Everyone has them the day after Turkey Day. You might even have a couple of different rounds of them if you have more than one dinner to go to. Thanksgiving leftovers are inevitable. Instead of eating turkey sandwiches with re-heated potatoes and corn for the next week, try some of these creative, quick and easy ways to jazz up and rethink the dreaded leftovers as recommended by local chefs. Leftovers don’t have to be boring and drab, they can be reinvented into new and exciting dishes that the whole family will enjoy.


(credit: Jupiter Images)

Butcher & the Boar 
1121 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 238-8888

Chef Jack Reibel, the head chef over at the Minneapolis restaurant Butcher & the Boar, shares his tips and quips for what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Favorite Thanksgiving dish: Reibel says his favorite dish is sweet-potato souffle topped with marshmallows and cashews.
Most creative uses for leftovers: Reibel says that each Thanksgiving, he fries the dark meat and stuffs and smokes the white meat. His favorite way to reuse the dark meat is to use it in turkey tacos and enchiladas. He also recommends using the leftover sweet-potato souffle to make tamales: just mash and fry. Yum!
Easiest way to jazz up leftovers: Recycle them into dishes that don’t resemble traditional Thanksgiving food. Riebel suggests putting them into a gumbo the next day. It’s quick and easy.
Reibel’s favorite tradition / Thanksgiving secret: He says that the past couple years, his family has done themed meals, such as a creole theme to spice up the traditional meal. Thanksgiving is this chef’s favorite holiday because no gifts are involved and he loves when people gather together to enjoy each other’s company and food.

Related: Best Tasting Menus In The Twin Cities

Fork In The Road Truck
Locations vary
(612) 354-3233

One half of the team behind Fork in the Road food truck, Kari Offerdahl, offers her ideas for how to spruce up your menu with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Favorite Thanksgiving dish: She says lately it’s her homemade shrimp bisque that she serves as her first course on Thanksgiving day. But a close second to that is her dad’s cheesy green-bean casserole with fried onions on top.
Most creative uses for leftovers: Offerdahl loves potato cakes from the mashed potatoes that are pattied and browned in butter. Another of Offerdahl’s favorites is a cold turkey salad that she makes the next day with jarlsberg cheese, grapes, celery and mayo/vinaigrette.
Easiest way to jazz up leftovers: Pile this sky high: a slice of bread, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. Then microwave it. It’s easy and quick and she says it’s her husband’s favorite way to eat leftovers.
Offerdahl’s Thanksgiving tradition: She plans for leftovers and buys her groceries accordingly to make sure she has things on hand to spice them up afterward, like all of the ingredients for her cold turkey salad.
Thanksgiving Day hosting tip: If you’re hosting, ask your family members to bring the item you might not be a fan of making. Only prepare your favorites. You will always do best what you love most.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Yum! Kitchen and Bakery
4000 Minnetonka Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(952) 922-4000

Chef Mike Grossman, who creates dishes over at Yum! Kitchen and Bakery, gives his culinary ideas on how to reinvent Thanksgiving leftovers.

Favorite Thanksgiving dish: Grossman devours maple whipped sweet potatoes.
Most creative use for leftovers: Chef Grossman suggests making a Thanksgiving pizza with your leftovers. All you need to have on hand, besides your leftovers of course, is a baked pizza crust. To create your pizza, just top it with mashed potatoes spread thin, gravy, diced turkey, corn and mozzarella cheese. Pop it in the oven for a couple minutes to heat through, serve and enjoy.
Fastest way to jazz up leftovers: The chef’s personality shines through as he suggests a microwave and a Louie Armstrong CD playing in the background.
Grossman’s Thanksgiving tradition: After the meal, he makes up a to-go package for every guest.
A Thanksgiving secret to share: Butter makes everything better.

Related: Best Chefs Heating Up The Culinary Scene In Minnesota

Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.