What’s the best part of Thanksgiving food? According to most Americans, it’s the leftovers.
You read that right — in a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. residents who celebrate Thanksgiving, 70% say leftovers taste better than the main meal, and more than half feel the holiday is ruined if there isn’t any food left over. 😱
Yet, the average person ends up throwing away eight pounds of Thanksgiving leftovers every year because they’re no longer edible, with 37% acknowledging they forgot to save leftovers properly. Multiply that by 128 million U.S. households — that adds up to a lot of food waste.
It’s our mission to help you Save What Matters® so we’ve rounded up this inspiration to not only make the most of Thanksgiving leftovers, but prolong the life of your food, ditch single-use plastics, and help protect our planet.
Creative Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers
Make Breakfast With Thanksgiving Leftovers
It takes just a few simple ingredients plus your leftover cranberry sauce to make these easy overnight oats from Marissa Moore, Registered Dietician Nutritionist. The Stand-Up Mini bag is the perfect size to prep and store a single serving for those grab-and-go mornings.
Leftover stuffing for breakfast is never wrong — this savory waffle recipe is a must-try! Be sure to make extras and freeze in a Stasher bag to reheat in the toaster on busy mornings. Don’t have a waffle iron? Try Leftover Stuffing Cakes or Crispy Mashed Potato & Stuffing Patties.
Lunch Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers
Substitute Turkey for Chicken in this recipe from our Let’s Fix Lunch cookbook, then pack it to go in the Quart Bag that’s designed to open wide for sandwiches of all shapes and sizes. Litter free to-go lunch is in the bag!
This recipe is perfect for a lighter lunch. It uses leftover turkey, roasted veggies, and stuffing croutons! Bonus: The vinaigrette is made with cranberry sauce. Make a to-go lunch by layering all the salad ingredients in a Stasher Stand-Up Mid, adding the greens last to keep them fresh. Put some dressing in a Pocket bag and you’re good to go. When lunchtime arrives, pour the dressing into the salad bag, then seal, shake, and enjoy.
Dinners Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers
This spin on the classic Shepherd's Pie is a genius (and super easy) way to repurpose most of the Thanksgiving classics. Try storing and reheating any leftovers of this recipe in a Stand-Up Mega bag — all our bags can take the heat up to 425°F.
For an easy weeknight dinner, how about a Thanksgiving taco bar? Grab all those Stasher bags filled with leftovers from the fridge or freezer, reheat in the microwave or oven, then lay them out with warm flour tortillas and get creative.
Reduce Food Waste & Enjoy Every Last Thanksgiving Leftover
Put it on ice. Nearly every Thanksgiving leftover can be frozen. Try these tips for packing meal-sized portions in Stasher bags to enjoy later.
Bundle up. Make sure you have enough Stasher bag essentials on hand with a bundle. The 7-Pack or 9-Pack Starter Kits are a great way to assure you have a range of sizes for holiday food prep, cooking, and storage of leftovers.
Soup’s on. Turkey soup is a post-Thanksgiving staple — no recipe required! Use the leftover carcass and your favorite spices to create a delicious bone broth, then add in veggies, legumes, pasta, rice — whatever’s leftover or available in your pantry. Make an extra large batch and freeze some for later.