Ask A Boston Chef: Tips and Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers

November 10, 2012 4:00 AM

(credit: DAN-LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images)

There are so many ways to use up all of the delicious Thanksgiving leftovers. Here are some tips and ways that two Boston-area chefs suggest to prepare the leftover ingredients. From pasta dishes to chili and to comfort foods including pot pies, there’s no shortage of ways to use up the turkey and side dish leftovers to create delightful dishes.

radius1 Ask A Boston Chef: Tips and Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers

(Photo Credit: Radius)

Radius Restaurant
8 High St.
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 426-1234

Chef Michael Schlow has shared three things he does with his Thanksgiving leftovers.

“One of the staples at our Thanksgiving dinner is roasted Brussels sprouts with chopped walnuts,” he said. “I take the leftovers, cut the Brussels sprouts into quarters, toss them with brown butter, sage and lots of black pepper, and then toss that with homemade fettuccini, finished with a little parmesan cheese.”

“I also take the leftover turkey (especially the leg and thigh meat), and take if off the bone to use to make turkey chili. I use red, black and cannellini beans within the chili. It’s served alongside leftover crispy mashed potato cakes. If I don’t make potato cakes, I take the leftover mashed potatoes, which at my house are smooth and creamy with no lumps, and I make a warm potato soup. I garnish that with chopped up pieces of turkey thigh meat, chestnuts and mushrooms.”

schlow Ask A Boston Chef: Tips and Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers

(Photo from Facebook)

About Michael Schlow:
Cookbook author, TV personality and James Beard Award-winning celebrity Chef Michael Schlow ( is executive chef and owner of Radius, Via Matta, Alta Strada, Tico and Happy’s bar + kitchen, some of Boston’s best restaurants.

Related: Boston’s Best Brewpubs Serving Seasonal Beer

beehive e1311105111291 Ask A Boston Chef: Tips and Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers

Photo Credit: Beehive

The Beehive
541 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 423-0069

Chef Rebecca Newell had quite a few great ideas.

“Turkey is one of my favorite things to cook ever” she said. “The aroma of a roasting turkey in the oven can’t be beat, and in New England, a roast-turkey dinner can warm the coldest of days. Leftovers with turkeys are countless, but a few of my favorites that my mom and I always do quickly come to mind. We love making turkey gumbo, throwing the leftover turkey (bones and all) into a large stock pot, covered with onions, celery and carrots and then bring it to a boil and simmer for one hour. Next, strain the liquid and pick any turkey meat off the bones for your gumbo. Now follow your favorite gumbo recipe; we do lots of onion, celery, carrots, peppers, garlic, bay leaves, sausage, okra and sauté it with Cajun seasoning, Then add your turkey stock and a few cups of just plain rice and simmer. Add some shrimp and hot sauce right before you serve and wow.”

“Another one of my favorite ways to use up turkey from Thanksgiving is turkey hash. You can use your mashed potatoes at the same time along with small diced onion and peppers (hot ones if you want; red bell peppers if you don’t), sautéed with canola oil. Add a few cubed up potatoes and sauté until potatoes are tender. In a large bowl, mix in two cups of leftover mashed potatoes, leftover shredded turkey and add peppers and onions and some dried thyme or sage. Mix well and in a large skillet, either Teflon or cast iron, add canola oil, and when it’s smoking hot, add your turkey hash and cook until crispy. Serve with eggs of your choice.”

“Turkey pot pie is also no-brainer with leftover turkey dinner. All you need is turkey stock. Just throw your leftover turkey bones in a large stock pot, cover with cold water, onions, celery and carrots and bring to a boil and simmer for one hour. Strain and then in a separate pot, add butter and flour, (equal parts) and make a roux. Add just enough turkey stock to make thick gravy. Add salt and pepper and sage and throw in any leftovers you have like peas, carrots, mashed potatoes, turkey or butternut squash and season it. Make a quick biscuit dough or buy pre-made biscuits at the store. You will pour your pot pie filling into a casserole dish and put biscuits on top. Brush one beaten egg and bake at 375 until bubbling. And lastly, turkey tetrazzini is basically an alfredo sauce that has turkey and peas mixed into it. Make a quick turkey stock and in a large sauce pan brown garlic and onions in butter. Add a few tablespoons of butter and deglaze with white wine. Add a touch of thyme and add a cup or so of turkey stock. Add some heavy cream, some nice grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper and a touch of nutmeg. Throw in some leftover turkey and serve over your favorite pasta! Fabulous!”

newell Ask A Boston Chef: Tips and Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers

(Photo from Facebook)

About Chef Rebecca Newell:
The executive chef of The Beehive in Boston’s South End, Newell is a well-traveled chef who knows a lot of about using local, seasonal ingredients and cooking American comfort food. She attended the New England Culinary Institute. She even made an appearance on the TV show “Chopped” amongst her many accomplishments.

Related: Boston’s Best Sommeliers

Michelle Levine is a creative energetic, young professional that is passionate about everything Boston has to offer. She loves to attend local events, dine out, and cook and wants to share her findings with you. Her work can be found on