Save Those Leftovers!

November 25, 2019 Updated: February 2, 2024

Tips for a Waste-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of bountiful tables, but what to do with the leftovers?

After eating your fill with friends and family, you may not want to think about Thanksgiving leftovers – but don’t let those leftovers go to waste! Use these tips and ideas to turn them into new, delicious meals to continue sharing with family & friends.

Mashed Potatoes:

  • Fry small patties of potato into hash browns for breakfast
  • Stir in ½ cup mashed potatoes to thicken soups & stews
  • Use as a topping for pot pies
  • Make gnocchi


  • Dumplings for soup: mix 2 cups stuffing, 2 eggs & 6 tbsp flour
  • Savory stuffing waffles: mix 2 cups stuffing & 1 egg, pack firmly into greased waffle iron
  • Stuffed peppers: stuff, bake 15-20 minutes at 375ºF & top with cheese

Cooked Turkey:

  • Add chopped turkey to soups, stews, chili, or stir-fry
  • BBQ shredded turkey for sandwiches & quesadillas
  • Turkey soup with stuffing dumplings


  • Mix into muffins, pancakes, or banana bread
  • Mix with apples in pie, crisps, or cobblers
  • Serve on top of stuffing waffles!

Sweet Potatoes, Yams or Squash:

  • Use in muffins, breads or pancakes
  • Stir puree or cubes into oatmeal for a breakfast nutrient boost!
  • Cube & add to salads
  • Add to chili or stew

Canned Pumpkin or Pie Fillings:

  • 100% pumpkin can be used in savory soups, stews, curries, and in place of tomato for homemade pasta sauce
  • Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened, and can be added to smoothies, oatmeal & yogurt, or whipped with a little cream for a quick dessert pudding

Turkey Bones:

  • Turkey bone broth:
    • In large pot or slow cooker, cover bones with cold water and bring to a boil.
    • Add veggie scraps, garlic, and onion as available. Reduce heat & simmer 30 minutes to 2hours.
    • Strain, discard scraps, and refrigerate broth up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 3 months.

We hope you use these tips this week and share them with your loved ones!

While Thanksgiving is a time of abundance for many of us, 1 in 10 residents of Massachusetts are food insecure. On December 3, we will be raising funds for #GivingTuesday and hope you will consider joining our efforts to feed the community this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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