Season Up Your Holiday Leftovers with These 3 Recipes


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Thanksgiving is a holiday revered by many, and how can it not be with its endless, Macy Thanksgiving Parade-sized spread of your favorite dishes? You know, the ones you dream about at night after a long day stuck in lectures. Well, now that it’s come and gone, you would assume recovery time from your tryptophan overdose would be a given. But, no, instead, there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa headed straight your way.

But, who can complain? Endless amounts of juicy turkey or ham, latkes, and collard greens set out on the dinner table can leave you hankering for even more of this food heaven. Let’s be honest, your mouth is probably watering just thinking about the Thanksgiving dinner you just had— despite the residual food coma you may be experiencing right now.

But, once the holiday season finally winds down, you’ll most likely have an excess of food leftovers that you have no idea what to do with—and even though holiday food is completely and utterly delicious, no one wants to be stuck eating the same meal multiple days in a row. You know just as well as we do, not even college students are into that. Luckily enough for you, uCribs has compiled recipes that will transform all of your holiday leftovers into brand-new, never-before-tasted dishes!

French Toast Stuffed with Cranberry Cream Cheese

If there’s one thing French toast is, it’s a breakfast staple. Whether you choose to top it with fruit, powdered sugar, or authentic maple syrup, it’s a dish that will have you coming back time and time again. Speaking of a variety of French toast toppings, there’s nothing quite as delicious as stuffed French toast, and what better way to put that leftover cranberry sauce to good use?

Yeah, that’s right—we have a recipe for French toast stuffed with cranberry cream cheese up our sleeve, and it’s so delicious that you may be wondering why we stuck it up our sleeve to begin with. Get it? Well, whether you enjoy a good joke or not, this recipe makes for a sweet yet satisfying post-holiday treat that you and your family members are sure to gobble right up. Hold up, guys… Thanksgiving was last week, so no more Turkey puns!


For French Toast:

8 slices of French bread

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Zest of one orange

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Butter for the pan

For Filling:

4-ounce cream cheese, room temperature

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

4 tablespoons cranberry sauce


  1. Heat a griddle pan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, orange zest, and juice in a shallow dish.
  3. Grease the pan with butter, then take a slice of French bread and coat it on both sides with the egg batter and place directly into the hot pan. Repeat with other slices.
  4. Cook the French toast until golden brown on both sides— about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together then carefully fold in the cranberry sauce.
  6. To assemble, take one slice of hot French toast and spread a layer of filling inside the top with another slice. Cut the stuffed French toast carefully diagonally and set on serving plate.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup and butter.

Turkey Tostadas

No matter how many family members, friends, and neighbors are invited to your annual feast, there’s always more than enough turkey leftover the day after Thanksgiving and beyond. But, after two or three rounds of the same line-up, you need other ways to entice yourself to finish what you started and give the almighty bird its due diligence.

Transform that carved turkey into savory turkey tostadas that put the perfect Mexican spin on your traditionally American Thanksgiving meal. With fresh cilantro, crumbled queso fresco, and chunky salsa, this recipe really hits the spot. Not to mention, once you top it off with spicy cranberry-chipotle sauce, we bet you’ll be wishing for holiday leftovers year-round.


4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas

Cooking spray

1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried black beans

3/4 cup bottled chunky salsa, divided

1 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco

1 cup chopped tomato

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray; arrange on large baking sheet. Bake at 425-degree Fahrenheit for 3 1/2 minutes on each side or until lightly toasted.
  3. Combine beans and 1/4 cup salsa in a microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring after 2 minutes, then set aside.
  4. Combine turkey and 1/2 cup salsa in a microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  5. Divide bean mixture among tortillas; top with turkey mixture. Sprinkle with queso fresco and top with tomato. Arrange 3 avocado slices over each tostada, then sprinkle each evenly with cilantro.

Savory Leftover Hand Pies

We’re all for the quintessential post-holiday turkey sandwich, but we’d rather end this list with a bang. If you’d really like to impress your MasterChef-obsessed roomies, whip up some savory, Food Network-worthy hand pies with your leftover haul. Never had a hand pie that wasn’t sweet? Allow us to rock your world with a treat that combines bakery-style crust, seasoned-to-perfection turkey, and all the homestyle sides you can handle.

This recipe can be customized with just about anything and puts to good use the copious amounts of turkey and cranberry sauce you somehow got tricked into bringing home. Your grandmother just seemed super insistent this year in hopes to fatten you up by Valentine’s Day. But, don’t fret—she just realizes that you need to put some meat on those bones after months of impromptu ramen noodle dinners.


One 14.1-ounce package store-bought pie crust

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes, sweet or traditional

1/2 cup leftover stuffing

1/2 cup leftover turkey, cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce, plus more for dipping

1 egg

1 teaspoon milk

Optional: Leftover gravy, for dipping

You will also need: Parchment paper, a 4 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter, and a rolling pin. (Not quite to your MasterChef status just yet? Substitute the rim of a large mug or drinking glass for the biscuit cutter and a bottle or can of soup for the rolling pin.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out the pie crusts with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Smooth until crusts are roughly 1/8 inch thick.
  3. Cut out rounds of dough with the biscuit cutter and transfer to the baking sheet. If you have any scraps of dough left over, reroll them to create more rounds. You should end up with 12 rounds total.
  4. Spread 1 teaspoon of mashed potatoes over half of each round, leaving a ¼-inch border around the edge. Don’t forget to leave this space, as it’s crucial for forming the hand pies later!
  5. Continue building the hand pies. Top the mashed potato spread with 2 teaspoons stuffing, 2 teaspoons turkey, and 1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce. Feel free to redistribute the filling so that each round is piled with roughly the same amount of filling.
  6. Once the fillings are created, create an egg wash by whisking together the egg and milk in a separate bowl. Brush the egg wash around the quarter-inch edges of each dough round.
  7. Fold over each dough round until every hand pie looks like a half-moon. Press the edges together with your fingers, sealing the filling inside. Then, use a fork to seal the edges more securely.
  8. Brush the top of each hand pie with egg wash. With a small knife, make 3 small slits in the top of each hand pie to allow steam to escape.
  9. Bake the pies for roughly 30 minutes or until the dough is cooked and golden brown. Serve warm with a side of cranberry sauce and/or gravy for dipping.

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Meghen Jones is a graduate of Louisiana State University Shreveport, where she earned her B.A. in Mass Communications. With the experience of working in a newsroom and public relations office, she loves everything pertaining to journalism, public relations, and media. One of her favorite things to do is visual storytelling through videography. Meghen relocated to New Orleans to pursue graduate school, so that she can obtain her M.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Outside of working as a Content Strategist, she enjoys writing, traveling, cooking/baking, and spending time at parks.

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