By: Kiel Watson

You’ve eaten turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing multiple times in less than a week. Cranberry sauce and green beans make your stomach turn. Perhaps you ate half a pie last night, or had a slice for breakfast. Don’t get hasty and throw those leftovers out because they don’t sound appetizing! There are quite a few ways to breath new life into all that food you snatched on your way out the door Thursday.

Open Faced Turkey Sandwich

  • Leftover Turkey
  • Leftover Gravy
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Literally anything else

An after-Thanksgiving staple, the open-faced turkey sandwich should not be underestimated. To begin toast your choice of bread so it can withstand the smothering it’s about to undergo. Top the bread with the turkey, cheese, and whatever else you want (mashed potatoes, stuffing, Doritos–nobody is there to judge you.) Heat the gravy separately in the microwave. Warm up the sandwich in a toaster oven if you want to be fancy, otherwise a short trip in the microwave will do to heat the turkey and other toppings. Smother with gravy, grab a fork and enjoy.

Turkey Soup

  • Leftover Turkey
  • Chicken broth (bullion is fine)
  • Egg Noodles
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Celery

This one is pretty flexible and carries a price tag of around five dollars while providing a lot of food. Simply fill a large pan (a coffee pot may work in a pinch, given long enough) with the broth or chicken stock and add vegetables to taste. The smaller they are chopped the faster they will cook. Simmer until the veggies are tender, then add your egg noodles and turkey. Around five minutes later you’ll have soup for days.

Turkey Alfredo

  • Leftover Turkey
  • Noodles (fettuccini or mostaccioli)
  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Mozzarella

Another dish that makes large amounts for a small price tag, the other ingredients in this one will help you forget you’re still eating Thanksgiving food. Prepare the noodles al dente according to the directions, and heat the sauce in a separate pan. Mix some shredded mozzarella into the alfredo sauce to taste along with your turkey, combine with the noodles and add some black pepper. If you want to come off like a real chef don’t add the cheese to the sauce. Instead spoon the noodles, sauce and turkey into a casserole dish, top with mozzarella and broil for a few minutes while keeping a close eye on it until the cheese is brown. It will come out of the oven looking like pasta from Olive Garden and likely taste better too. (This technique can be used to make any pasta into a baked ziti-style dish.)

Dog/Cat Food

  • Leftover Turkey
  • Leftover Carrots
  • Leftover Green Beans
  • With caution depending on preparation
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Cranberry sauce
    • Macaroni and Cheese

Always use caution when feeding your pets food that wasn’t prepared specifically for them. That being said, a lot of traditional Thanksgiving dishes are safe for consumption by your pets and this can be a nice way to avoid throwing out leftovers while giving a treat to your furry friend. Turkey, carrots and green beans are safe and healthy on their own while several other dishes can be depending on preparation. Anything with onions or garlic can be very toxic to pets, and while cranberry sauce is fine, too much sugar can be a bad thing. If Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) is an ingredient this can be deadly to doggos. Steer clear of gravy and excessive butter, but as long as your pet handles dairy OK the mac’ and cheese and potatoes should be fine.