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 master leftovers from ham to lamb so those portions don’t look so overwhelming when you’re cooking for a smaller crew.

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. Mastering leftovers 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. 

The 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 

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 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. 

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

Don’t: store a leftover turkey with stuffing still inside, this makes the stuffing too cool, leading to bacteria growth.


Cozy Turkey & Wild Rice Soup 

Serves: 8 Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min

What You’ll Need

  • 3 cups cooked Grass Roots’ pasture-raised turkey 
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and ¼ tsp baking soda  
  • ½ large onion (chopped), 3 large carrots (peeled and chopped), and 1 rib celery (diced) 
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice or wild rice blend 
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup semi-dry white wine 
  • 4-5 cups unsalted chicken or turkey broth  
  • 11/2 tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp ground pepper 
  • 1 cup heavy cream 

The Recipe 

  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Add onions, carrots, celery, and rice. Stirring often, cook for 6-10 minutes or until rice begins to pop and vegetables have softened. 

  2. To shred your leftover turkey, you can use your KitchenAid mixer or a stand mixer with a flat beater attachment at low speed for 30 seconds to a minute. An alternative method is to use two forks, holding one in each hand, slowly pulling away shreds into medium to large chunks based on your preference. 

  3. Add wine, thyme, and baking soda and cook for a full minute while stirring often.

  4. Add broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.

  5. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

  6. Add cream, turkey, and cook for an additional 30-60 minutes or until the soup reduces and thickens. if the soup is thin, whisk in 2 tbsp of cornstarch and ¼ cup cold heavy cream and bring to a boil

  7. Reduce heat to low and cook until soup thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy! 


    Turkey & Cranberry Sliders 

    Serves: 6 Cook Time: 25 minutes 

    What You’ll Need 

    • 3 cups cooked shredded Grass Roots’ pasture-raised turkey 
    • 1 package of sweet rolls 
    • 1 cup of prepared cranberry sauce 
    • 6 slices of your favorite cheese (swiss is a great option!) 
    • 4 tbsp of melted butter
    • 1 tsp of dijon honey mustard 
    • ½ tsp of garlic powder and ½ tsp of poppy seeds 

    The Recipe

    1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper.

    2. Separate the sweet rolls (top and button), placing the bottom half of each roll on the baking sheet. 

    3. Layer your sweet rolls with turkey, cranberry sauce, and cheese. You can get creative with the ingredients you use! Place the top of the bun back onto the sandwich. 

    4. Whisk together mustard, garlic powder, melted butter, and poppy seeds. Brush the mixture over the top of the sandwich using a brush or spoon.

    5. Cover with foil and bake for around 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

    6. For a crispier crust, remove the foil and bake for an additional 3 minutes uncovered. 


    Simple Turkey Broth 

    Serves: 4 quarts Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes 

    What You’ll Need 

    • 1 Grass Roots’ turkey carcass (from the roasted bird) 
    • 2 large onions (chopped), 2 carrots (peeled and chopped), and 3 ribs celery (diced) 
    • 1 bunch of fresh parsley 
    • 4 cloves of peeled garlic, 1 tsp black peppercorns, and 2 bay leaves 

    The Recipe 

    1. Carefully pull the carcass into 4 o5 5 separate pieces using your hands and scissors.

    2. Combine all of the ingredients into a stockpot and cover with 7 quarts of cold water. 

    3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, letting summer for around 2 hours. You’ll occasionally have to skim foam and fat from the surface with a large spoon or ladle. 

    4. Pour mixture through a large mesh strainer into a separate pot and toss any solids into the garage.

    5. Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. 


       The 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.

      You don’t often think leftover lamb can be as delicious as the first taste, but you’ll be surprised by how versatile it can be! 

      Storing and Reheating 

      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 tbsps 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: Overcook and dry out your leftover lamb by leaving in the oven for too long or by increasing the temperature to speed up cooking time. 


      Super Quick Leftover Lamb Stew 

      Serves: 4 Cook Time: 40 minutes 

      What you’ll Need 

      • 2-3 cups of Grass Roots’ Leg of Lamb shredded or cubed 
      • 1 tbsp of ghee, leftover lamb fat, or coconut oil 
      • 1 large onion (diced), 4 carrots (diced) and, 4 cloves of garlic (minced) 
      • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 
      • ¼ cup tomato paste 
      • 4 ½ cups bone broth or vegetable stock 
      • 1 bay leaf and 1 bunch of fresh parsley or cilantro 

      The Recipe 

      1. Add all ingredients to a large soup pot with your cooking fat and cook on low to medium heat until translucent.

      2. Add garlic, spices and the tomatoes paste and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

      3. Add the lamb meat and bone broth and stir together.

      4. Toss in your bay leaf and simmer covered on low to medium heat for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy! 


      Keto Lamb Bone Broth 

      Serves: 4 quarts Cook Time: 1 day 

      What You’ll Need 

      • 1 lb of Grass Roots’ leftover lamb bones 
      • 1 small onion (diced), 3 carrots (chunked), 3 ribs of celery (chopped), and 3 cloves of garlic (peeled) 
      • 3 sprigs of rosemary and 5 sprigs of thyme 
      • 1-3 gallons of filtered water 
      • Salt and  pepper to taste

      The Recipe 

      1. Preheat your oven to 390 F degrees.

      2. Place lamb bones on a covered baking sheet and cook for 30-40 minutes until fully browned (not burned!) 

      3. In a large stockpot, warm oil on medium heat and add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Status for 5 minutes.

      4. Add lamb bones and scrape any remaining juices of fat from the baking sheet into the pot for extra flavor. Add 1 gallon of water and simmer on low for 8-24 hours.

      5. Add more water when you notice the labels drop. After the broth is cooked, strainer with fine mesh. 


      The 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 or slices; Do: use moisture-proof wrapping when storing leftovers to keep the moisture and flavors preserved.  

      Don’t: leave your ham out 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 

      Serves: 4 Cook Time: 20 minutes 

      What You’ll Need 

      • ½ lb of Grass Roots’ forested Ham, chopped 
      • 8-10 large eggs 
      • 1 cup of grated parmesan 
      • Kosher salt and cracked pepper 
      • Chopped chives for garnish  

      The Recipe

      1. Start by preheating your oven to 450 F degrees and preparing your large baking sheet with cooking spray.

      2. Crack eggs and separate the eggs whites from the yolk into two separate bowls. Use a whisk, hand mixer, or fork to beat eggs until stiff peaks form, around 3 to 5 minutes.

      3. Fold in parmesan cheese and ham, seasoning with salt and pepper. 

      4. Spoon egg whites on to the greased baking sheet and indent the centers to form a ‘nest’ like shape.

      5. Bake until the nests are lightly golden, around 3 to 5 minutes. 

      6. Carefully spoon the egg yolk into the center of each “nests', season again with salt and pepper.

      7. Baking until yolks are just set, around 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped chives or fresh herbs and enjoy! 


      Antipasto Grilled Cheese & Ham Sandwich 

      Serves: 6 Cook Time: 15 minutes 

      What You’ll Need 

      • ¼ lb of Grass Roots’ Ham, sliced
      • 4 tbsp softened butter, divided
      • 1 tsp dried oregano and 1 tsp of garlic powder 
      • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
      • ½ cup of halved black olives pitted
      • ½ cup chopped artichoke hearts 
      • ½ cup sliced pepperoncini and ½ cup pepperoni 
      • 8 slices of sourdough bread 

      The Recipe 

      1. To make a sandwich, start by spreading around a ½ tablespoon of butter on the side of two slices of bread. Sprinkle it with garlic powder and oregano.

      2. With the buttered side down on the baking sheet, top with sliced ham, chopped artichokes, pepperoni, halved olives, pepperoncini, and mozzarella. 

      3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and place the sandwich in the skillet buttered side down. You can make as many as you would like at once, but we recommend starting with two sandwiches.

      4. Cook until the bottom is slightly golden and the cheese is beginning to melt around 4 to 5 minutes.

      5. Flip each sandwich carefully to repeat cooking on the other side until golden brown. Enjoy with soup or on its own! 


      The 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: slice and store roasts, keeping your roasts whole keeps the flavors and juices locked in. 


      Quick & Easy Beef Pot Pie 

      Serves: 6 Cook Time: 30 minutes 

      What You’ll Need 

      • 2 cups Grass Roots’ cubed or shredded Chuck Roast
      • 1 pie top and bottom (10 inches)  
      • 3-4 cups of cooked potatoes, peas, carrots (frozen or leftover!) 
      • 21/2 cups beef gravy 
      • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
      • 1 beaten egg 
      • Salt and pepper to taste 

      The Recipe 

      1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and start preparing the dough. Once the dough is fully kneaded line your pie pan.

      2. Mix together the beef, potatoes, carrots, peas, Worcestershire sauce, and gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

      3. Gently, start to fill your pie crust with the mixture, spreading evenly.

      4. Place the second crust on top and crimp the edges, gently brush with beaten egg.

      5. Bake for 10-35 minutes or until the crust begins to golden and flake. Serve and enjoy!  

      Hot Beef Sandwich 

      Serves: 2 sandwiches Cook time: 20 minutes 

      What You’ll Need 

      • Grass Roots’ grass-fed Beef Shoulder Roast, shredded or cubed 
      • Leftover thanksgiving mashed potatoes & gravy 
      • 4 slices of texas toast 
      • 1 cup of beef broth 
      • 4 tbsp softened butter and ¼ tsp of garlic powder
      • 1 bunch fresh parsley

      The Recipe 

      1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add beef broth to an oven-safe dish with leftover beef and warm for 5-10 minutes.

      2. Once warmed, remove, and warm leftover mashed potatoes for an additional 5-10 minutes. 

      3. Spread butter on each side of the toast and sprinkle lightly with garlic and toast until golden brown.

      4. Start to assemble your sandwich by adding a scoop of potatoes to each piece of toast and topping with beef and warmed leftover gravy. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!


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