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14 great recipe ideas using Thanksgiving leftovers

14 great recipe ideas using Thanksgiving leftovers
Turkey casserole. (Los Angeles Times)

Happy day after Thanksgiving. You’ve survived another holiday. And while you may be impressed with how great your turkey turned out this year, or that post-election domestic relations around the dinner table didn’t dissolve into war this year, perhaps you’re most impressed that you were able to cram all the leftovers into the fridge at the end of dinner.

And while sometimes nothing tastes better than a cold plate of leftovers in the calm after the big day, even the world's best stuffing doused in gravy can become, well, tiring.

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We've compiled 14 of our favorite recipes using leftovers, from the simple (a salad) to more involved projects (Thomas Keller's rethinks leftover stuffing as pain perdu). You'll find pot pies, sandwiches and soups, using leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and more — everything you need to repurpose those leftovers.

You'll use up more than just leftover turkey in the casserole above, which also calls for leftover yams and Brussels sprouts baked under a crust of grated Gruyere, saltine crackers, pecans and butter. Hungry yet? Click on the photo gallery for links to more recipes.

TURKEY CASSEROLE

Total time: 1 1/2 hours | Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 pound applewood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips

1 large onion, diced 3/4 inch

2 packed cups leftover turkey meat, diced 3/4 inch

1 pound (about 2 medium) baked garnet yams, diced 3/4 inch (candied leftover yams can be substituted)

2 cups cooked Brussels sprouts, cut into quarters

1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) grated Gruyere cheese

20 saltine crackers

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1/2 cup pecan halves

2 tablespoons softened butter

2 tablespoons flour

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the sides of a 9-by-9-by-2 1/2-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and bacon strips and cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is almost crisp. Add the diced onion, and continue cooking until the onion is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Add the turkey, yams, Brussels sprouts and sage, and gently fold together to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season with one-fourth teaspoon each salt and pepper, or to taste, then transfer to the baking dish and gently press to create a level surface.

4. To make the Gruyere cheese crust, combine the grated cheese, saltine crackers, pecans, butter and flour in a food processor. Briefly pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped (about one-fourth-inch pieces) and mixed together. Distribute this mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.

5. Place the casserole in the center of the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Each of 6 servings: 543 calories; 29 grams protein; 33 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 33 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 90 mg cholesterol; 8 grams sugar; 534 mg sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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