If you’re anything like me, you probably love Thanksgiving festivities almost as much as the lingering aroma of turkey and stuffing in your kitchen. But what about the mountain of leftovers that seem to scream, ‘Not turkey again!’ every time you open the fridge? Fear not! I’ve got a 7-day meal plan that’ll breathe new life into those delicious remnants of your Thanksgiving feast. No more monotony; only scrumptious, revamped dishes that’ll make you wish every month was November.

At the heart of this strategy is Reverse Meal Plan. It’s all about flipping the script on traditional meal planning. Instead of writing a list and heading to the store, we’re starting with what’s already in our fridge, especially those turkey day remnants. By remixing what we’ve got, we’re not only curbing our food waste and making our wallets a tad happier, but we’re also sparking creativity in the kitchen. So, let’s dive in and give those leftovers the encore they deserve.


Thanksgiving day shot of turkey and holiday foods


Food Safety First

Ensuring the safety of the meals we prepare is of utmost importance. When it comes to leftovers, especially after a massive feast like Thanksgiving, we need to be particularly cautious about storage and consumption timings. Here’s a handy guide to help you store and enjoy those tasty morsels without compromising your health:

  • Turkey: Cooked turkey is good in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you don’t plan to eat it within that time frame, it’s best to freeze it. Once frozen, try to consume within 2-3 months for optimal flavor.
  • Stuffing: Whether it’s cooked inside the turkey or separately, stuffing should be eaten within 3-4 days. If you want to keep it longer, pop it into the freezer, but make sure to enjoy it within a month.
  • Gravy: Homemade gravy has a shorter fridge life of 1-2 days. If you’ve made a big batch, consider freezing portions you won’t consume immediately. Use frozen gravy within 2-3 months.
  • Cranberry Sauce: Store-bought can last up to two weeks in the fridge, thanks to preservatives. However, homemade cranberry sauce should be consumed within 10-14 days.
  • Dinner Rolls/Bread: Bread dries out over time. For maximum freshness, consume dinner rolls within 2-3 days. If you notice they’re getting hard, they can be transformed into croutons, bread puddings, or used for French toast.
  • Mashed Potatoes: These are best enjoyed within 3-4 days. If they’ve been sitting out for more than two hours during your feast, it’s best to discard them to avoid any potential bacterial growth.
  • Vegetable Sides: Most cooked vegetables will last 3-4 days in the fridge. Keep an eye on them and trust your nose; if they start to have an off odor, it’s best to toss them.

Remember, always store leftovers in airtight containers to retain freshness and prevent any cross-contamination. When reheating, ensure the food reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential bacteria.


Your 7-Day Post-Thanksgiving Meal Plan

You’ve done the hard work cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving. Now, let’s make the most out of every last morsel! But before we dive into our scrumptious week-long meal plan, a quick tip: Start by freezing any stuffing, gravy, and turkey you won’t be using right away. This little hack will ensure you’re savoring every bite at its freshest. Just remember to thaw them as needed throughout the week. Now, without further ado, here’s your meal-by-meal guide to relishing every last bite, without the monotony.

Friday (the day after Thanksgiving)

Capriotti's the bobbie sandwich recipe

Capriotti’s famous “Bobbie” sandwich

Let’s kickstart this delicious week with a breakfast that’s both ingenious and indulgent: the Dinner Roll French Toast Bake, brilliantly crafted by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean. This delightful dish allows you to make the most of those leftover dinner rolls and cranberry sauce. Come lunchtime, treat yourself to a delectable twist on Capriotti’s renowned “Bobbie” sandwich. It’s a delightful medley of turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing – an iconic trio that spells comfort. And for dinner? Elevate those relaxed Friday night vibes with our Leftover Gravy Poutine Recipe. It’s comfort food at its peak, and the perfect way to bid adieu to the first day of your week-long culinary journey.



leftover stuffing crunchy mozzarella balls


Welcome to the weekend! Starting the day with Marisa Moore‘s Leftover Cranberry Sauce Overnight Oats is like a morning hug in a jar. Then, come lunchtime, we’re spicing things up with the zesty Leftover Turkey Bibimbap Buddha Bowl. As evening rolls in, the Leftover Turkey and Stuffing Stuffed Squash is a showstopper, especially paired with those cheeky Leftover Stuffing Crunchy Mozzarella Balls. And then, just when you thought we were done–NO WAY. Dessert from leftovers? Yes! Chef & Pauper has got our sweet cravings covered with their Leftover Dinner Roll Bread Pudding.🍚🍽️🍮🥂



Favorite Family Recipes created this gorgeous Thanksgiving Casserole

Photo: Favorite Family Recipes

Rise and shine! Let’s round off the weekend on a high note. How, you ask? By digging into some Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes courtesy of The Busy Baker. Think of them as a delightful morning embrace – warm, comforting, and undeniably delicious. By the time noon hits and your tummy rumbles, Favorite Family Recipes has got your back with a Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole that’s a grand symphony of flavors from the big day. As the sun sets and the week’s anticipation starts to build, warm up with our heartwarming Leftover Thanksgiving Cream of Turkey Soup. Those garlic croutons on top? They’re little crunchy love letters reminding you of the beautiful feast you’ve shared and the meals yet to come.



Thanksgiving leftovers combine to create this delicious bowl of chili

Happy Monday, folks! Okay, let’s start the week with a pep in our step. Imagine biting into a moist, fluffy Cranberry Sauce Muffin from Foxes Love Lemons first thing in the morning. It’s like a little breakfast hug, reminding you of the holiday weekend while giving you that much-needed push for the day. By lunch, let’s take a slightly unconventional turn—how about diving into a bowl of our Leftover Turkey Miso Ramen? It’s the perfect blend of comfort and surprise. And just as you’re unwinding in the evening, grab a cozy blanket and a bowl of the Leftover Turkey Pumpkin Chili. It’s heartwarming, hearty, and just the right touch of spice to wrap up your day.



Thanksgiving turkey leftovers work amazingly for this delicious bowl

We’re rolling right through the week, and a Cranberry Sauce Smoothie by Kath Eats is precisely the morning kick you didn’t know you needed. It’s sweet and suuuuper refreshing. Midday, lighten things up with a Leftover Turkey Cobb Salad. And those dinner rolls? They’re back, reborn as crispy croutons that add the perfect crunch. As the evening draws in, we’re diving into a Leftover Turkey Thai Curry Buddha Bowl. It’s a splendid mix of creamy curry, tender turkey, and vibrant veggies, taking your taste buds on a wild journey.🍂🥗🍛



Well Plated created this amazing cranberry sauce parfait

Photo: Well Plated

Alright, my leftover-loving friends, we’re almost through the week and still going strong! Let’s kick off our morning with a touch of elegance: a Leftover Cranberry Sauce Parfait by Well Plated. It’s a delightful blend of sweet and tart, layered in a glass like a morning sunrise. When lunchtime hits, let’s not overthink it; the Leftover Turkey Cranberry BBQ Sandwiches are a total crowd-pleaser. And for dinner? We’re spicing things up and diving deep into comfort territory with the Vietnamese Turkey Pho Recipe. Those turkey bones? They’ve still got flavor to give, and they shine in this aromatic, soul-warming broth. You’ve made it through yet another delicious day in leftover paradise! 🍓🥪🍲



Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup Recipe

We’ve made it to the grand finale of our leftovers journey! And trust me, we’re going out with a bang. 🎉

Rise and shine with some fluffy Cranberry Sauce Waffles courtesy of MyRecipes. Seriously, who knew cranberries could be so versatile? And when lunch rolls around, it’s Miso Soup With Mushrooms and Tofu with a turkey bone broth that’s gonna elevate this soup to legendary status. Pair it with a fresh side salad to balance the richness. And as the sun sets on our leftover week, we’re going global for dinner with a hearty Leftover Turkey Chinese Congee. Creamy, comforting, and oh-so-filling – it’s the perfect way to wrap up this foodie adventure.🍲🌍


And there you have it! A full week of mouthwatering meals made from the bounty of Thanksgiving leftovers. While I’ve laid out a roadmap for you, always feel free to shuffle things around to match your vibe. Just remember, it’s all about relishing these scrumptious dishes while keeping things safe in the fridge. Happy eating!🍗🥰