5 New Ways to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

by Phoebe Lapine

Turn the remains of your holiday dishes into originals so good, you'll wish you had cooked more!

Green bean and potato salad with pestoGreen bean and potato salad with pesto1. Roasted potato and green bean salad with pesto: Since next-day veggies can seem limp and boring, toss those beans and roasted potatoes with the bright, fresh flavors of pesto to liven them up.

Serves: 4 as a side

1 clove garlic
1/4 cup blanched whole almonds
1/2 cup snipped chives
1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups leftover roasted potatoes*
4 cups leftover green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Pulse garlic and almonds in a food processor. Add chives, basil, lemon juice, and salt and pulse until roughly chopped. Stream in oil 1/4 cup at a time until pesto is smooth and has the consistency of mayo. Tastes for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
2. Toss potatoes and beans with 3/4 cup pesto, reserving remaining pesto for another use. Taste and season, if necessary, and serve at room temperature.

*If you don't have leftover roasted potatoes, bake halved baby potatoes with olive oil and salt in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Turkey tacos with spicy black beansTurkey tacos with spicy black beans2. Ancho chili turkey tacos with spicy black beans: If your turkey turned out a little dry, simmer it in a chili-and-cumin spiked tomato sauce to moisten and give it a Mexican kick. Pile into a tortilla with your favorite toppings for a fast dinner.

Serves: 4

1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups leftover turkey breast, shredded
4 soft flour tortillas
Chopped vegetables of your choice, optional
1 cup spicy black beans, optional
Guacamole, optional
Salsa, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium Dutch oven, cook onion in oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, chile powder, cumin, and salt and simmer for 10 minutes, until the flavors have melded and tomatoes have reduced slightly. Stir in turkey and simmer until heated through, about 3 more minutes.
2. Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in oven for 10 minutes. Serve turkey in tortillas with your favorite toppings, such as veggies, black beans, guac, and salsa.

Pumpkin wedgesPumpkin wedges3. Roasted pumpkin wedges with cotija cheese and lime: Those decorative little gourds you used as centerpieces make a delicious side dish when sliced and baked.

Serves: 4

1 small pumpkin (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds), cleaned and scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons finely grated cotija cheese
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, for garnish, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the top and bottom off pumpkin using a large chef's knife. Halve lengthwise and scoop out flesh with a spoon (grapefruit spoons work well here). Discard flesh and reserve seeds for another use. Cut pumpkin into 1/4-inch wedges.
2. In a large mixing bowl, toss pumpkin with olive oil, salt, sugar, and chili powder. Arrange in an even layer on the baking sheet and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking process, until the wedges are soft and caramelized. Allow to cool slightly.
3. When cool enough to touch, drizzle with lime juice and cotija. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if using, and serve room temperature or warm.

Baked eggs with stuffingBaked eggs with stuffing4. Baked eggs with stuffing: Instead of having boring, dry toast with your morning eggs, have stuffing. Not only is it much tastier, the veggies or fruit in your leftovers are loads healthier than any sugary jelly.

Serves: 2

Butter or oil, for greasing pan
3 to 4 cups leftover stuffing
Chicken stock, optional
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and butter or oil a gratin or baking dish. Spread stuffing evenly in the dish and drizzle with stock if it's dry. Bake about 10 minutes, until top has begun to set again and become crusty.
2. Cut two small wells in stuffing. Crack eggs into the wells, sprinkle with cheese, and return to the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until egg whites have set and cheese is gooey.

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Curried sweet potato soupCurried sweet potato soup5. Curried sweet potato soup: A little leftover mashed sweet potato goes a long way-especially if you transform it into soup! Simply combine with stock until you reach a nice consistency, simmer to reinvigorate the flavors, and add your favorite spices.

Serves: 2

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder*
2 cups leftover mashed or roasted sweet potatoes
1 quart vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
Greek yogurt, for garnish
Cilantro leaves, for garnish

1. In a medium Dutch oven, heat olive oil over a medium flame. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and sauté for another 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add sweet potatoes, broth, and salt and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes, until mixture has reduced and the flavors have melded.
2. Use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender to puree mixture. Add milk and taste for seasoning. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt and some cilantro leaves.

*If your curry powder is on the spicy side and your tolerance for spice is on the weaker side, you may want to use less.

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