Kids in the Kitchen with Girl and Her Kitchen: Making the Most of Thanksgiving Leftovers


Heather loves to get in the kitchen with her kids, and she wants you in the kitchen with your kids too! Kids in the Kitchen with Girl in the Kitchen shares tips, recipes, and ideas to get you and your kids cooking together.

kids in the kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen with Girl and Her Kitchen

Ah. Thanksgiving Dinner.

Is there any meal you look forward to more than Thanksgiving dinner? Not me. I don’t even want to eat any of the foods, or even a version of them, within about two months of Thanksgiving. It is like my palate needs to be completely ready for the big day, and the food is all fresh and new to me. One of two things is happening right now. You may be thinking I am crazy. Or, you are like, yep, I feel you.

After Thanksgiving, I do not seem to have these problems. I can eat the leftovers every day, as long as they last. Not everyone in my family feels that way, though, so sometimes I have to get creative with what I do with them. If you face the same dilemma as me, I can help you out. I have a few innovative ways to use up that delicious tender turkey, fresh cranberry sauce, and even your pie.

Recipes to Revivie Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Click on your leftover to go right to the recipe you need:
Leftover Turkey Recipe | Leftover Mashed Potato Recipe | Leftover Squash Recipe | Leftover Cranberry Sauce Recipe | Leftover Bread Recipe | Leftover Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Dilemma: Leftover Turkey

Solution: Easy One Pan Turkey Pot Pie

Easy One Pan Turkey Pot Pie

Sure, you can keep eating the turkey or make many turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving, but what you are really probably craving is that same comfort food feeling you had on Thanksgiving day. This delicious, one-pan pot pie is your answer. Fresh, fragrant vegetables, tender turkey in a creamy sauce, topped with delicious flaky biscuits. Nothing says comfort food quite like pot pie, and this one will satisfy all your cravings and help make room in your fridge by using up all of that leftover turkey!

One Pan Turkey Pot Pie Recipe


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups celery, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked turkey, diced
  • 1 1/2 frozen peas, slightly thawed


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large saute pan, melt butter. Drizzle olive oil in the pan and swirl to mix. Add garlic and onion and cook for one minute.
  3. Add carrots and celery and cook for about five minutes until vegetables begin to turn a golden color. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir once. Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat vegetables. Cook for one minute.
  4. Slowly pour in chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Simmer for about three minutes.
  5. Add in cooked turkey and peas and heat until warmed through.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, thyme, garlic powder, baking soda and baking powder.
  7. Drizzle in melted butter and work into the flour mixture. Pour in buttermilk and stir until combined.
  8. Using a large spoon, scoop golf ball sized portions of biscuit dough and place on top of turkey mixture in sauté pan. Continue until all of the biscuit batter is in the sauté pan. 
  9. Bake for 14 minutes or until biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot.
© H. Williams | Little Lake | 2015

Dilemma: Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Solution: Mashed Potato Bar

Mashed potato leftovers are that difficult one to reuse. You always have way too many potatoes left, and they usually outlive all of the other leftovers. A container of mashed potatoes is always the last one standing in my refrigerator because there isn’t much to do with them besides the usual Shepherd’s Pie, which I am sort of blah about. Until last year.

Last year, things changed. Mashed potatoes took on a whole new life! I remembered a story a friend told me at preschool one day, right around Halloween. She told me that her family makes a fun mashed potato dinner called “The Monster Mash” every Halloween. She just made a big batch of mashed potatoes and then put out many toppings for the kids and adults to choose from.

I thought this was such a fun idea for Halloween, but it came back to me when I had a vat of leftover mashed potatoes sitting in my fridge after Thanksgiving last year. We put out a variety of fun ingredients, and the kids had a blast making their mashed potato “recipe.” Some ingredient ideas are:

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • toasted pine nuts
  • crumbled bacon
  • cubed chicken
  • sliced green onions
  • sour cream
  • sundried tomatoes
  • feta or goat cheese
  • crumbled cooked italian sausage
  • marinated artichokes
  • sautéed spinach
  • steamed chopped broccoli

Mashed potato leftovers just got a whole lot more interesting.

Dilemma: Leftover Roasted Butternut Squash/Leftover Bread

Solution: Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Browned Butter Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Browned Butter Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

Roasted butternut squash usually ranks up there with the steamed rutabagas, brussels sprouts, and canned cranberry sauce. Meaning: there are a few people at each thanksgiving dinner that enjoy these things, so they must be made, but only those few people eat them, so there is usually a lot leftover.

If you could somehow arrange to save four cups of roasted butternut squash, you are in the perfect spot to make this deliciously creamy, soothing soup. It honestly just captures everything about the season in one pot and the cinnamon sugar croutons? They bring it over the top!

Check out this Creamy Butternut Squash Soup recipe on Girl and Her Kitchen and use up those leftovers!

© H. Williams | Little Lake | 2015

Dilemma: Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Solution: Turkey, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Panini Sandwich

A turkey sandwich is always good after Thanksgiving, but long gone are the days when I slapped turkey on bread with mayo. Today, we have an updated version of a turkey sandwich, using up that fresh cranberry sauce, some goat cheese from the cheese plate, and even some slices of leftover homemade bread.

Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Panini Sandwich Recipe

Makes 2 Sandwiches

  • 4 slices of your favorite bread
  • 4 oz leftover turkey
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Olive oil
  1. Heat panini maker.
  2. Coat all four slices of bread with a little olive oil on one side and turn over. Spread all four slices of bread with 1 oz each of goat cheese each, and top with cranberry sauce. Place turkey over the cranberry sauce. Place other slice of bread spread with goat cheese on top. Place on panini maker and grill until browned and golden. Serve warm.

Dilemma: Leftover Apple or Pumpkin Pie

Solution: Pie Parfaits in Mason Jars

Let’s face it. There are worse things in life than having leftover pie. I mean, that is the best leftover to score is some leftover dessert! The fact of the matter is, though, the pie has seen better days. The slices aren’t really…um…slices anymore, and the pie kind of looks sad after its big day on Thanksgiving. What to do? Destroy it even more, of course! Chop that apple or pumpkin pie up into chunks and layer it into jars with whipped cream. Top with some chopped nuts and serve. A delicious…and possibly the cutest dessert you can serve after Thanksgiving!

 Are you looking for more great recipes? Check out Girl and Her Kitchen to find holiday recipes and so much more! Happy Thanksgiving!

Want more easy and fun recipes? Find all our favorite recipes here.

By: Heather Williams

Heather is a busy mom of three who loves exploring Lake County with her kids. When she, her husband, and kids are not embarking on new adventures, you will most likely find her cooking and posting some great family-friendly recipes at Girl and Her Kitchen.

Kids in the Kitchen with Girl and Her Kitchen: Making the Most of Thanksgiving Leftovers

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