As we celebrate the season with holiday feasts, we also increase the potential to generate food waste.
Currently, Americans waste about 25 percent of all food purchases — about $30 a week or $1,600 a year. When we throw away food, we're also wasting all the water, energy and other resources used to produce, package and transport food to our plates.
Use our Food: Too Good to Waste toolkit to learn how to reduce food waste in your home.
Just in time for the holidays, our City Hall team is sharing some favorite recipes to help you give your Thanksgiving leftovers a makeover, helping your family to waste less food and save more money.
After the holiday feast, try using two stuffing waffles as the “bread” for a leftover turkey sandwich!
- Leftover stuffing (best if just slightly moist; if stuffing is dry, add a tiny bit of water or stock until just damp, but not gooey)
- Leftover gravy
- Leftover cranberry sauce (optional)
- Maple syrup (optional)
- Fried egg (optional)
- Spray a waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and preheat.
- Spread stuffing across the waffle iron and close the lid.
- Cook until crispy on the outside.
- Serve topped with gravy, cranberry sauce, maple syrup and/or a fried egg on top.
Five-Ingredient Pesto Chicken (or Turkey) Soup
Looking to use a roasted chicken or turkey? This soup is super easy — and delicious during the cold months.
- 4 cups good-quality chicken stock
- 3 handfuls (about 3 cups) fresh spinach
- 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken or turkey
- 2 14-ounce cans Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup pesto
- Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- Stir together chicken stock, spinach, chicken and beans in a medium saucepan.
- Cook over high heat until the soup reaches a simmer.
- Then, reduce heat to medium, stir in the pesto, and let the soup continue to simmer for two minutes.
- Serve warm, topped with Parmesan cheese.
Baked Potato Egg Scramble
Transform your leftover potatoes and vegetable sides into an easy, savory dish for breakfast or brunch.
- 1 leftover potato, diced
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ½ cup fresh spinach (or other leftover vegetables)
- ¼ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Refrigerate the leftover potato until you are ready to use it, then dice.
- Sauté the onion in a lightly oiled skillet over medium high heat.
- Once the onion is soft, stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.
- Reduce heat to medium and pour in the eggs. Cook until the bottom has set.
- Stir in the diced, precooked potato, sprinkle in salt and pepper, and top with shredded cheese.
Open-Face Turkey Mornay
When you’re tired of the same old turkey and gravy, turn your Thanksgiving centerpiece into a cheesy, decadent sandwich.
- 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 package Alfredo sauce mix
- 1¾ cup Swiss cheese, shredded
- 4 English muffins, split
- 2½ cups leftover turkey
- 4 slices Canadian-style bacon
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- Heat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- For Mornay sauce, combine broth and butter over medium heat in medium size saucepan. Whisk in Alfredo sauce mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for two minutes. Add 1¼ cup of the Swiss cheese, stirring for about eight minutes or until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place split English muffins on prepared baking sheet.
- Divide turkey among muffin bottoms. Stack with Canadian bacon and tomato slices.
- Top with about 1 cup of the Mornay sauce, reserve remaining sauce for another use (or seconds).
- Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Swiss cheese.
- Bake tops and bottoms at 350 for 30 minutes until heated through, cheese is bubbly and tops are toasted.
This hearty soup is a great way to use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes.
- 8 ounces dried pasta
- 2 to 3 cups cooked turkey
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 to 3 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Leftover mashed potatoes (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients except pasta, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add pasta and cook until tender.
- If you have leftover mashed potatoes, put a scoop in bowl and heat in microwave.
- When potatoes are warm add soup to the bowl and enjoy.