You can’t go wrong with these warm and cozy dishes.
No matter how careful you are with regards to your Thanksgiving food shopping, you're bound to have at least some leftovers at the end of the night. And even if you don't plan on preparing a holiday meal yourself, there's a good chance your host will send you home with a doggy bag packed with turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, and more.
Regardless of how you acquire your leftovers, it's best not to let them go uneaten. Not only do Thanksgiving leftovers taste just as good (if not better) than the initial meal, but tossing leftovers helps contribute to food waste, which is harmful to the planet.
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Luckily, there are seemingly endless ideas for how you can take just about any Turkey Day leftovers and transform them into another tasty meal. And while there's absolutely nothing wrong with a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich or even some Thanksgiving egg rolls, you really can't beat Thanksgiving leftover soup. Hear us out: Not only are soups the perfect cold weather meal, but they're also incredibly versatile and adaptable, which means you can find a place for just about any variety of holiday scraps.
Whether you've got extra turkey, cornbread, potatoes, or more, we found a soup recipe that fits your leftover needs. Keep reading for a collection of Thanksgiving leftover soup recipes that won't disappoint.
This recipe calls for ground turkey (which you can prep at home by placing leftover turkey meat in a food processor until it’s coarsely chopped) but shredded turkey or turkey pieces work well too. The barley in this soup gives it a hearty, cozy quality, and it’s also filled with veggies, such as carrots, celery, and spinach.
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Shred any leftover turkey meat and toss it in this soup, which is also made with carrots, orzo, and dill. It’s basically a slightly different take on classic chicken soup that uses turkey instead of the other popular bird.
Turkey is the star yet again in this rich soup that’s perfect for a cold day. Just shred some of your extra Thanksgiving bird to get the ball rolling. Then pair the meat with chicken broth, some chopped vegetables, and a can of creamed corn to create a filling meal in less than 30 minutes.
Chances are that butternut squash is part of your Thanksgiving feast in some way, shape, or form. Once the gourd has finished its Turkey Day duties, feel free to purée it and use it as the base for a practically perfect autumnal soup. This recipe features puréed squash and other veggies, along with fresh sage and savory Parmesan croutons. If you’ve got any extra cornbread lying around (from a stuffing recipe, perhaps?) you can top the soup with cornbread croutons instead.
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If roasted sweet potatoes are on your Thanksgiving menu, save any leftovers and turn them into this sweet and savory soup. Here, sweet potatoes and apples (perhaps a few that never made it into an apple pie) are puréed along with vegetable broth and nutmeg to create a velvety meal you won’t soon forget. Crumbled blue cheese and walnuts add a pungent and crunchy punch.
Yes, chili is technically more of a stew than a soup, but this recipe, which you can make with leftover turkey, is too tasty not to include. The dish also has a slightly looser consistency than your standard chili (thanks to chicken broth and pumpkin purée), so you’ll still be able to slurp away.
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This soup—sometimes called ajiaco—calls for russet potatoes (a Thanksgiving staple) as well as chicken thighs, frozen corn-on-the-cob pieces, onions, and celery. However, if you don’t have chicken on hand, or simply prefer to use up some of your leftover turkey, feel free to change up the protein in this flavorful dish. While it might not be traditional ajiaco, it will still taste delicious.