Thanksgiving Tips: What to Do with Your Leftovers and More

Thanksgiving Tips



Thanksgiving brings images of beautiful Brussel sprouts, caramalized carrots, mountains of mashed potatoes, and of course, the juicy turkey. Waking up the next day, due to a day full of family and feasting, you may get a craving grandma’s stuffing. If you’re having stuffing, might as well throw some turkey… and some mashed potatoes. Soon you are in the grasp of the leftovers. Just in case you find yourself in this holiday state, here are some tips. These can help reduce food waste and fill your stomachs.

Some ideas to keep in mind, are that many people do not have access to the traditional Thanksgiving foods. According to Vice News, just the Salvation Army will help feed about four million people during the holidays, not including other non-profits. Also, 34 million tons of food get left in landfills. As they rot, the wasted food will release methane into the air.

In order to be more thoughtful, here are some ways to help reduce food waste:

Turkey Stock:

Make a base for a hearty soup, with the remains of the turkey.

Ingredients: Amounts may change due to how big the turkey is & how much you want

  • Turkey bones: Neck and Backbone (11-13 lb. bird)
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 5 onions
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Bay Leaf
  • 5-6 quarts of water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil

1.  Cut the carrots and celery into 1 inch chunks, and quarter the onions.

2. Second, pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a medium-large pot. Pour in your vegetables and sweat, then add your turkey bones

3. Then add about 5 quarts of water and bring up to the boil.

4. Add in rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.

5. After seasoning and herbs are in simmer for about 2-3 hours.

6.  Finally, strain the bones and vegetables from the stock.

Seal and freeze for later use or get started on your soup!

Leftover Turkey & Vegetable Soup


  • Leftover turkey meat
  • Turkey stock
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup of barley
  • Optional: Kale or Spinach
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Rosemary
  • Bay Leaf

Step 1: First dice your carrot, onion, and celery.

Step 2: Pour olive oil in a pot and add your celery, onion, and carrot. Cook until soft.

Step 3: After add your stock, bring up to a boil, and throw your bay leaf and rosemary in the broth.

Step 4: Then throw your barley in, bring to a simmer, and cook until soft and tender (about 30 minutes).

Step 5: While your barley is cooking, cut your green beans into bite size pieces. Also throw your spinach or kale in the pot.

Step 6: As the barley is done cooking, add in your turkey, green beans and corn. Since they are already cooked you just need to heat them up. Season with salt along with some pepper.

Homemade stock is helpful since you can either freeze it and use for soup another time, or you can make a wonderful gravy for Christmas dinner. This soup is perfect for this time of year because winter is coming, and temperatures are dropping. As a result sickness may strike you, along with the shivers. You’ll feel warm on the inside, and as a result warm on the outside too.


Smith, Matt. “Here’s How Much Food You’re Going to Waste On Thanksgiving.” VICE News, 26 Nov. 2014,



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