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Transform Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey StockWhen Thanksgiving is over, leftovers aren’t. Everyone loved your parsnip puree and could not stop talking about the cranberry-orange relish. Now the trick is to not just to reheat and eat, but to be creative and not miss out on the opportunity to make some new healthy and nutritious meals for your family with these special seasonal leftovers. Check out these recipes for Turkey Stock and Turkey Cottage Pie!

Don’t throw out those bones! Your grandmother was right. They are packed with nutrition. Making a broth from the turkey bones may seem like a lot of work, but believe me it is worth it, and is also high in certain nutrients: niacin, phosphorus, vitamin A, zinc, and selenium.


  • Whole turkey bones (carcass and all) and any leftover wings
  • 4 quarts cold, filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons Fairway vinegar (you can use any type of vinegar)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley


  1. Place turkey bones (and any leftover wings) in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar, and all vegetables except parsley.
  2. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Then bring to a boil, and remove foam that rises to the top.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be.
  5. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will add additional mineral ions to the broth.
  6. Remove turkey bones and any turkey pieces that came off the bones with a slotted spoon.
  7. Let cool, remove any turkey meat sticking to the bones, and reserve these bits for other uses, such as turkey salads, enchiladas, sandwiches, or curries.
  8. Strain the stock using a sieve or colander into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals.
  9. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
  10. This priceless stock can be used for future meals, particularly as a base for soups and sauces.

Tip: You can freeze some stock in ice cube trays for easy use when you just need a little stock for cooking.

There’s a lot more to do with that big plate of leftover turkey meat than just reheating and eating. Cottage pie is an age-old tradition that dates back to the 1700’s as a way to prepare savory bits of meat along with potatoes, vegetables, and herbs. It’s historically considered peasant food, and that’s why we love it — it’s practical and relatively inexpensive, yet satisfying, filling, and nutritious. As a side note, don’t confuse this with Shepherd’s Pie. Though prepared in much the same way, only Shepherd’s Pie contains either beef or mutton.


  • 2 cups leftover turkey meat
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Fairway bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Fairway dried thyme
  • 2 cups turkey broth (see above recipe)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • Fairway sea salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine turkey, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, and thyme.
  3. Pour turkey both over everything in saucepan, and set on stove over high heat. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes, until liquid reduces slightly. Remove bay leaves. Remove pan from heat and stir in peas.
  5. Transfer turkey mixture to a deep-dish pie plate or shallow casserole dish placed on a baking sheet.
  6. Spoon mashed potatoes over top and make an even layer using the back of a spoon.
  7. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
  8. Serve the pie with a green salad.

TELL US: What are your favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipes?

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