Best Leftover Thanksgiving Recipes for Busy Nurses

Thanksgiving food spread out on a table
Written by
Jenna Elizabeth
November 25, 2022

Thanksgiving celebrations often provide a perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, host extravagant lunches or dinners, and reflect on your blessings in life. More often than not, your meal preparation for Thanksgiving may have taken weeks of meticulous planning, catering for various dietary restrictions and large group sizes. 

The day after your Thanksgiving meal, you're likely to have more leftovers than you know what to do with. We've compiled the best post-Thanksgiving leftover recipe ideas for busy nurses so that you can figure out how to turn your extra dinner food into breakfast, lunch, and other meals for yourself and your family. We also have you covered if you're looking for inspiration on what to cook after Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving Leftover Breakfast Ideas

leftover

Having breakfast with Thanksgiving leftovers is the perfect reason to have something for breakfast other than your usual eggs, oatmeal, or yogurt. Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate your leftovers into the most important meal of the day:

  • Thanksgiving Leftover Breakfast Hash—This hearty breakfast is easy to make by frying up leftover turkey, stuffing, veggies, and gravy and adding a fried egg on top.
  • Waffle Sandwiches—Turn your leftover pumpkin puree, mashed potatoes, turkey, and cranberry sauce into these delicious waffle sandwiches that the entire family will love.
  • Breakfast Casserole—Combine stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, and corn into this one-of-a-kind breakfast casserole that will leave you feeling thankful you have so many leftovers.
  • Leftover Thanksgiving Savoury OatmealWho says oatmeal can't be savory? Put a twist on this chicken oatmeal by using leftover turkey and adding whatever other fixings you prefer.
  • Cranberry Sauce Muffins—If you're looking to make a quick breakfast in advance that you can eat while on the go, these cranberry sauce muffins are a simple and effective way to use your leftovers.

Thanksgiving Leftover Lunch Ideas

The good thing about having so many leftovers is that you can repurpose them for any day's meal. While you can always repack your leftovers into containers to have for lunch, consider adding a few other ingredients you may already have on hand to turn them into an entirely new meal. Here are some of our favorite lunch recipes:

  • Stuffing Frittata—The beautiful versatility of a Frittata is that it can be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal. Put your leftover stuffing to use in this recipe, which will have you quickly whipping up a new dish with staples you likely have on hand in your fridge and pantry.
  • Bird to the Last Drop—Repurpose your leftover turkey into this delicious soup by adding simple ingredients. This easy recipe has the potential to become a post-Thanksgiving tradition.
  • Thanksgiving Leftovers LasagnaThis dish incorporates turkey, vegetables, and stuffing into a flavourful and unique lasagna you can eat throughout the week.
  • Thanksgiving Leftover Burrito—A burrito is a perfect way to combine your leftover turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce into a mouth-watering tortilla wrap that will only take you ten minutes to make.
  • Leftover Turkey BallsThese simple turkey balls incorporate turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Use these turkey balls to accompany another dish, such as spaghetti, or add them to your list of quick and healthy power snacks for nurses.

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: What to Bring for Work Lunch

sandwhich

One of the best things about having leftover food from a Thanksgiving meal is repurposing the leftovers into work lunches. If you're looking for easy food prep recipes for nurses, here are a few tips to help you out while you put these meals together to bring lunch to work:

  • Consider how you can assemble balanced meals. As much as possible, ensure that you're incorporating a range of protein, dairy, legumes, grains, and fats. 
  • If you're packing salads for your work lunch, consume them first, as they won't last long in the fridge before spoiling. Also, pack your dressing in a separate container so that your salad doesn't get soggy. 
  • Ask a coworker if they'd like to swap Thanksgiving leftovers with you for a real variety of meals. It's a great way to enjoy someone else's culinary skills while ensuring your leftovers don't go to waste. 
  • Save a few meals for the freezer. You may get bored eating these leftovers for the next week or more, so package them in freezer-friendly containers to defrost and reheat whenever you're busy or are craving Thanksgiving leftovers. 

What to Cook After Thanksgiving

Hopefully, turning to Nursa's favorite recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the day after Thanksgiving will give you plenty of options for cooking after Thanksgiving. For more healthy meal prep ideas for nurses, check out Nursa's blog.

When considering what to cook after Thanksgiving, remember that you can put your creativity to use in the kitchen. Try your hand at coming up with your own leftover Thanksgiving recipes, and for even more fun, turn this into a friendly competition with your neighbors, friends, or colleagues. 

From our team at Nursa, happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. We're thankful for the critical work you do as a nurse, and we are honored that you're a part of our community. Stay up-to-date with the latest nursing trends by reading our blogs about the best water bottles for nurses and which scrubs are most popular for healthcare workers.

Looking to pick up a high paying, per diem nursing shift? Download Nursa’s healthcare staffing app today to browse nearby opportunities that fit into your ideal work schedule.

Jenna Elizabeth
Blog published on:
November 25, 2022

Meet Jenna, a contributing copywriter at Nursa who writes about healthcare news and updates, empathy and compassion for nurses, how to show staff appreciation and increase retention, and guides that help nurses navigate career pathways.

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