My Favorite thing to do with Holiday Leftovers

holiday turkey leftovers
Holiday food is great, but what about when there's too much??

Holiday leftovers are both a joy and a worry. Can you relate? Making Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (or any big dinner for that matter) is so much fun. The next day, it’s still fun! The day after that, I can feel the clock ticking on those potatoes and I start to panic. I really hate to waste food. And, not to be a snob, but I don’t really like to eat the same thing more than two days in a row, especially when it’s so laden with (sweet, sweet) butter, like my Thanksgiving meal was this year. Enter: these leftovers pot pies. After assembling, they go into the freezer to await the inevitable day that I’m craving gravy once again!

christmas dinner thanksgving leftovers ideas

Building Holiday Leftovers Pot Pies

So this works fantastic for any meal with a protein and a gravy, and a mashed potato for the top, making it kind of like a shepherd’s pie. Everything else that goes inside is up to you!

Here’s how I like to layer mine:

what to do with leftovers ideas

Stuffing on the bottom. Stuffing will absorb all the juices, sauces, and gravy.

thanksgiving leftovers ideas

Next, I did a wild card and put in green bean casserole. 

leftover turkey recipes

Followed by turkey.

gravy layer

Then, our friend, gravy.

cranberry sauce layer

Cranberry sauce on top.

leftover mashed potatoes recipes

Last, a crown of mashed potatoes!
Ordinarily I try to make these look cuter with some swoops, but these pies were extra full this year and I couldn’t risk the gravy loss.

christmas leftovers pot pie

Then I wrap the pies with press-n-seal wrap for a good air-tight finish. Then into the freezer they go!

leftover turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes pot pie

Ta-da! My leftovers made four little pot pies.


To reheat, allow some time.

They will be frozen solid, and in my case, inside a ceramic crock, which takes ages to heat up. Alternatively, you could use an aluminum pan which will make things quicker when put in the oven.

For mine in their ceramic crocks, I start them in the microwave on the defrost setting for about 8 minutes (I have a weak microwave). Then, they get covered with foil, put on a sheet pan, and heated in a 350F oven until hot, which is usually about an hour.

It’s a long time, but for me, it’s worth it! It means those leftovers didn’t go to waste, and I get to enjoy them all over again on a night that I don’t want to cook!

I hope this approach gives you some fresh ideas on how to use up your holiday leftovers without the panic. Happy Holidays!

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