Thanksgiving Encore

Delightful Dishes for Leftover Lovers

Thanksgiving is a time of abundance, but what do you do with all those leftovers? Don't let that delicious meal go to waste! In this article, we'll explore creative ways to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into mouthwatering dishes that will leave your taste buds singing for joy. Let's turn those extras into something extraordinary!

Turkey and Dumplings

Take our favorite chicken and dumpling soup recipe and add leftover turkey instead! 


  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  2 celery, ribs, diced
  •  2 carrots, large, diced
  •  1 yellow onion, chopped
  •  1 clove garlic, minced
  •  5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  •  6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  •  4 teaspoons chicken bouillon paste, better than bouillon base*
  •  1/4 teaspoon each dried thyme, dried sage, dried rosemary
  •  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, or chicken breasts*
  •  12 oz evaporated milk, canned
  •  ½ cup frozen peas
  •  fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

For the Dumplings:

  •  1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 tablespoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  3/4 cup milk
  •  ¼ cup sour cream
  •  2 Tablespoons butter, melted


  • Sauté Veggies: Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil. Once hot, add celery, carrots and onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add butter and flour and whisk well for 1 minute.

  • Add Broth and Seasonings: Gradually stir in the chicken broth and bouillon, scraping up anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add thyme, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper.

  • Add chicken and bring mixture to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before chopping or shredding into small pieces. Return chicken to the pot and add evaporated milk and peas.

  • Make Dumplings: Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add milk, sour cream and melted butter. Stir until combined, but don’t over mix.

  • Add Dumplings: Bring soup to a simmer and then use a small spoon to drop teaspoon-sized amounts of dough all over the top of the simmering soup (the dumplings will double in size as they cook).

  • Cover the pot and simmer on low for 12-15 minutes. Remove lid, gently stir to break dumplings apart, and scoop out a dumpling to check for doneness. If still doughy, cover and cook for a few more minutes, until tender. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

  • Serve warm, with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley on top.

Arroz Chaufa

Our delicious take on Peruvian Fried Rice is a perfect way to use up leftover turkey, plus you'll have this meal on the table in under 20 minutes, so it's the perfect easy dinner during the busy holiday season. 


  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  •  1 bunch green onion, chopped, (divided into greener and whiter parts)
  •  1 bell pepper, diced
  •  2 hot dogs
  •  2 eggs, beaten
  •  2 garlic cloves
  •  1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
  •  1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
  •  4 cups pre-cooked, cold rice
  •  2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce (more or less to taste)


  • Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Pour sesame oil in the bottom. 

  • Add hot dogs, onion, and bell pepper. Add garlic and ginger.

  • Slide to the side, and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs. 

  • Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetable mix.

  • Add the rice and chicken to the veggie and egg mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and combined. 

  • Season with additional salt, if needed, to taste.

Smothered Burritos

Turkey filling:

  •  3 cups cooked chicken
  •  1 1/2 cups salsa
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  •  1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  •  2 green onions
  •  6 large flour tortillas
  •  olive oil

Green Chile Sauce:

  •  3 Tablespoons butter
  •  3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  1 clove garlic, minced
  •  2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  •  1/2 teaspoon cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  4 ounces diced green chilies, mild
  •  1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  •  1/2 cup sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

  • Make the filling: Mix chicken, salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese and onions. Place a heaping ½ cup or so of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.

  • Fold the sides of the tortilla in and roll up tightly like a burrito. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil or spray with non stick cooking spray.

  • Bake at 400°F for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

  • Make the sauce: Prepare sauce by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted and bubbling, whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Add cumin, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in green chilies, cheese and sour cream.

  • Broil: Remove burritos from oven and turn the oven to HIGH broil. Ladle a spoonful of sauce over each burrito and top with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Founder, Lauren Allen, grew up in a home where everything was made from scratch; from egg noodles and chicken stock to jam and bread. Upon leaving home and entering the world of dreary college cafeteria food, she, along her twin sister, Liz, were eager to compile their treasured recipes into an online collection; Tastes Better from Scratch (TBFS). Today, TBFS attracts more than 10 million readers each month, with a loyal and diverse following on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. The TBFS Cookbook is available on Amazon and other online book retailers. TBFS has been featured by USA Today, Country Living Magazine, Yahoo, BuzzFeed, MSN, and many others. Go check out their amazing recipes at tastesbetterfromscratch.com.

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