Some of the Best Parts of Thanksgiving Are The Leftovers

There are a lot of fabulous things about Thanksgiving – food, friends, family, etc. And all of these, as well as being thankful for what we have, are the main reasons we celebrate. But there are also LEFTOVERS!!!!! Sometimes those are the best. 🙂 Often when we host Thanksgiving, I get so frustrated with Larry because at the end of the evening he has given away most, if not all of the leftovers, especially the turkey. I plan recipes based on the leftovers only to find there are none.

This year, fortunately for Larry’s sake, he did NOT give away all the turkey leftovers. We have already gone through all of the mashed potatoes, but we still have some vegetables (that I cut up but haven’t cooked yet), some stuffing, and thankfully quite a bit of TURKEY! I have already recreated some of the turkey and am looking forward to what I can do with the rest of it.

My first turkey recreation was to turn it into a pasta dish with a spinach almond pesto sauce. As with any other pesto sauce, it is very versatile and can be used for many recipes and dishes. It has just enough lemon to liven any meal up without being over powering of lemon.

Spinach Almond Pesto

2 cups baby spinach, stems removed

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

2 TBSP lemon juice

2 tsp lemon zest

1 TBSP garlic

red pepper flakes to taste

1/3 cup olive oil

2 TBSP lemon balsamic vinegar, optional

1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Place everything in the food processor and blend away until it is a thick paste. Then use however you would use a regular basil pesto sauce.

Pesto is one of my favorite pasta sauces. I love pasta of any kind, and I also love a wide variety of different sauces to go with my pasta, but there is something about a good pesto that will call out to me every time.

First I used about 3-4 cups of my leftover turkey that I shredded, and then I added mushrooms, bell peppers, red onions, crookneck squash, Peruvian peppers and garlic, along with salt & pepper and olive oil. I sauted those all together until the vegetables were tender.

The Peruvian peppers are rather delicate, so add those right at the end of the cooking process.

Once everything was cooked I served it all over some farfelle pasta, which I topped with a dab or two of the spinach pesto. I like to layer my pastas, so it was the pasta, pesto, turkey saute, and a bit more pesto sauce, with more Parmigiano cheese on top for Larry. The meal was completed with some warmed ciabiatta rolls and a glass or two of of a light Sauvignon Blanc. AHHHHH! I love it when a meal comes together like this.

Enjoy the Holidays and then enjoy them again. Stay safe and stay Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

7 thoughts on “Some of the Best Parts of Thanksgiving Are The Leftovers”

    1. I agree. I think I am going to make some turkey soup with some of the turkey today. The stuffing we just ate as is. Sometimes I use it to stuff either pork or chicken with and then top it with a sauce, but this time we just ate it as is. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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