3 Thanksgiving Leftovers Lunch Ideas
One of the best things about a Thanksgiving meal is the leftovers. But you needn’t stick with just microwaving a repeat plate from the day before. A box of stackable circles, their favorites in a hand pie, delicious potato coins they are sure to gobble up, sushi that’s not quite sushi… All the flavors of Thanksgiving are packed in these delicious lunches, and all are a much more fun way to eat your leftovers.
I’m not usually one for condiments on sandwiches, but the combination of cream cheese and cranberry sauce complimenting the turkey and stuffing may have changed my mind forever. And the cream cheese helps this sandwich “sushi” stay rolled nicely.
How to make sandwich sushi from Thanksgiving leftovers.
Mix one part cranberry sauce with two parts of light cream cheese. Gently flatten a piece of sandwich bread with a rolling pin. Spread a thin layer of cranberry cream cheese on the bread. Place rows of your leftover favorites, such as turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and stuffing. Roll and press to secure. With a sharp knife, cut the sandwich in half or thirds to make “sushi.”
Serve with carrot stick or green bean “chopsticks.” Ever try to pick up sushi with a green bean?
Stackable Circles and Potato Coins
Circles everywhere! Fill their plate or lunch box with circles and let the kids assemble their own turkey, cheese, potato and cucumber sandwiches. Maybe they want to dip them in some cranberry sauce, too. These mashed potato coins are coated with panko bread crumbs and baked to perfection, and they are just the right size for stacking. They are so delicious, all the mashed potatoes might end up as potato coins.
How to make stackable lunch and mashed potato coins from Thanksgiving leftovers.
Use a two-inch cookie cutter* to cut out rounds from sandwich bread (or, use round crackers instead), cheese slices, and thin slices of turkey. Serve with slices of cucumber or zucchini and potato coins. Other round shapes would be fun to add for snacking, such as Kix cereal or blueberries.
*Find cookie cutters in the craft store or specialty food stores. I use my favorite set of circle cutters all the time, found HERE.
To make Potato Coins, you will need:
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
Garlic salt, pepper, or other seasonings
Preheat oven to 425º F. Scoop a tablespoon of the potatoes and roll into a ball. Flatten with your palm into a 2-inch circle. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes. On a plate, mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, or other seasonings you prefer. Brush one side of the potato coins with egg and generously sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of each, gently pressing the mixture into the patty. Flip the patty over and repeat on the other side. This is easiest when you hold the patty in your palm.
Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the bottom begins to brown and the top begins to lightly brown. Flip the coins and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the coins are nicely browned. Let cool. Makes 10 coins. Recipe may be doubled.
Now THAT’S a sandwich!
Leftovers Hand Pies
These hand pies are so versatile, you can add any of their favorite leftovers: Gravy, cranberry sauce, vegetables, stuffing, potatoes, turkey… You name it, you can throw it in there.
How to make hand pies with Thanksgiving leftovers.
You’ll need Pillsbury® Grands! Jr. refrigerated biscuits, two biscuits for each hand pie. Separate the biscuits and use your palm to spread each biscuit about 3 ½ to 4 inches across. Place your desired leftovers in the center of the biscuit, leaving a ½ inch border.
Place another flattened biscuit on top and use a fork to crimp the edges. Place the hand pies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Beat an egg in a bowl with a teaspoon of water and brush over the hand pies. Bake in a preheated, 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Let cool.
If desired, serve with a cucumber or carrot stick “tree” adorned with cheese “leaves,” made from a leaf cutter and American cheese slices.
Happy Thanksgiving Leftovers!
Meaghan Mountford, author of Sugarlicious: 50 Cute and Clever Treats for Every Occasion, has been creating crafty sweets for 15 years. She is especially fond of decorating cookies, marshmallows and putting sweets on sticks. See more on her blog, the decorated cookie.