By Alex Rickert and Jim McCarthy

Thanksgiving leftovers may seem heavenly the day after the most gluttonous meal of the year. But when it comes down to using up the last remaining pieces a few days later, usually the creativity runs out and most resort to the microwave or the trash can. To prevent this, we asked Keys residents for their Thanksgiving leftover ideas, and were delighted to receive some very out-of-the-box ideas. Hopefully one or more of these locals can help turn your last few Tupperwares into a savory meal.


From: Minnesota, now living in Key Largo 

Years making Thanksgiving dinner: Started back when living at home when I was young. Favorite leftover meal: Turkey enchiladas 

For breakfast/lunch/dinner/anytime: Lunch and dinner

Explain how the leftover meal is made: The recipe I started with was called chicken enchiladas. Use three cups of chopped turkey, 2 ounces can mild green chilis, green onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, water, milk and flour tortillas. Combine turkey, chilis, onions and 1 cup of shredded cheese into a bowl. Combine sour cream, soup, water and ilk in a separate bowl. Stir about ¼ cup of soup mixture into turkey mixture. Spoon turkey mixture into tortilla shells and roll them up. Put them in a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with the seam of the tortilla shell down. Pour leftover soup mixture over them and sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


From: South Jersey, but have lived in Marathon for 20 years. 

Years making Thanksgiving dinner: I started helping my mom as a teenager. Do I really have to say how many decades ago?

Favorite leftover meal: Turkey tetrazzini

Is it for breakfast/lunch/dinner/anytime: Good for dinner, lunch and even special events. 

Explain how the leftover meal is made: My Mom was a terrific cook. She actually took classes for several weeks at Julia Child’s school when we lived in France. While she could produce a complicated gourmet dish, she never scorned a good old-fashioned casserole. This one combined leftover chopped turkey, cooked spaghetti, cream of mushroom soup, Velveeta cheese, and chopped pimientos. We ate it with a basic garden salad and biscuits from a can. The list of ingredients doesn’t sound promising or healthy but the results were delicious. I made the dish in big quantities for at least two bridal showers and the guests loved it. Can also be done with chicken breast.


From: Tavernier

Years making Thanksgiving: More than you can count on fingers and toes.

Favorite leftover meal: “Glock.” There’s no real recipe for it. It’s a family recipe.

Is it for breakfast/lunch/dinner: Anytime!

Explain how it is made: Take the turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, gravy and then add a bit of water to it to make it more like a soup.


From: Grassy Key

Years making Thanksgiving dinner: Since 1621. I was at the first Thanksgiving.

Favorite leftover meal: Thanksgiving egg rolls 

Is it for breakfast/lunch/dinner/anytime: Any time!Explain how the leftover meal is made: Get the egg roll wraps from Publix (they’re in the produce section), put your desired leftovers inside, roll them up and fry! You can dip them in gravy or cranberry sauce.

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