A small Thanksgiving likely means that you’ll have more leftovers than usual this year, and that’s a good thing, if you know how to store them right.


To ensure both safety and quality, here are a few tips to keep your turkey in tip-top shape for at least several meals to come.


• Two hours. That’s how long you have to leisurely eat and sit around the table before putting the leftovers away. Make sure they are cool before they go in the fridge or the freezer.


• Pack individual portions rather than large ones. You’re more likely to eat a container of mashed potatoes, stuffing and turkey as a meal if it’s been packaged that way. If you’re the kind of leftovers eater who uses the mashed potatoes for shepherd’s pie, the stuffing as a muffin or breakfast hash and the turkey in guisado, keep them separate.


• Carve the turkey meat off the bone. Don’t store the turkey carcass whole. Slice the breast and wrap in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before storing in a plastic container or bag. Chop the dark meat and store separately. Wrapping the meat in foil or plastic wrap will help keep the moisture in.


• Use leftovers within four days, and put in the freezer by Day 3 if you’re not going to get to them. Cooked turkey will start to dry out quickly in the freezer, so use within one month. You can freeze side dishes, but make sure to label and date them. Consider freezing in whatever size portion you want to use down the road so you don’t have to thaw a huge bag of mashed potatoes that you don’t plan to use up at one time.


• Clean out the fridge of anything that is about to expire or leftovers from earlier in the week before adding any new leftovers. A cluttered, over-stuffed fridge isn’t a good home for leftovers, because that’s where they get lost and forgotten.


• Roasting the bones before you make the broth will make for a richer, darker liquid, but sometimes people prefer a lighter, clearer broth. Don’t roast the bones if you want the latter.


• If you make broth with the turkey bones, store in quart-size containers, which hold 3 to 4 cups of liquid and are usually about the amount needed for a soup or stew. Squeeze out the air and put the date on the bag. If you make a lot of broth, it’s easy to lose track of what you made when, and broth doesn’t last forever in the freezer. After a few months, it starts to take on some strange flavors, so make a point to use it up in a timely manner.


After you’ve figured out how to store your leftovers, the only question left is what will you make with them? In this story, I’ve included a cheesy ham and wild rice soup, as well as turkey guisado, turkey tetrazzini and breakfast grits made with bone broth.


I’m a big fan of pan-seared stuffing to go with eggs, and I’ve been known to make homemade Hot Pockets with just about any Thanksgiving leftovers. Enchiladas and curried mashed potatoes are also a good idea.


One last thought: If you know you’re going to have extras, consider reaching out to someone who might not be having a holiday meal this year and coordinate a drop-off. H-E-B isn’t hosting its annual Feast of Sharing dinner, which provides a free Thanksgiving meal to thousands of Central Texans. Packing up Thanksgiving meals and delivering them (safely, with a mask on) to unsheltered neighbors or older folks who are shut in is one way to share your abundance and make a much-needed connection with someone in the community.


Turkey Bone Broth


Broths are foundational in our kitchen, and we love compounding their benefits by adding adaptogens, mushrooms and seaweeds. We often use these broths to cook our grains and porridge and as a base for our soups and stews. They can also be sipped like tea in the heart of winter. These broths can be made ahead in bulk and stored in the freezer for later use, that way you can have them handy when you need them in a pinch. Astragalus root is available online and at some natural food stores and herb shops.


— Sarah Kate Benjamin and Summer Ashley Singletary


2 pounds turkey (or chicken) bones


3 celery stalks, chopped


3 carrots, chopped


3 garlic cloves, smashed


3 bay leaves


1 onion, chopped


2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


1 handful fresh rosemary and/or thyme


4 slices astragalus root, optional


3-inch thumb fresh ginger, chopped


Sea salt, optional


Add all the ingredients and about 1 gallon of water into a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to allow the mixture to simmer on low for 3 to 4 hours; you can also use a slow cooker for this. If you have the time and would like to do a longer broth that slow-cooks for 6 to 8 hours, hold off on adding the veggies and herbs until the last 3 to 4 hours of cooking. You can tell the broth is done once it’s rich and flavorful. Then strain out the veggies, spices and bones. Allow the broth to cool before pouring into glass jars for storing, or else you risk breaking the glass. Store in the fridge if you plan to use within the next few days. The broth will become thick and gelatinous when cold, which is a sign of super nourishing bone broth that’s filled with gut-healing gelatin. If not using immediately, store in the freezer for up to 3 months.


— From "The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook: Everyday Herbalism and Recipes for Radical Wellness" by Sarah Kate Benjamin and Summer Ashley Singletary (Roost Books, $29.95)


Bone Broth Breakfast Grits


Grits are a Southern comfort food we ate growing up in Florida, enjoying a hot bowl — with lots of butter and scrambled eggs mixed in — for breakfast on school days. There’s something so satisfying about simple dishes like grits. This recipe is a slightly elevated version of our childhood "grits ’n’ eggs" days. The addition of mineral-rich, gut-healing bone broth helps offset the drying qualities of the corn, imparts a deeper flavor and infuses medicinal herbs into the meal. Adding in dried roots that support the immune system, such as astragalus, gives extra support to your immune system before cold and flu season hits. The runny yolks of the eggs are high in lecithin, a protein that nourishes the nervous system by supporting the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve endings.


— Sarah Kate Benjamin and Summer Singletary


4 cups bone broth


2 teaspoons sea salt


1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


2 cups stone-ground cornmeal grits or polenta


2 teaspoons ghee or butter, plus more for serving


2 eggs


Chives, chopped for garnish


Olive oil, optional


Fresh cracked black pepper, optional


In a medium saucepan, bring the bone broth to a boil. Season with sea salt and smoked paprika, then begin whisking as you add in the grits to prevent clumping. Turn down to a simmer, stirring the grits every few minutes until the cornmeal is soft and the texture is creamy, about 20 minutes. Add more liquid to thin out the grits if needed.


When the grits are just about done, cook your eggs. Add 2 teaspoons of ghee to a cast-iron skillet and melt on medium heat. When pan is hot, crack in both eggs, cooking until their edges are slightly brown and crispy. Turn off the heat and carefully flip over the eggs to just barely set the yolk. You want the yolks to remain runny, so only leave them in the skillet for about 30 seconds. To serve, spoon a cup or so of grits into two bowls with a dollop of ghee, then top each with an egg. Garnish with an extra pinch of smoked paprika and a sprinkle of chopped chives. Add a drizzle of good olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper, if you like. Keep any extra grits for leftovers or for breakfast the following day. Serves 2.


— From "The Kosmic Kitchen Cookbook: Everyday Herbalism and Recipes for Radical Wellness" by Sarah Kate Benjamin and Summer Ashley Singletary (Roost Books, $29.95)


Turkey Guisado


This turkey guisado recipe from Siete Foods chef Scarleth Aguilar is a great way to use up leftover turkey meat. She serves them with lightly fried Siete tortillas to make tostadas. You also could use it as a taco filling or serve with rice and beans.


— Addie Broyles


3 tablespoons avocado oil (or your favorite neutral flavor oil)


1/2 white onion, sliced thinly


3 garlic cloves, minced


3 to 4 cups shredded turkey (preferably dark meat)


6 cups canned crushed tomatoes


1 (7-ounce) can chipotle in adobo


1 bay leaf


1 tablespoon dry oregano


1 teaspoon cumin


2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet or wide pot, add oil, onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat until onions start to become translucent.


Add cooked turkey shredded, crushed tomatoes, chipotles in adobo and a splash of water. Add bay leaf, oregano, cumin, vinegar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours until sauce has reduced and color has darkened to a deep red.


— From Siete chef Scarleth Aguilar


Turkey Tetrazzini


I always make a Thanksgiving turkey because I love the leftovers turned into sandwiches, soups and, my son’s favorite, turkey tetrazzini. I use up my last scraps of meat and the salty kiss of some killer Parmesan with this creamy pasta casserole.


— Andrew Zimmern


12 ounces dried pasta (such as macaroni, chiocciole or ditali)


3 tablespoons butter


3 tablespoons flour


2 pinches freshly ground nutmeg


3 pinches ground cayenne pepper


1 tablespoon parsley, minced


3/4 cup onion, minced


3/4 cup celery, minced


2 cups chicken or turkey stock


1 cup half-and-half


8 ounces white aged cheddar cheese, grated


3 ounces Parmesan, grated


3 cups leftover diced turkey meat (chicken works beautifully as well)


1 cup blanched peas (frozen are fine)


2 cups fresh breadcrumbs


3 tablespoons butter, melted


Cook pasta fully according to package directions. Drain and reserve.


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add the flour, stirring to incorporate. Add the nutmeg, cayenne and parsley. Cook for a few minutes, making a nice roux.


Add the onion and celery, and cook for 5 minutes. Add stock in thirds, whisking continuously to make sure the roux is fully incorporated. Next, add the half-and-half.


When it simmers and thickens, add cheddar and 2/3 of the Parmesan. Whisk well, and stir in turkey with a spoon. Add peas and pasta, season with sea salt and ground white pepper. Spill the turkey mixture into buttered casserole pan.


Mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and remaining Parmesan. Cover casserole with breadcrumb mixture.


Bake at 375 degrees until bubbling and hot and top is crispy, about 25 minutes.


— Andrew Zimmern


Cheesy Smoked Ham and Wild Rice Soup


This creamy soup is based on the classic chicken and wild rice soup, but I jazzed things up with some smoky ham and cheese. This soup is creamy, comforting and packed with delicious vegetables. It would be the perfect dish to make after the holidays if you have any leftover ham.


— Megan Marlowe


4 tablespoons butter


2 cloves garlic, minced


1 cup diced yellow onion


3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped


3 medium ribs celery, coarsely chopped


3 sprigs fresh thyme


1/4 cup all-purpose flour


4 cups chicken or turkey stock


2 cups water


1 pound smoked ham, cubed


1 cup wild rice


2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half


1 cup grated cheddar cheese


Crusty baguettes, for serving


Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery and thyme and saute until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.


Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.


Slowly whisk in the stock and water.


Add the ham and rice. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender.


Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cream and cheddar cheese.


Ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve with the baguettes. Serves 6.


— From "Incredible One-Pot Cooking: Easy, Delicious Recipes for Exciting Meals Without the Mess" by Megan Marlowe (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)


Green Pozole


The bright, tangy taste of tomatillos distinguishes a green pozole from its tomato-based red counterpart. That translates to a lighter flavor, especially when made with chicken thighs instead of pork shoulder. This fast, weeknight-friendly recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs to speed things up, with no sacrifice in flavor, but you can use leftover turkey instead and finish the soup even faster. Use 2 to 4 cups of chopped leftover turkey. Topped with crisp cabbage and radishes and a few creamy avocado slices, it becomes a meal in a bowl. Add a crunchy corn tostada alongside if you like.


— Coco Morante


1 large yellow onion, chopped


2 garlic cloves, peeled


2 jalapeños, seeded


2 poblanos, seeded


1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered


1 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro


1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted


2 teaspoons dried oregano


2 teaspoons ground coriander


1 teaspoon ground cumin


1 teaspoon fine sea salt


2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or turkey broth), divided


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 (25-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 2 to 4 cups chopped leftover turkey)


2 cups shredded green cabbage


3 radishes, sliced


1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced


2 limes, cut into wedges


Red pepper flakes


In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, jalapeños, poblanos, tomatillos, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, oregano, coriander, cumin, salt and 1/2 cup of the broth. Blend for about 30 seconds, until smooth. (Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches.)


Select the saute setting on the Instant Pot and heat the oil for 2 minutes. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, until it is simmering and has darkened a bit. Stir in the hominy and remaining 2 cups broth and then add the chicken thighs, submerging them in the liquid. (Proceed without the chicken if using leftover turkey.)


Secure the lid and make sure the valve is sealed. Press the cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the pressure cook or manual setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure or 5 minutes if using leftover turkey. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)


When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, then move the pressure release to venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot. Using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.


If using leftover turkey, add the cooked meat and bring to a simmer and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes to bring together the flavors. (You could pressure cook for 1 minute to bring to a quick boil.)


Ladle the pozole into bowls and top with the cabbage, radishes and avocado. Serve hot, with the lime wedges and pepper flakes on the side. Serves 8.


— Adapted from "The Essential Diabetes Instant Pot Cookbook: Healthy, Foolproof Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker" by Coco Morante (Ten Speed Press, $19.99)