Make The Most Of Thanksgiving Leftovers


Thanksgiving leftovers can become great planned-overs with a little thought and good food safety practices.  Handle your leftovers safely and enjoy these ideas for your Thanksgiving bounty.


1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey

1 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti (3/4 cup uncooked)

1/2 cup cooked mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped pimento

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup melted butter or margarine


Melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine in heavy saucepan.  Add flour and stir until blended.  Gradually add milk and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add salt and pepper.  Combine white sauce with turkey, spaghetti, mushrooms, pimento and cheese.  Place in buttered 2-quart casserole.  Combine bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle on casserole.  Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 25 minutes or until well browned.  Makes 6 servings.


Refrigerate leftovers immediately after the meal.  Uncle Joe can get his afternoon snack out of the refrigerator and heat it up in the microwave.

Carve the meat off the turkey carcass.  It makes the turkey meat ready to eat and helps prevent bacterial problems if meat is left on the carcass.

  Reheat foods to 165 degrees within two hours only one time.  Reheat only as much food as you need for that meal.  It will keep the food fresher longer.

Cool large amounts of foods in shallow pans.  Don't leave items to cool in deep pans or pots.  It takes too long to cool down to a safe temperature.  Use an ice bath if necessary by placing the pot or pan in a sink and putting ice in the sink around it.  Stir to cool and then put food in refrigerator.

Give special attention to cream pies, gravies, meat, dressing, deviled eggs stuffed pastas and vegetable casseroles.


3 cups turkey or chicken broth

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup celery, chopped

10 oz. pkg. okra, cut/frozen

16 oz. can tomatoes

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup rice, uncooked

2 cups turkey, cooked, diced


Heat broth to boiling.  Add vegetables, seasonings, rice and turkey.  Cover and cook slowly 15 minutes, until vegetables and rice are tender.  Yield: 6 servings, about 1 cup each.



2 cups cooked cubed turkey

1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen green peas

   or 1 cup leftover green peas

1 cup shredded cheese, divided in half

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

Dash of pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise

6 slices tomatoes (optional)

3/4 cup crushed potato chips


Combine turkey, peas, 1/2 cup cheese, onion, salt, pepper and mayonnaise; mix well.  Spoon into a greased 10 x 6 x 2-inch baking pan.  Place tomato slices on top.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes.  Combine remaining cheese and potato chips; sprinkle over casserole.  Bake for five more minutes.  Serves 6.



2 cups cooked diced turkey

3/4 cup diced celery

1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks,

   drained and cubed

1 apple, chopped

1/2 cup chopped nuts

3/4 cup mayonnaise


Combine all ingredients, mixing well.  Chill two hours before serving.  Makes 4-5 servings.  Note:  Instead of apples, celery and nuts use leftover Waldorf Salad. Adjust mayonnaise to taste.