Football Friday Tailgate Recipes: Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition

Football Friday Tailgate Recipes: Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition

Editor’s Note: Due to a sudden surge of requests for Kate’s Thanksgiving Leftover edition of Tailgate Recipes from 2021, we happily re-publish the article tonight. This first ran on November 26, 2021. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Football Friday.  Today we have Football Friday Tailgate Recipes: Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition. Did you save last week’s Not Your Average Appetizer? Since it is the Friday after Thanksgiving I thought using up those leftovers would be perfect for tailgating.  I hope you enjoy the tasty treats and the all games this weekend.

Football Friday Tailgate Recipes: Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition

Ultimately, this is one of my all-time favorites to whip up after Thanksgiving.  Turkey Potato Chowder. I don’t actually have a recipe for what I make. However, I found a recipe similar to what I think mine is. Although, I always add some leftover stuffing for a little extra flavor.  You can make a big batch and feed the entire tailgate party.

All The Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Potato Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 23 cups cooked turkey, shredded or cubed
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • ½ cup corn, frozen
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cheddar cheese, shredded (optional, for topping)

Instructions: 

  1. In a large stockpot or 5.5-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat, until it starts to bubble, about 1 minute. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and tender and starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add flour and mix well until evenly combined with the onion mixture and continue to cook for another minute. Pour in the stock and Italian seasoning and mix well. Bring the mixture to a simmer, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in mashed potatoes, and stir until all the potatoes have broken up. Let the soup simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add turkey and half and half cream. Cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in corn and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Bars

I personally am not a huge fan of the cranberry sauce but several writers on our staff are so I picked this recipe for them.  Which do y’all prefer the fresh cranberry sauce or the canned cranberry sauce?

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of your leftover cranberry sauce, room temperature

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 325* F
  • Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  • Combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times until blended. (if you do not have a food processor, use a hand pastry blender)
  • Add the butter and pulse 8-10 times until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas. (Or use your hand pastry blender.)
  • Remove 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture and set aside.
  • Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan.
  • Drop teaspoons of the cranberry sauce evenly over the crust, then spread it gently with the back of the spoon to cover the crust.
  • Sprinkle reserved crumbs evenly over the jam layer.
  • Bake until the top is lightly browned, 50 – 55 minutes.
  • Transfer to a rack and let cool until firm, about 2 hours (or chill until firm).
  • Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 squares.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites 

WOW! These look amazing. Honestly, bacon-wrapped anything is pretty tasty.

Ingredients: 

  • 9 strips Wright Brand Bacon
  • 3 cups prepared stuffing (either package or homemade)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° degrees.
  2. Line baking tray with aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cut slices of Wright Brand Bacon in 1/2.
  4. Form stuffing into balls, approximately golf ball size.
  5. Place stuffing ball onto the center of bacon piece. Wrap bacon around the ball bringing both sides together and securing with a toothpick.
  6. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove tray when bacon is fully cooked.
  7. Place bites onto paper toweling prior to serving.

The recipe author recommends Wright’s bacon for this reason…

Wright Brand Bacon at Kroger in the Applewood flavor is hand-selected and hand-trimmed. You get bigger, better bacon in every package. Big thick slices are perfect for this recipe, okay all recipes use bacon, but in this recipe especially you want the sturdy bacon to hug tender stuffing.

Leftover Turkey Salad

This is the easiest of all the leftover recipes. It is perfect for tailgating, whip it up grab some of your favorite slider rolls and you have a tailgate meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups leftover turkey diced
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 green onions or red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup pecans chopped, optional
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve as a sandwich or over salad.

Recipe Notes

Replace pecans with toasted almonds if desired.
Additionally, diced apples or grapes add a nice fresh flavor to this salad.

On The Menu

Finally, we wrap up the regular season we wrap up our football Friday tailgate recipes. However, I will be back for some bowl game-watching and playoff party treats. I hope you get to enjoy all the football games this weekend! I hope you enjoyed and tried all the tailgate recipes so far!