THEORY: SKIP LEAFY GREENS, OPT FOR GREEN BEANS No need to head to the store for a clamshell of arugula or spring mix—just grab a handful of leftover sautéed green beans for crunch, color, and the ability to feel a bit better about eating three of these things.
THEORY: THE MASHED POTATOES MUST BE SMOOTH If you’re staring down the barrel of a bowl of sad, lumpy mashed potatoes it might already be too late. I say might because you may be able to save them: Try passing those less-than-ideal spuds through a potato ricer to smooth out the chunky bits.
Listen, I’m all about mayo on almost every single sandwich I write about for this column, but the leftovers sandwich is one case where it’s just not necessary. Why? Because you have gravy. Rich, thick, buttery gravy.
THEORY: LEG MEAT IS THE BEST MEAT You’ve likely got leftover parts from all over the turkey, but for the purposes of a leftovers sandwich you want to zero in on the juicy, flavorful dark meat from the turkey’s leg.
COVER AND ROAST Puree extra baked potatoes, leftover roasted root vegetables, or I don’t know, actual mashed potatoes, into a creamy topping. Smooth over the filling, then added a sprinkling of cheese. Bake until golden brown on top, around 30 minutes.
PREP THE FILLING Chop or shred leftover roasted vegetables or meat scraps (turkey, steak dinner, chili, pulled pork, or carnitas would all work).
My family always ate a very traditional meal on Thanksgiving: mashed potatoes with gravy, green been casserole, roasted sweet potatoes studded with marshmallows. So like the good little rebel I was, for one of my first holiday meals outside the family, I decided to forgo the classics.