You guys, we had the best Thanksgiving. We spent it just the three of us for the first time ever, and decided to serve at our city’s “Don’t Be Alone on Thanksgiving” dinner, which provides turkey with all the fixings (plus dessert!) to nearly 1,000 members of the community in person and through meal deliveries. While in past years we’ve roasted and dropped off a turkey before the meal, we’ve never actually volunteered in person. I’m just so proud of how helpful and cheerful Georgia was. She helped us pass out meals, talk to the guests, refill drinks, bring around dessert, and clean up. When we got home we had our own little dinner and it was simply lovely.
The only downside to not having a big meal, of course, is the lack of leftovers. In the past when we’ve come home from a big family Thanksgiving with lots of extra turkey, gravy, vegetables and cranberry sauce, I’ve made it all into a really simple casserole — nothing complicated — which turned out to be the perfect way to use up those random leftovers. It’s not too fancy, but it repurposes almost all of your extra meat and sides into a comfort-food casserole that’s sure to remind you of cold winter nights as a kid. Nobody feels like cooking the weekend after Thanksgiving anyway, so being able to dump everything into a big baking dish and feed your whole family in half an hour is just so satisfying. Here’s what I did.
I’ve heard that cream-of-soup casseroles and hot dish recipes are suddenly en vogue, and I am OK making them again non-ironically.
Health food? Not so much! Throwback tasty? All the time.
Leftover Turkey Casserole
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup*
- Grated cheddar cheese, to taste
- 2 cups total leftover veggies, such as green beans and corn
- 1 cup milk (any kind; I always use unsweetened almond)
- 2 cups leftover turkey
- 2 TBSP dry breadcrumbs OR smashed potato chips, if you have extra from a chip n’ dip appetizer!
- 1 TBSP butter, melted
- 1/2 a package egg noodles (6 oz.), cooked and drained
*Instead of 2 cans, I subbed for one can about a cup of leftover onion dip we had lying around from appetizers.
Preheat the oven to 400F and cook and drain the noodles al dente (a little undercooked so they don’t turn to mush in the casserole).
Add the soup, milk, veggies, turkey, cooked noodles and grated cheese into a good-sized casserole dish. Stir the melted butter and breadcrumbs (or leftover chips, which is what I used) together in a separate bowl.
Bake the turkey-veggie-soup mixture at 400F for half an hour, or until hot and bubbling. Remove from the oven and stir; top with the bread crumbs or chips, and bake for 5 more minutes until the topping is golden brown.
Enjoy warm! I love it with a side of leftover cranberry 🙂
You could also substitute another meat in this dish, such as leftover chicken, tuna, or even ground beef. And, of course, you could use those french fried onions on top instead of chips or bread crumbs; a healthier option still would be Panko. Overall, this is a very forgiving recipe where quantities are just estimates and you can generally use whatever you have around and it’ll still come out great.
Thanks to Campbells for inspiring this post.
Minted extended their Black Friday sale on holiday cards! You don’t want to miss out on this deal. I ordered ours last night!