry white wine and bring to a boil. Allow to reduce four to five minutes. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour and cook a few minutes. 

Add chicken broth and cream. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in turkey, cheddar cheese, peas, oregano, and some salt and pepper. Add cooked and drained spaghetti noodles. Spray a 9- by 13-inch dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour spaghetti mixture into dish. In a small bowl, combine panko, parmesan and olive oil. 

Sprinkle over spaghetti mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Ultimate Thanksgiving 

Day Casserole

4 cups cooked stuffing

4 cups cooked turkey, diced

¾ cup mayonnaise, divided

1/3 cup cranberry sauce

2 cups cooked mashed potatoes

1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, grated

 Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add half of the stuffing and all of the diced turkey. In a bowl, combine ¼ cup of the mayonnaise with the cranberry sauce. 

Spread over the turkey mixture. In another bowl, combine remaining mayonnaise, mashed potatoes, and cheddar cheese. Spread on casserole. 

Top with remaining stuffing. Bake for 25 minutes.