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Creative recipes to create with your Thanksgiving leftovers

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MILWAUKEE -- Now that the big day is over, what do you do with all of those leftovers? Kerry Clifford, a registered dietitian with  Fresh Thyme joined Real Milwaukee with some recipes that re-purpose Thanksgiving food.

  • Preserve and keep your leftover vegetable scraps to make a stock to be used for soup and cooking.
    • Place a gallon Ziploc bag in the freezer and add trimmings: carrot and fennel tops, ends of onions or leeks, tomato cores, stems of herbs and greens, corn cobs, etc. When the
      bag is full, defrost the contents, dump into a pot and add water to cover. Simmer for 2 hours, strain, and you'll have better than store-bought veggie stock (which can be frozen
      in that same gallon bag). There's no reason to throw this stuff out, it's still packed with nutrients and full of flavor!
  • Use those turkey bones! Bones found in animals contain many nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and amino acids that are great to boost collagen in our bodies for great skin, hair and bone health.
    • Save what's left over from your turkey and place in a large roasting pan. Add vegetable oil, scraps, parsley, thyme, black peppercorns, bay leaf, celery and most importantly the leftover turkey bones. Fill the roasting pan with enough cold water to cover the entire turkey and simmer for 2-3 hours. This will make a delicious broth that you can drink alone or use for cooking!

It's okay to indulge extra on Thanksgiving today, but maybe not a few days after. Try to proportion your leftovers for days ahead in re-useable containers. These are great to bring on the
go, to work, or even for your kid's school lunch.

Generally, leftovers are only good for about 4 days after they are prepared. However, if you really want to try to preserve and save, try freezing a few different dishes, since these are good for up to four months.

  • Reuse your leftovers to make these delicious individual Turkey Shepard`s Pies with leftover turkey and sweet potatoes.

Individual Tukey Shepard Pies


  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and diced
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp organic Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp whole grain flour
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  • Place sweet potato in steamer basket and steam until very tender, about 10 minutes.
  • If you prefer, you can also boil potato cubes until tender.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly beat eggs in large bowl.
  • Add carrot, shallots, garlic, flaxseed, tomato paste, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce (if using), 1/8 tsp salt, and pepper to bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add turkey and mix gently.
  • In separate bowl, mash together cooked sweet potato, flour, butter, nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp salt.
  • Divide turkey mixture among 12 standard-sized greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
  • Spread potato mixture over each cup and scatter Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake until an internal temperature of 165 F is reached when food thermometer is inserted into center of a cup, making sure to penetrate the meat, about 25 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before unmolding.
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