Thanksgiving leftovers: how to eat all that extra turkey and stuffing

“YOU ATE MY SANDWICH?!” the fictional Ross Geller once exclaimed to the entire city of New York.

While some may look forward to Thanksgiving dinner, plenty of others are equally excited by what’s leftover from the festive spread. We’ve seen everything from turkey pho to turkey poutine, but sometimes the classics bring the most satisfaction.

While the ‘Friends’ character was all about the “moistmaker”, a gravy-soaked piece of bread in his after-Thanksgiving sandwich, NYC chefs have a few better ideas on how to deal with all those leftovers…

Chef Andrew Whitcomb, of Brooklyn’s Colonie is a big sandwich proponent. Growing up in Maine, he created “The Thanksgiving Day Sandwich” with his mother and grandmother, and the feast currently appears on Colonie’s brunch menu.

To assemble it yourself:

Warm your turkey with gravy to keep it moist

Layer on rye or sourdough bread with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing (Whitcomb prefers cornbread stuffing)

Top with extra gravy

If you must move beyond the massive sandwich, Whitcomb also uses his leftovers to make a soup.

Make soup:

Save the bones, skin and extra grease from your turkey to use in the stock

Strain and add leftover pieces of turkey along with veggies, anything from carrots to corn or beans.

Crack a few eggs into leftover stuffing, roll them into dumplings and poach in the broth. (If that’s too much effort, you can also just edd egg noodles for some extra carbs.)


For a New York spin on Thanksgiving food, attempt the Thanksgiving Knish, developed by brothers Eric and Bruce Bromberg last year for Thanksgivukkah, when Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fell on the same day. While the Jewish holiday doesn’t start until December this year, you can still enjoy this savory, creamy knish.


Turkey & Sweet Potato Knish


Serving: 20 Knishes




Knish Filling:

1 lb. Mashed sweet potatoes

4 oz. Cream cheese

12 oz. Turkey leftovers, chopped into fine dice

½ tbsp. Kosher Salt

½ tbsp. Black pepper, Freshly ground

Knish Dough:

1 ¾ cups All-purpose flour

½ lb. Butter, unsalted, chilled

1/3 cup Water, very cold

½ tsp. Granulated salt




Put flour into bowl of an electric mixer.

Add cold butter, cut into small pieces, and salt.

Mix slowly in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until butter cuts into the flour to form smaller granules. Drizzle in water and mix just enough for the dough to come together.

Put dough onto work table and knead briefly and form into a flattened ball. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for at least one hour.



In a large bowl using a spatula, fold together mashed sweet potatoes (or roasted sweet potatoes) and chopped turkey. Do not over mix.


Forming Knish:

Take the dough out of the fridge and cut into ¼’s the long way. Flour the work service.

Take one of the pieces of the dough and hit it with a rolling pin, elongating it into a long strip, measuring approx ¼” thick and 2½” wide. Place a cylinder of the potato filling about 1” wide down the center of the knish dough. Brush the top of the dough with a strip of egg wash.

Fold the bottom of the dough over the potato filling, and roll over to touch the egg washed side.

Using a bread knife, cut the log into 3 ounce discs (about 2½” wide). Using your hands, hold the individual disc and seal one side, pinching the dough over the potato.

On the other side of the disc, put some pressure on the open-ended side so that the knish takes form. It should be almost 2” in height and 4” across. Baking Coat the outside of the dough of two knishes with egg wash.

Place a small square of parchment paper on sizzle platter and put the two knishes on top of the paper, not touching each other.

Bake in 450 degree F convection oven for 8 minutes.


As excited as we are for Thanksgiving, we’re also psyched for the leftovers– just remember to label your food in a communal work fridge!