Thanksgiving Leftovers Guide: Turkey, Lamb, Ham & Roasts

Thanksgiving Leftovers Guide: Turkey, Lamb, Ham & Roasts

We can all agree that Thanksgiving is by far the best holiday for leftovers.

While our favorite holiday meal-time traditions might look a bit different this year, we’re here to help you make the most of your delicious leftovers from ham to lamb, roast and turkey, and everything in between.

Whether you’re a solo host looking for lunch ideas for the week or you’re hunkering in with family and need breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans for four or more, this guide will get you through the holiday season with minimal waste and happy bellies. 

At Grass Roots, we love dishes that keep on giving, from the leftover baking juices to bones for soups and broths. This is a great way to help avoid food waste, while cutting down your grocery bill. 

Leftovers 101

There are a few basic rules to leftovers that will make your dishes taste just as good, if not better than the first time around. 

Here are two golden rules to leftovers: 

#1: Only heat what you need! It’s better to divvy up your leftovers into smaller portions for storing rather than reheating on repeat leaving you with dishes lacking luster.

#2: As much as possible, reheat your meats the same way you cooked them. It’s both the safest and steadfast way to a more flavorful dish, keeping crisp crusts and juices lasting longer. 

Below we will address the more common holiday cuts with links to recipes that we personally think are lip-smacking options, along with helpful leftover tips for each of your holiday cuts.

Let's get started! Grab your filled containers and get cooking!

 

Leftover Tips for Turkey 

The turkey is the memorable guest of honor at almost every Thanksgiving table and surely you’ll be craving it for days to come.

Grass Roots’ turkeys are juicy and tender - so you’ll want it tasting the same way it did a day or two ago whether it’s on a sandwich or in a soup. Don’t be afraid to explore what new traditions you can create! 

Storing and Reheating Turkey

Refrigerating: 3-4 days 

Freezing: 2-6 months 

To reheat a whole turkey or scraps: Cover turkey lightly with stock or water and place in a baking dish covered with tin foil. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. 

Do: Freeze leftovers in an airtight container as soon as possible to lock in flavor.

Don’t: You might be tempted to think storing leftover turkey with the stuffing still inside will help the flavors develop even more, but you'd be wrong. This makes the stuffing too cool, which increases the risk of bacteria growth. Always store your stuffing separate from your turkey.

 

Leftover Turkey Recipes

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Cozy Turkey & Wild Rice Soup 

Serves: 8 | Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min.

This soup has a balanced flavor profile with the richness of cream and turkey, the earthy notes of wild rice and thyme, and the sweetness of the vegetables. The white wine adds a touch of brightness and acidity to the mix. It's a cozy and comforting dish, perfect for warming up on a cold day.

Get the recipe.

 

Turkey & Cranberry Sliders

    Turkey & Cranberry Sliders 

    Serves: 6 | Cook Time: 25 minutes 

    These slicers have a balance of sweet and savory flavors. The combination of turkey, cranberry sauce, and cheese is a classic one, and the mustard adds a zesty kick. The sweet rolls provide a nice contrast in texture and taste. It's a delicious and satisfying combination of flavors and textures.

     Get the recipe.

    Simple Turkey Broth

    Simple Turkey Broth

    Serves: 4 quarts | Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes.

    Nothing says fall like broth made from leftover turkey. It is a rich and flavorful turkey stock that can be used as a base for soups, gravies, and a variety of dishes. It has a deep turkey essence with underlying vegetable and herb notes, making it a versatile ingredient in your kitchen.

      Get the recipe.

       

      Leftover Tips for Lamb 

      A unique dish that is sure to please all your picky eateries, lamb has become a holiday staple for most families during the holiday season.

      Some people think leftover lamb simply cannot be as delicious as the first taste, but the tips and recipes below will surprise you.

      Storing and Reheating Lamb

      Refrigerating: 3-5 days 

      Freezing: 4-12 months 

      To reheat whole lamb and scraps: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap lamb in foil, and heat for 15 minutes to reach medium-rare heat. If you would like medium, warm for an additional 20 minutes. Before serving leave lamb covered for 15 minutes covered by foil. 

      To reheat lamb chops: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, fill a pan with 2 Tbsp of broth or water. Add chops and cover with foil. Warm for 10 to 15 minutes. 

      Do: Maximize the shelf life of your lamb leftovers by refrigerating in a shallow airtight container.

      Don’t: Closely monitor the reheating process to make sure you don't overcook the lamb and dry it out. 

       

       

      Super Quick Leftover Lamb Stew

      Super Quick Leftover Lamb Stew 

      Serves: 4 | Cook Time: 40 minutes.

      Not sure what to do with all your leftover lamb, and want to have a savory, cozy meal? Look no further! This dish has a rich, savory lamb flavor with a combination of spices, sweetness from the vegetables, and a hint of tomato tang. The choice of fat and herbs provides additional layers of taste and aroma. It is a hearty and satisfying stew with a blend of different flavors and textures.

      Get the recipe.

       

       

      Lamb Bone Broth

      Lamb Bone Broth 

      Serves: 4 quarts | Cook Time: 1 day.

      This lamb broth is hearty and flavorful, with the prominent taste of lamb, complemented by the sweetness of the vegetables and the herbal notes of rosemary and thyme.

      Get the recipe.

       

      Leftover Tips for Ham

      Leftover ham is famous for its delicious leftovers the next morning for breakfast served alongside eggs and fresh fruit or for lunch in a sandwich or garnishes on a salad.

      If you’re going the more traditional route with your leftovers or spicing things up it’s important to keep your ham as juicy and flavor-packed as possible. 

      Storing and Reheating

      Refrigerating: 3-5 days

      Freezing: 1-2 months 

      To reheat a full ham: Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Add water to the bottom of the pan and cover the whole thing tightly with foil. Bake at 325F for 16-20 minutes per pound, until a meat thermometer registers 135F.

      To reheat ham slices: Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange slices in a single layer on a greased baking pan. Add a couple of tablespoons of broth or water and cover with foil. Bake for about 10 minutes or until heated through, turning slices once.

      Do: Use moisture-proof wrapping when storing leftovers to keep the moisture and flavors preserved.  

      Don’t: Make sure you don't leave out your ham at room temperature for more than two hours. If you’re not planning on using leftovers within four days of cooking. Freeze to lock in quality!

       

      Cloud Eggs & Ham

      Cloud Eggs & Ham

      Serves: 4 | Cook Time: 20 minutes.

      The cloud-like egg whites are light and airy, while the ham is more substantial and slightly crispy around the edges, providing a textural contrast. It is a balance of flavors, with the eggs contributing a mild and airy quality, while the ham adds a savory, salty note, making it a delightful and satisfying breakfast or brunch option. 

      Get the recipe

      Antipasto Grilled Cheese & Ham Sandwich

      Antipasto Grilled Cheese & Ham Sandwich 

      Serves: 6 | Cook Time: 15 minutes.

      fusion of Italian antipasto flavors with the classic grilled cheese and ham sandwich. It offers a combination of savory, creamy, and tangy tastes, and the textural contrast between the crispy bread and the melty cheese adds to its overall appeal.

      Get the recipe.

       

       

      Leftover Tips for Beef Roast

      It’s a myth that beef roasts lose their quality and flavor the second time around. The juicy prime rib roast that was a huge hit for dinner last night can make a return appearance as a superstar leftover.

      If you’re looking to spice things up or simply heat and serve, here are a few quick tips and recipes to get you thinking outside of the box when it comes to what your leftovers can look like this year. 

      Storing and Reheating

      Refrigerating: 3-5 days 

      Freezing: 4-12 months 

      To reheat a full roast or roast scraps: Cover roast lightly with beef stock or water, bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For a seared crust, heat oil and a large skillet and roast on each side for a minute or two. 

      Do: Add a little au jus or 1/4 cup of low-sodium beef stock for tenderness.  

      Don’t: Resist the urge to slice roasts before storing them. Keeping your roasts whole keeps the flavors and juices locked in.

       

      Quick & Easy Beef Pot Pie

      Quick & Easy Beef Pot Pie 

      Serves: 6 | Cook Time: 30 minutes.

      A warm, comforting, and satisfying dish with a combination of savory, meaty, and slightly sweet flavors, complemented by a buttery pastry crust. It's a classic comfort food with a delicious and homey taste. Should we say more? Oh yeah, it's quick and EASY!

      Get the recipe.

       

      Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry

      Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry

      Serves: 2-3 | Cook time: 15-25 minutes. 

      This dish is a great way to repurpose leftover roast beef, and you can adjust the vegetables and seasonings to suit your taste. It's a quick and flavorful meal that can be ready in no time, making it perfect for using up beef roast leftovers.

      Get the recipe.

       

       

       

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