Ask the Chefs: Favorite Thanksgiving Leftovers


Looking for ways to spice up your Thanksgiving leftovers? We asked L.A. chefs for some of their favorite post-holiday recipes.

Michael McCarty (Michael’s)
Leftover Favorite: Turkey BLT

“I love making BLTs with the slices of leftover turkey breast. I never skimp on the good stuff: Bays English Muffins, applewood-smoked bacon, Best Foods mayonnaise, a vine-ripened tomato, and a crisp leaf of butter lettuce.”

Ricardo Zarate (Picca, Mo-Chica)
Leftover Favorite: Jalapeno-Sweet Potato Turkey Sandwich

“I like to make open-faced turkey sandwiches with a jalapeno aioli sauce. I add fried sweet potato chips to it to give some texture.”

John Sedlar (Playa, Rivera)
Leftover Favorite: Corn Cakes with Turkey and Spicy Cranberry Sauce.

“To start I press large sage leaves into fresh masa before I make the tortillas. Then I add some Serrano chiles to the cranberry sauce for heat and shred a mix of white and dark turkey meat. I add a little chopped red onion and some cilantro leaves on top and I’ve got Thanksgiving Maize Cakes!”

Ted Hopson (Father’s Office)
Leftover Favorite: Stuffing Arancini

“I grew up in a Sicilian family that would make stuffed and fried dressing balls, similar to arancini, with gravy for dipping. You take the leftover dressing and put a little turkey or cranberry sauce inside of it, roll it into the size of a golf ball, bread them with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and deep-fry them until golden brown. Heat up some gravy in a small pot for dipping.”

Celestino Drago (Drago Centro, Il Pastaio)
Leftover Favorite: Turkey Minestrone Sou
“I make turkey minestrone soup, using the leftover turkey carcass to make stock, and then add leftover meat, veggies and homemade pasta (a Thanksgiving at the Drago’s is never complete without pasta).”

Michael Fiorelli (Mar’sel)
Leftover Favorite: Braised Turkey Wrap

“I make a hot pressed wrap stuffed with leftover turkey dark meat that’s been pulled and braised in gravy, then topped off with stuffing and cranberry mayonnaise.”

Micah Wexler (Mezze)
Leftover Favorite: Turkey Harira

“Harira is a Jewish-Moroccan soup usually made with lamb and chicken, but it also works well with the leftover turkey. It’s halfway in between a soup and a stew. It has chickpeas, lentils, rice, ginger, turmeric, coriander, tomato and chicken stock — a full meal in a bowl.”