Thanksgiving is a cherished holiday in the United States – it brings families and friends together to celebrate gratitude, share delicious feasts, and create lasting memories. The roasted turkey, rich gravies, comforting side dishes, and the mountain of pies are what Thanksgiving memories are made of.
We researched creative recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers that represent each region of the United States to help you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers!
Try these leftover turkey recipes and maybe you’ll avoid the collective groan from your family at having turkey sandwiches for dinner, AGAIN.
In the Northeastern United States, where weather is known for its unpredictability; warm and hearty recipes become the go-to choices for many. Among the most beloved options are Turkey & Wild Rice Soup and Turkey Corn Chowder. For those seeking lighter fare after an indulgent Thanksgiving feast, Turkey Cranberry Pizza and Cranberry Croissant Panini offer a fresh twist on leftovers. These recipes are a testament to the resourcefulness of home cooks from the Northeast!
Midwesterners, with their love of comfort foods, embrace the opportunity to transform leftovers into warm and satisfying meals. Two dishes people from this region love are Turkey Pot Pie and Turkey and Dumplings. If you’ve had the pleasure to visit the Midwest, you might have tasted Horseshoe or Poutine. Just sub out the meat for turkey and use the leftover gravy! Hot and Cheesy Turkey Bacon Sliders fit nicely with a post-meal family football game.
The Southeast is known for its creativity in the kitchen, and these recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers reflect that fun. Some of the most innovative dishes on our list are Creamy Turkey and Biscuits and fried Potato Croquettes. Southeasterners also love a good Turkey Salad and this one is perfect for your leftover rolls or as a lettuce wrap if you are tired of heavy food. Our favorite flavor combination might be this BBQ Turkey Sandwich.
Hospitality is the cornerstone of Southern Thanksgiving Traditions, and the leftovers are just as welcoming and warm as the main event. In the South, big flavors are a must, and you see this truth in their favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipes like Turkey Gumbo, Turkey Jambalaya, and Turkey Chili. The Fried Turkey Sandwich, while not the healthiest option, is authentic soul food at its finest. It’s truly unforgettable.
Out in the western states, casseroles are the go-to solution for repurposing leftover turkey. There are several versatile options to choose from, including a classic Turkey Noodle Casserole and Turkey Rice Casserole. For something a bit richer try Turkey Alfredo Stuffed Shells and enjoy a Turkey Cranberry Almond Wrap for a a lighter leftover lunch.
In the Pacific West, local ingredients are used to create dishes that hit the spot without being too fancy. Turkey Egg Rolls with cranberry dipping sauce might be the most unique recipe on our list. The Grilled Florentine Sandwich and Turkey Caesar Pasta Salad are perfect for the region, and the Turkey Tetrazzini is one you don’t want to miss.
The traditional Southwest leftovers are full of spice and tex-mex flair, including Turkey Tamale Pie and Turkey Enchiladas. Kids will love their famous Turkey Nachos. Have you ever eaten a Turkey Waffle Sandwich? We’ve heard it’s particularly popular in New Mexico.
What do you think?
Do these easy recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers represent your region of the United States?
Do you think you’ll branch out and try some of these regional favorites for your leftover turkey meal plan? Or will you stick to the tried and true turkey sandwich?
Let us know your favorite Thanksgiving leftover dish!
You might also like our 25+ Leftover Turkey Recipes post!
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