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In the Kitchen: What to do with those Thanksgiving leftovers

If you are like me, you have a refrigerator (or two) full of leftovers from yesterday’s feast. 

Do you like leftovers? My family was never a big fan, causing me to have to completely makeover the leftovers so they didn’t realize they were eating them. 

Here are some awesome ways to use up those remnants.

Everybody loves Mexican food and these enchiladas do not disappoint!


Turkey enchiladas

5 tablespoons avocado oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 large can red enchilada sauce

8 corn tortillas

3 cups cooked and shredded turkey meat

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, divided

For serving: Sour cream and chopped cilantro

 Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until very soft. 

Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook another minute.

Pour the onion mixture into a large bowl. 

Add ½ cup enchilada sauce, cooked turkey meat, pinto beans and half of the cheese. In another bowl, add enchilada sauce. 

Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Dip each corn tortilla in the enchilada sauce and then add a heaping spoonful of the turkey filling and roll up, placing in casserole dish, seam side down.

Pour remaining enchilada sauce over all and top with remaining cheese. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. To serve, top each enchilada with a generous dollop of sour cream and some cilantro.

 •    •    •

The already flavorful stuffing will take your stuffed peppers to the next level.

Turkey and stuffing stuffed peppers

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped

2 cups leftover stuffing (or dressing)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 red bell peppers, tops, ribs and seeds removed

1 ½ cups mozzarella, grated and divided

1/3 cup parsley, minced


In a bowl, combine egg, turkey, stuffing, salt and pepper. Stir in half of the cheese, stirring to combine. 

Divide stuffing into each pepper, tamping down the mixture. 

Place stuffed peppers in a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 minutes, until peppers are soft. 

Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

 •    •    •

You can make the meatballs any size you like, but I love to make them small and bite sized and serve them in a shallow dish with toothpicks. The perfect finger food!

Cranberry meatballs

1 pound ground beef

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup panko

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chives, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

2 cups cranberry sauce

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup parsley, minced


For meatballs, combine ground beef, egg, panko, garlic, chives, salt and pepper. Form into small meatballs. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Cook, browning on all sides. 

Meanwhile, combine barbecue sauce, cranberry sauce and chili powder. Pour into skillet over meatballs, stirring to coat the meatballs. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 10-15 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.

 •    •    •

If you love mashed potatoes and also love a fully loaded baked potato, you are about to fall in love with these fried potato balls.


Fried mashed potato balls

3 cups mashed potatoes

3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons chives, minced

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/3 cup panko

1/2 cup avocado oil


Put eggs in one bowl, and panko in another. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, cooked bacon, chives, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Form into small balls. 

Heat oil until it reaches 350 degrees. Roll the potato balls in the eggs, and then roll in the panko. Fry the potato balls in the hot oil until golden brown. Sprinkle with a little salt.

 •     •    •

Leftover Brussels sprouts can be a bit on the boring side … but add some potatoes and a sunny side up egg, and you’ve got a dish that is anything but boring.


Brussels sprout hash

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups cooked Brussels sprouts, sliced

4 eggs


Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onion, salt and pepper, cooking until potatoes are almost done, about 15-20 minutes. 

Add Brussels sprouts and cook another minute. Make four wells and to each well add an egg. Cook another 5 minutes, until egg white is cooked, but yolk is still runny.