3 Easy Ways to Transform Thanksgiving Leftovers

Last Update: February 24, 2023

Thursday is all about the big Thanksgiving feast, but come Friday night, you’ll probably have a fridge full of leftovers and zero energy to come up with new ways to use them. (Or is that just us?) This year, plan ahead with three winning ways to put dinner on the table using all the trimmings.

Turkey Grilled Cheese

Oooey, gooey, grilled cheese? Yes, please! This is the ultimate post-Thanksgiving sandwich. Smashed between two slices of rustic bread, you’ll taste all the holiday flavors in every bite— sliced turkey, brie, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

Yield: 1 sandwich
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

2 slices rustic bread
1 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Dijon Mustard
5 to 6 brie slices, about ¼-inch thick
2 turkey slices
¼ cup leftover stuffing
1 tablespoon leftover cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Place bread slices on a cutting board and spread mustard on one slice. Top mustard with 2 to 3 pieces of brie. Layer brie with turkey slices, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Cover with remaining brie, then press the second bread slice on top. Spread 1 ½ teaspoons of mayonnaise on the top of the sandwich.

Place a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, place sandwich mayonnaise-side down and spread remaining 1 ½ teaspoons mayonnaise on the other side of the sandwich. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and the brie has melted.

Sweet Potato Hand Pies

Take your container of leftover sweet potato casserole and turn it into something portable. Just grab some gluten-free pie dough ahead of time to keep in the freezer. Then all you need to do is mix up the filling using sweet potato casserole, thyme, Parmesan, and an egg. And don’t worry, we stuff mini marshmallows inside, too. (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Yield: 6 hand pies
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


For the pies
2 pre-made gluten-free pie crusts, room temperature
⅓ cup leftover sweet potato casserole
30 to 36 mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

For the dipping sauce
1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Garlic Powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon Organic Ground Black Pepper


Make the hand pies
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay pie crust on a work surface and gently roll out until edges are flat. Using a knife or pizza cutter, square off the edges into a 9- x 8-inch rectangle, then cut into 3 long pieces.

Place 1 heaping tablespoon of sweet potato casserole on the lower half of each rectangle. Sprinkle with a few thyme leaves and 3 mini marshmallows. Fold dough over and crimp edges with a fork to seal. Brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 1 tablespoon thyme. Repeat the process with the second crust. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until slightly brown. Cool for a few minutes before eating.

Make the dipping sauce
Whisk all ingredients for dipping sauce in a small saucepan, adding water, 2 tablespoons at a time if thick. Heat until warm, and serve on the side.

Baked Brie With Cranberry Sauce

Buy a round of brie when you’re stocking up for Thanksgiving (you’ll thank us later), and you’ll be ready to whip up this no-fuss snack that’s ready in 10 minutes. Topped with cranberry sauce, thyme, pecans, and cinnamon, this is one sweet and savory app you’ll want to keep for yourself. (Vegetarian)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings, as an appetizer
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

1 (16-ounce) round brie
1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons Thrive Market Organic Pecan Halves, toasted
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Cinnamon
Baguette or crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim rind from the top of brie and place on a baking sheet. Spread cranberry sauce evenly over the top, then sprinkle on pecans, thyme, and cinnamon. Bake for 5 minutes. Serve warm, with baguette slices or crackers.

Recipes by: Angela Gaines

Share this article

Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

Download the app for easy shopping on the go

By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive marketing text messages from Thrive Market. Consent not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel.

If you are visually-impaired and having difficulty with our website, call us at 1‑855‑997‑2315

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

© Thrive Market 2024 All rights reserved.