Everyone knows the real reason you look forward to Thanksgiving is for the leftovers. But don’t spoil it by just eating them cold out of the fridge; instead, get creative!

We asked Lettuce Entertain You chefs Jeff Mahin, Chef/ Partner at Stella Barra PizzeriaSummer House Santa Monica, Justin Diglia, Executive Chef at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab and Executive Chef Cory Morris, to share some of their best leftover recipes. From Pancakes with Cranberry Relish to Turkey Chowder with all the toppings, we have five chef-approved ideas to help you make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers.


Pancakes with Cranberry Relish and Orange Zest

Pancakes with Cranberry Relish and Orange Zest - Thanksgiving Leftovers

Let’s start with breakfast. If you have leftover cranberry sauce, there’s is no better way to use it than with your morning pancakes. Chef Jeff recommends folding a dollop of cranberry sauce into the batter and also using it as a garnish. The bright acidity and texture are great paired with warm maple syrup and cinnamon.

Pancakes with Cranberry Relish and Orange Zest

By Jeff Mahin
Yields 8 pancakes

1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 XL eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
½ cup of cranberry sauce, from night before
1 orange, for zest


  1. Combine all flour, baking powder, sugar, pumpkin spice and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, buttermilk and oil by whisking very well.
  2. Slowly add the dry mix to the egg mix with a wooden spoon. Be sure not to over mix batter as it should be slightly lumpy.
  3. Place the bowl of batter in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk cranberry sauce to become more like a jelly.
  4. Remove pancake batter from the fridge and dollop cranberry sauce into the batter and gently fold a few times, finally making a swirl throughout the batter with the spoon.
  5. Heat a non-stick pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Place ½ cup of batter into the pan and zest an orange over the pancake side that is facing up. Just a few zests will do!
  6. Once it is bubbling, flip and continue to cook the other side. Remove from pan to serve with butter and maple syrup. Top with cranberry additional sauce.

To download and print the Pancakes with cranberry relish and orange zest recipe, click here.


Griddled Turkey Breakfast Sandwich

Griddled Turkey Breast Breakfast Sandwich using Thanksgiving leftovers

For a more savory spin on breakfast, make Chef Jeff’s Griddled Turkey Breakfast Sandwich with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. We promise, this turkey breakfast is anything but boring.

Griddled Turkey Breakfast Sandwich

By Jeff Mahin
Yields 1 sandwich

1 English muffin
1 slice of tomato
½ avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon mayo
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 slice Havarti cheese
4 oz. turkey, shaved thin from last night’s feast
2 strips of bacon
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter


  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together until very well combined. Over medium heat, add the butter to a non-stick pan.
  2. Once butter has melted, add eggs and softly scramble while they cook. Just before the eggs are completely finished cooking, season with salt and place the cheese on top. Remove the pan from the stove as the eggs will continue cooking and the cheese will melt on its own.
  3. Place another non-stick pan on the stove and over high heat add the thinly sliced turkey. Sear each side for about a minute until they are hot and charred. Remove from pan and add bacon to cook until crispy.
  4. While the bacon is cooking, toast your English muffin and add mayo and mustard on each side. Add salted tomato, turkey, cheesy eggs, avocado slices, and finally the perfectly cooked bacon. Place the other half of the English muffin on top and dig in for a messy and awesome breakfast sandwich.

To download the Griddled Turkey Breast Breakfast Sandwich recipe, click here.


Stuffing Waffles with Turkey, Cranberry Butter and Maple Gravy


Stuffing Waffles using Thanksgiving leftovers

Stuffing Waffles with turkey, cranberry butter and maple gravy makes for a showstopping holiday brunch. This is the ultimate next day leftover recipe, combining three of our favorite ingredients from Thanksgiving dinner.

Stuffing Waffles with Turkey, Cranberry Butter and Maple Gravy

By Cory Morris
Yields 12 waffles


Waffle Batter:
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
2 cups turkey dark meat, chopped (optional) 
2 quarts stuffing
Salt and pepper, to taste 

Cranberry Butter:
1 lb room temperature butter, diced
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest

Maple Turkey Gravy:
1 quart turkey gravy
1/2 cup grade A maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground black pepper


  1. For the waffles: In a large bowl, stir together eggs, buttermilk, thyme, and sage until eggs are fully incorporated. Add turkey (if using), stuffing and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  2. For the cranberry butter: In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, whisk together butter, cranberry sauce and orange zest until evenly distributed.  Set aside at room temperature. Store leftover cranberry butter in the fridge for up to a week. 
  3. For the maple turkey gravy: In a small saucepan, bring gravy, maple syrup and black pepper to a simmer. Keep the gravy warm to top the waffles with. 
  4. To assemble: Preheat waffle iron before use. Once the waffle iron is hot, spray top and bottom of the cooking area with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop 8 ounces of batter onto the bottom iron, close waffle iron, and cook for 2 minutes. Flip iron over and cook until the waffles are golden brown. Remove the waffles from the iron and top with cranberry butter and maple gravy. 

To download the recipe for Stuffing Waffles with Turkey, Cranberry Butter and Maple Gravy, click here.


Pineapple & Roasted Turkey Salad

For lunch, we’re talkin’ turkey salad with Chef Justin. This is a quick and easy meal that can be served as a salad – or turned into a sandwich.

Pineapple & Roasted Turkey Salad

By Justin Diglia

1 lb shredded turkey breast
1 pineapple
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup apricot preserve
¼ cup green onions, diced
½ cup celery, small dice
½ cup red seedless grapes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper


  1. Mix mayonnaise and apricot preserve.
  2. Fold in the rest of the ingredients and reserve.
  3. Quarter the pineapple and remove the fruit, reserving the outer shell. Slice the pineapple quarters thinly. Place the outer shells on a platter and place the thinly-sliced pineapple in the pineapple shells.
  4. Portion the turkey salad over the prepared pineapple and serve.
    PRO TIP: Turn this recipe in a sandwich as well!

    To download the Pineapple & Roasted Turkey Salad recipe, click here.


    Arun’s Turkey Chowder

    Turkey Chowder using Thanksgiving leftovers

    Chef Cory’s father-in-law makes this dish every year the day after Thanksgiving. The best part are the elaborate garnishes. Set up a toppings bar so that everyone can customize their own chowder creations!

    Arun’s Turkey Chowder

    By Cory Morris
    Serves 6

    1 cup white onions, diced
    2 tablespoons garlic, minced 
    ½ lb butter + 2 tablespoons
    2 tablespoons fresh sage, stems removed and chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stems removed and chopped
    1 cup flour
    2 quarts milk
    2 cups potatoes, cooked and diced 
    2 lbs roasted turkey, dark meat and white meat
    2 quarts turkey gravy
    Salt and pepper, to taste 


    1. In a 6 quart stock pot, sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter until soft over medium heat. 
    2. Add garlic and cook until lightly brown and fragrant. Add chopped sage and thyme and cook for one minute. Add remaining butter, turn heat to low and cook until butter is melted. 
    3. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently until flour is golden brown. Next, slowly whisk in the milk and stir until smooth. 
    4. Add the gravy, diced turkey and diced potatoes to the pot. Let simmer for 30 minutes, or until you get your desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with garnishes of your choice. 

    Note: Chef loves to add garnishes to accompany the chowder (see below). Get creative and add anything that sounds delicious to you!

    Suggested Garnishes
    Shredded cheddar cheese
    Scallions, chopped 
    Tortilla strips
    Red onion, diced 
    Sour cream
    Bacon, cooked and diced 
    Hot sauce

    To download the recipe for Arun’s Turkey Chowder, see here.