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How to Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

It’s Officially Christmas Time:

Thank God for Thanksgiving leftovers. With just 29 days til Christmas and so much to do, things will kick into high speed. Most likely, after all that chopping and dicing, cooking is that last thing on our mind.

In my home, like my mother, in true Mexican tradition, I cook for a small army. I feel better knowing I’ll have plenty of leftovers. My adult children come for Thanksgiving dinner with a good appetite and are prepared to take leftovers home. I manage to keep some in my fridge too. 

What To Do With Leftover Meat:

I strip the leftover turkey and ham down to the bone and divide it into ziplock bags for quick meals or makeover meals depending on my Christmas to-do list.

On my first day of Christmas shopping, with crowded stores and long lines I’m tired, but grateful for my microwave and leftovers. Being an “empty nester” does have its benefits. I warm up a nice plate of Thanksgiving dinner for me and my love. Dinner is  quiet, the evening is cozy, giving me time to restore the needed energy for my Christmas to-do list or when the grandkids visit.

These days online purchases have made shopping much easier and stores less crowded. It also might allow time for cooking some of those makeover leftover meals. If you have energy and zeal, here are a few ideas for a nice dinner.

Leftover Makeovers:

Leftover Potatoes: mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes can be converted into a nice cheesy potato soup. I’ve taken an easy Baked Potato Soup  from and altered it, just a bit. 

My alterations:

  • I did not bake potatoes, I used my leftover mashed potatoes. 

  • I used unsalted butter and instead of salt I used chicken flavored bouillon. 

  • I added ¼ cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese. 

  • In all my cooking, I taste and add any listed ingredient to taste.

Leftover Turkey: shredded turkey simmered in a creamy green chile sauce will make a great filling for enchiladas, tacos, burritos or even tamales if you’re up for the task. 

Creamy Green Chile Sauce:

  • Roast a couple of fresh California anaheim chiles and peel them. 

  • Blend chiles,1 small can (10.5) of cream of chicken soup. ¼ cup of sour cream. 

  • Season with 1 tsp of cumin, Knorr bouillon and ½ tsp black pepper

  • Taste and add seasoning as needed.

Leftover Ham:

  • Mexican style beans: adding the hamhock into your pot of boiling pinto beans will add wonderful flavor and texture to your beans. Served over a bed of white or Mexican style rice with warm corn tortillas makes a yummy quick meal.

  • Leftover ham also makes great ham sandwiches.

As you maneuver through the Christmas season, I encourage you to be intentional and enjoy a season with peace and joyful days. If you just don’t feel like cooking, but want to serve some nice meals, Texas Lone Star Tamales is here to help. Our online Texas style tamales will help you serve a nice family dinner, a delicious and authentic tamale dinner feast or send a nice Christmas gift anywhere in the United States. After all, “Christmas just ain’t Christmas without tamales” so save the date; December 11th for Christmas orders.

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