Making the most of turkey day leftovers

I am thankful that Thanksgiving is not necessarily just a one-day event. Thanksgiving is just the beginning of a week devoted to leftover mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey and stuffing. Oh, and pie. There is always enough food to last for the week following the marked day of Thanksgiving, and that is why I believe the holiday lingers.

You can only eat mashed potatoes and gravy for so long before you grow tired of it. Thankfully, with all of the different sides, sauces and dishes that come with Thanksgiving, there come many creative and tasteful recipes for all of the leftovers.


I am a fan of pita bread. Pita bread with hummus, pita bread with falafel—you name it. That is why my first thought for a creation with Thanksgiving leftovers was a pita bread sandwich.

Picture this: pita bread lightly brushed with olive oil, with mozzarella cheese, leftover cranberry sauce, sliced turkey and fresh arugula sandwiched in between and then grilled. You could even add a spoonful of leftover corn or sweet potato casserole if you’d like to be even fancier.

This sandwich is a combination of flavors. The pita bread is soft, yet a bit crispy from the grill. The tart but sweet cranberry sauce meshes perfectly with the saltiness in the turkey. The mozzarella cheese and arugula add a creamy, nutty taste to the sandwich. It gives it the last little kick it needs to bring satisfaction to your taste buds.

Each family has their own Thanksgiving favorites and I propose that you get creative with the leftovers! After all, you have an entire week to celebrate.


1 piece of pita bread, sliced in half

Sliced mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce or relish

Sliced turkey



(I left out measurement for the cheese, turkey and arugula because the amount of those ingredients on the sandwich is up to you — as goes for the other ingredients too if you would like more or less of something.)


Between the two halves of pita bread, stack the ingredients onto each other. The order of ingredients does not matter. Grill on a skillet set to medium heat. Cook for two to three minutes on both sides, or until the cheese and cranberry sauce seem to be melting and the inside of the sandwich is hot to touch. Enjoy!