What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers?

I have been eating turkey for a whole week!  I am just so over it now, the turkey becomes dry, the rolls stale, and what are you suppose to do with left over gravy? I came up with a recipe that transformed these three ingredients? Can you guess what it is? Mac and cheese!!!

Who doesn’t love a good mac and cheese?! I definitely prefer making my own rather than making it from a box, all because of control. I can control the amount of cheese and the different kinds I want to use, I can control what type of milk to use, or if I want to add a condensed soup. Cooking for me is all about control and making all the ingredients taste the way I want them to. Cooking is my creative outlet and how I express myself.

How I came up with this recipe was on a whim, like most of my recipes. We were at Walmart today and I forget what we were talking about, but somehow we got to the subject of what to do with leftovers and I mentioned a mac and cheese. I remembered seeing this idea somewhere and my husband agreed to try it.

We gathered our ingredients and headed on home. Normally for a homemade mac and cheese I like to use several different kinds of cheese, but we were at Walmart, and this particular Walmart didn’t have a great selection, so I went with just a mild cheddar cheese. I prefer a mild cheddar cheese, but feel free to use medium or sharp. I also topped it with some shredded Parmesan cheese, because why not? You can also use any soft cheese, a cheese that melts easily, (Colby, Monterrey jack, white cheddar, provolone, Gruyere) just beware of the saltiness of the cheese you use as that will alter the recipe.

For this mac and cheese I also used the rolls to make a crust on top. I always do my best to add different textures to my dishes, and this is how I chose to do so, but if you don’t like a crusty topping leave it out! I also think that you can substitute the rolls with maybe 4 cups of stuffing? I don’t know, you may want to try that, I just don’t eat stuffing so I didn’t have any left over! Cooking is all about you, so feel free to tailor any recipe to your liking.

A quick hack to people who have mac and cheese with their Thanksgiving meal is to just add the turkey and maybe add the topping to it?! Who knows what you could do BE CREATIVE!!

INGREDIENTS

for the Mac 

2 cups dry pasta (I used macaroni because that is what I had, but you use what you like!)

1 tablespoon of salt for the water

4 cups shredded cheese (I used mild cheddar, but feel free to use whatever cheese you prefer)

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup left over gravy (or one can of cream condensed soup:chicken, mushroom, potato)

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon of onion powder and garlic powder

Leftover turkey (I shredded a whole breast, but this part is completely up to you. My husband loves a lot of meat so I added most of our leftover meat in there which was probably 2-3 cups shredded meat?)

for crust 

4 left over rolls (Or maybe 4 cups of leftover stuffing)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted

1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill up a stock pot half with water, add the tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While water is boiling measure the pasta and start shredding the cheese. When the water is to a boil add the pasta and cook for 10 min.
  2. While the pasta is cooking cut the rolls into small cubes, pour the melted butter over them along with the sage, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. (If using stuffing skip this step)img_20181124_112229656
  3. Once the pasta is done cooking, spoon out with slotted spoon and put in the dish you are serving the mac and cheese in (I used a 4 quart dish, make sure it is oven safe). Dump the water out of the pot and add the milk, gravy (condensed soup), seasonings, and 3 cups of the cheese. Heat on low until the cheese is nice and melted, no clumps. Take out the croutons.
  4. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta. Shred some of the leftover turkey into the pasta and mix. I shredded all of our leftover white meat into the dish, as this meat tends to be a little dry and will soak up moisture from the cheese sauce.
  5. Mix the cooled croutons with a cup of the shredded cheese you set aside, and put it on top of the mac and cheese. Top that with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and stick in the oven for 10 minutes. img_20181124_114457141
  6. Let it cool 5 min and enjoy!

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