After hosting Thanksgiving, no one really wants to slave all day in the kitchen... but people are hungry for Thanksgiving leftovers. When Chef Michael Chiarello told us about his traditional day-after Make-Your-Own Panini Party, we thought: Why not have some fun and celebrate the three-day weekend with friends ? Use these five party ideas to create an extended holiday using Thanksgiving leftovers.
Attire for this gathering is “medieval chic.” Men: think knights in shining armor. Ladies, let your hair down and channel your inner-Guinevere. Instead of carving up the monstrous turkey drumsticks on the big day, set them aside (and ask your guests who roast turkeys to do the same) so guests at your gathering can get their photo snapped gnawing on a big turkey bone, with a big ole mug of ale in the other.
Potato Croquettes from The Daily Meal
D'Artagnan's Braised Wild Turkey Ragu from The Daily Meal
Hedgehog Mushroom and Turkey Pot Pie from The Daily Meal
Winter Squash Pudding from The Daily Meal. Skip the first step and use leftover squash that's already cooked for a short-cut.
After Thanksgiving, sometimes you just want to lay low, lounge around in your pajamas and watch movies all day. Here is an excuse to do just that: Have a “slumber” party where guests arrive in their PJs – sleeping bag and teddy bear optional. Whip up some breakfast favorites with your leftovers as you play board games or watch movies all night.
Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes, from The Daily Meal. Swap in pumpkin or butternut squash puree for the lemon zest and juice. Serve these with maple syrup and cranberry sauce.
Egg-White Frittata from The Daily Meal. Instead of leeks and sundried tomatoes, use roast turkey and leftover vegetables for a Thanksgiving twist.
Leave your holiday woes behind by hosting a fun Mexican-themed party, complete with a turkey piñata (we suggest filling it with chocolate, not stuffing) and cranberry cocktails, since what's a fiesta without booze? Bring out the maracas and sombreros, and use your leftovers to create some classic Mexican dishes with a new twist.
Cat Cora's Healthy Enchilada Pie from The Daily Meal. Try making these with leftover sweet potato or squash puree for vegetarians, too!
Cranberry Lola in Love Cocktail from The Daily Meal
Simple Salsa from The Daily Meal. Add in some leftover cranberry sauce for a slightly sweet kick.
For many people, football is a close second to turkey on the Thanksgiving Day menu – use the sports fans for inspiration to plan something fun for “kids” of all ages. Just as perfect for jocks as for people who’d like to work off some calories from the previous day, set up a touch football game for the adults and turkey-bowling on the lawn for the kids. Everyone will enjoy a chance to laugh and run around outside, and they’ll also work up an appetite for a hearty chili menu.
Brisket and Pumpkin Chili from The Daily Meal. Instead of using brisket, cook the beans and spices as instructed, adding roasted turkey once the beans are tender. This will cut down on your cooking time, too.
Roasted Vegetable Salad from The Daily Meal. For added heft, add other Thanksgiving leftover favorites, or toss some roasted turkey with a bit of mayonnaise and curry power for a quick turkey salad.
Like Chef Michael Chiarello’s Panini party, get your friends together to make your own pizzas, Thanksgiving-style, using leftovers on grilled pizza flatbreads. Fire up the grill one last time for the season and have each guest bring a bottle or six-pack of their favorite beverage to get the creative juices flowing.
Make Grilled Pizzas
Butternut or sweet potato puree with blue cheese and cranberries or bacon bits.
Instead of tomato, spread pizza with cranberry sauce, shredded turkey and cheese. Top with dollops of mashed potato and drizzle with gravy.
Mashed potatoes topped with shredded turkey tossed in gravy, a la "pulled turkey." Top with dollops of stuffing.
Watching your waistline? Click here to see A Lighter Thanksgiving Leftover Menu.
Check out our Recipe SWAT Team: Thanksgiving Leftovers.