That Tasted Better the First Time

We wait the entire month of November for Thanksgiving Day so we can feast on amazing dishes amongst family and friends. When the day finally comes we have 2, maybe 3 helpings that put us into a turkey-induced slumber and leave us dreaming of the days and days of leftovers. But if were being honest with ourselves, the next day we warm up the of dishes for brunch, maybe have them again for dinner, when we realize , “That tasted better the first time,” and it was just okay the second and third time.

To solve this dissatisfaction of the Tupperware filled, once delicious Thanksgiving dishes, many have resorted to slightly extreme yet creative solutions, ranging from blending everything up into a protein-style shake to mixing all of the dishes together in a hot pan, cracking an egg on top, and calling it breakfast.

In our search for a solution we came across a few amazing recipes that will put your leftovers to use for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Turkey Melt with Caramelized Onions & Spicy Pumpkin Mayo

recipe from Lemons for LuLu

Thanksgiving Turkey Melt
Photo Credit: Lemons for LuLu


For the onions
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon sugar
2 large onions, sliced

For the mayo
¼ cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoon pumpkin puree
⅛ teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
pinch of paprika
pinch of salt
8 teaspoons butter

For the sandwich
8 Slices Italian Loaf bread
4 slices smoked turkey
4 slices Muenster cheese


1. Prepare the onions, melt butter in olive oil, swirling to combine. Add sliced onions, salt and pepper, cooking for about 2 minutes or until the onions begin to soften.

2.Stir in sugar. Continue cooking onions for 20 minutes. Be sure to stir often to prevent the onions from burning. Remove onions from heat and set aside.

3.In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pumpkin, chili powder, paprika and salt.
4.Heat a griddle pan over medium heat. Butter the bottoms of 4 slices of bread and place on griddle pan, buttered side down.

5.Top each slice of bread with turkey, cheese, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin mayo, 1-2 tablespoons (eye ball this) of caramelized onions and remaining slice of bread. Butter tops of each sandwich.

6.Cook sandwich on each side 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.


3-Cheese, Turkey, Cranberry & Sage Quesadilla

recipe from The Cookie Rookie

Thanksgiving Quesadilla
Photo Cred. Cookie Rookie

Serves 2


4 whole wheat wraps
2 cups of leftover turkey
½ cup of leftover cranberry sauce
2 cup shredded cheese
¼ cup fresh sage, chopped


1.Spray a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat.
2.Place the first wrap in the bottom of the skillet and top with ¼ cup cheese, ½ cup turkey, ¼ cup cranberry sauce, ⅛ cup sage, another ¼ cup cheese, and the second wrap. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until melty and delicious.
3.Take off of heat and cut into fourths to serve. Repeat with other ingredients to make second quesadilla.

Mashed Potato Waffle, Crispy Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry & Brie Melt

recipe from Half Baked Harvest

Mashed Potato Waffle Crispy Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry & Brie Melt
Photo Credit: Half Baked Harvest


Serving: Makes 4 Sandwiches

Parmesan Mashed Potato Waffles

1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
4-5 sage leaves, minced
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Leftover turkey (enough for 4 triangles)

1 tbsp. butter
1 avocado, lightly mashed
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces brie, sliced

If  you’re in the need for extra protein you can always add an over-easy egg!


1.In a medium bowl, whisk the leftover mashed potatoes, buttermilk, eggs and melted butter together until smooth. Then stir in the minced sage.
2.Add the flour, baking soda & powder and stir until just combined before folding in the parmesan cheese.
3. Be sure to preheat the waffle iron. Scoop the and spread the batter out using the back of a spoon into the greased waffle maker. Once done, if you’re using circular waffles, tear them into fourths.
4.For sandwich prep, heat the turkey in a skillet over medium heat with the melted butter until it is nice and crispy.
5.Lightly mass the avocado in a bowl and add salt and pepper to tase.
6.For sandwich assembly, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the waffle on the sheet.
7. Add the avocado spread to half of the tops, then add the cheese, turkey and bit of the cranberry sauce.
8. Lastly add another slice of cheese before adding the top and placing the sheet in the oven for 5 minutes.

Mashed Potato Waffle Crispy Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry & Brie Melt
Photo Cred. Half Baked Harvest

We hope that you find the above recipes as epic solutions to spice up, what may now be your somewhat dry turkey and what-am-I-going-to-do-with-all-this cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving Day leftovers.

Happy Eating….Leftovers!

-Roaming Hunger