7 delicious ways to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers, according to a golf-club chef

Thanksgiving leftover sandwich

Don't want to simply re-heat and re-serve your leftover turkey and potatoes? Check out these creative and delicious ideas instead.

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Welcome to Clubhouse Eats, where we celebrate the game’s most delectable food and drink. Hope you brought your appetites.


The dishes are done. Your guests have departed. What remains are the remains of your Thanksgiving dinner, the building blocks for bonus meals over the next day or two.

Some people are content to simply reheat and repeat. But not Bertrand Bouquin or Garret Martindale.

They are, respectively, the culinary director at Desert Mountain Club, in Phoenix, Ariz., and the executive chef at Sequoyah Country Club, in Oakland, Calif.

And they’ve got oodles of ideas for what to with your holiday leftovers — without doing Thanksgiving all over again.

1. Turkey Soup

“Because turkey can be dry,” Bouquin says, “the best way to enjoy it in the days following Thanksgiving is a soup.” The method is the same as it for chicken soup. Prepare a broth, using the leftover bones to enhance the flavor. Then add vegetables and noodles, and let them simmer til they’re cooked through, along with any shreds of remaining meat. “Since soup is comfort food,” Bouquin says, “it’s a great option following a day when people tend to overindulge.”

2. Turkey Burrito

Make that a turkey burrito with all the fixings, Martindale says, including cranberries, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Heat them all up, wrap them in a tortilla then pan sear your creation with a bit of butter to make the tortilla slightly crispy.

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3. Potato/Sweet Potato Fritters

“Mashed potatoes!” Instead of screaming that a Tour event, try mixing them with egg and flour. Fry that combination, Bouquin says, “and you have delicious fritters.” The same process works with sweet potato puree.

4. Turkey Empanadas

Most major supermarkets carry gyoza, or dumpling wrappers, which Martindale says serve as a low-maintenance stand-in for empanada dough made from scratch. Combine diced or pulled leg meat (Martindale prefers dark meat for its moisture and flavor) with mashed potatoes and a touch of gravy; fill the wrappers with that mixture; brush the outside with egg wash; and gently fold the wrapper, crimping it with a fork to seal the edges. Bake at 350 degrees for 15. Top with cranberry sauce.

5. Turkey Salad

Add dried cranberries, nuts, chopped hard-boiled egg and mayo, and, Bouquin says, you’ve got yourself a simple, satisfying mid-day meal. Put that salad between two slices of your favorite toasted bread, and that salad becomes a sandwich.

6. Turkey Skin Tacos

A bit of extra labor, but more than worth it, Martindale says. Remove skin from leftover breast meat, salt it lightly, place it on a parchment paper-covered sheet pan, then cover with a second sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Reheat leftover turkey meat with stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy and put it all in warm tortilla. Garnish with turkey skins and hot sauce.

7. Turkey Samosas

You won’t likely find the dough in your local market. But no matter, Bouquin says, as making it at home is relatively simple. Now, off you go. Fill your home-made wrappers with turkey, potatoes, and leftover stuffing, seasoned with curry cumin, garam masala and any other spices that fit the Eastern profile. Fold into a triangular samosa shape, fry or bake and there you have it: an Indian staple, with a hint of American holiday.

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Josh Sens

Golf.com Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.