A Full Weekend of Thanksgiving Feasting (with lots of Leftover Makeovers)

Last year we spent Thanksgiving weekend with our good friends and Corona-pod buddies Lucy and Drew. The feasting was not limited to just one day. We were only four people, but we collectively cooked for a full house as this group tends to go a little over the top. This meant LOTS of leftovers and many opportunities for leftover makeovers. PLUS, lots of wines pairing to go with it all. 

Last year I started an intended tradition of sharing the previous year’s feast and pairings. Given the copious amount of food last year, I’ll also be sharing all of those ideas to use up your leftovers as well!

Also, check out my Thanksgiving Pairing Guide Round Up.

Note: This post contains sample bottles. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 


The menu for the day included:

  • Rolled turkey with sausage stuffing wrapped in bacon. Drew ordered this out, and we all focused on the rest
  • Herbed mushrooms, similar to how my mom makes them 
  • Cornbread stuffing with chiles and green onions 
  • Potatoes Gregoire topped with cheddar and green onions 
  • Brussels sprouts tossed in bacon jam 
  • Butternut squash with brown butter and crispy sage
  • Pan de Jamón, Venezuelan bread stuffed with ham, raisins, and olives)
  • Black bottom oatmeal pie and custard apple custard pie with whipped cream

The feast day wines:

(Mind you, we didn’t actually finish all of these that night.)

While we cooked and noshed on apps we enjoyed J Winery Brut Russian River Valley, Kivelstadt Cellars The Family Secret Indian Springs Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley 2018, and Twill Cellars Rosé of Pinot Noir Molly's Vineyard Willamette Valley 2019. These are all great crowd-pleasers that will pair happily with lighter fare. Plus, it’s a celebratory day, so gotta have some bubbly!

Domaine Ostertag Pinot Gris Alsace 2012 was our bridge wine leading into dinner as it also works easily with most of the dishes on the table, but particularly dishes with a hint of sweetness like the butternut squash, and the the bit of age on this one only helped align the flavors. I think it also matches nicely with slightly richer dishes. 

Pinot Noir is a Thanksgiving classic because of its ability to match with many dishes in the feast. New World version, in particular, have the fruit to work with a lot of those tricky, slightly sweet dishes too, but they also tend to have a savory, herbal quality that works with those flavors as well. Our selection was from Melville Winery Estate Pinot Santa Rita Hills 2010. Scribe Winery’s St. Laurent Carneros 2017 played a similar role, but from an unexpected grape, so it’s a fun choice for those who want to try something a little different.    

We all enjoyed a little L. Garnier Chartreuse as a digestif to make it all go down easier. 

Makeover 1 -Turkey Sandwiches

Well, obviously. They’re always a must after Thanksgiving.  .  . However, these might’ve been a little bit extra. Drew torched the slices of rolled turkey stuffed with sausage, layered on lardo, and piled it all on slices of challah bread. These were particularly delightful with a little mustard. Given that this was a pretty indulgent sandwich, a simple green salad on the side was definitely called for. 

We took a break from vino for lunch. 

Makeover 2 – Steak, Potatoes, and Veggie Gratin

We took a little break from turkey with dry-aged steak which Drew prepared sous vide finished with herbs and butter. On the side, we had a second round of Potatoes Gregoire, because they're just awesome as is. 

The actual leftover makeover came into play with the veggies. I turned the Brussels sprouts and butternut squash into a gratin. 

You can easily turn most leftover veggies into a gratin with this non-recipe formula: Make a bechamel, melt in cheese, pour it all over veggies in a baking dish, sprinkle a little more cheese on top along with some bread crumbs, then bake it all at 350° F until its all bubbly and browning on top.

We this round of feasting we enjoyed Thee & Thou El Rucio Grenache and Syrah Santa Ynez 2017 while cooking and to start. It’s medium-bodied, with both ripe fruit and freshness, and very versatile. It’s great on its own and with food, particularly the gratin in this case. 

The steak could certainly take a bigger wine, so stepped things up to Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006, which worked beautifully with the meatiness.  

The boys had a little Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky at some point along the way. We also had some Kopke White Port Colheita 2003 as a digestif. 

Makeover 3 - Hangover Hash Brunch

This group has a longstanding tradition of making "Hangover Hash" for brunch at least once during every multi-day gathering. Despite the name, no hangover is actually required and non was involved this time around. 

All that’s required for this non-recipe is that you crisp up some leftover potatoes, sauté and add in onions if you have them, then add in any leftover veggies you think will go well, followed up with any leftover proteins you want –– in this case, we added in steak from the night before, but turkey, ham, or all of the above, work too. Top it all with a fried egg and serve. It never disappoints! 

We also had a side of holiday fruit and yogurt to go along with our hash, since at this point something lighter was definitely needed! I mixed baking spices and a little maple syrup in the yogurt, then added a pinch of ground clove to orange slices and raspberries to give them a holiday feel. It was super yummy and definitely brought the lighter element needed.

Drink up any remnant from bottles, or switch things up in favor of a beer or bloody mary, or just give your liver a break. All good, no judgments.

Makeover 4 - Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie is always a contender for my favorite Thanksgiving leftover makeover. So comforting!

Here’s the non-recipe: Sweat a diced-up onion or shallot until translucent. Add in a couple of diced up cloves of garlic if you want once the onions are nearly cooked, then add in your turkey and any leftover veggies you want to use up that you think will work. I used mushrooms and butternut squash here, and you can also bulk it up with additions like frozen peas. Pour in your leftover gravy, plus a little more chicken or turkey stock or water to dilute it down to a soupy consistency. Feel free to season with herbs and spice. Allow everything to simmer. Pour it all into an oven-safe dish if it isn't already in one. Put your crust on top. I made a biscuit topping to put on top, but to make this even easier use store-bought pie dough or flaky pastry dough. Bake it all at 350°F until everything is bubbly and the topping is golden, and serve. 

If you prefer more of a recipe, find one here. (Plus, you'll find a couple of extra leftover makeovers.)

We were pretty sure that this Caprili Brunello di Montalcino 2008 was going to be a good pairing, but it turned out even better than we’d expected. AMAZING combo. I was sure it would work with the mushrooms, but the wine had gained sweet-savory notes in its age that were absolutely beautiful with the squash and sauce as well.

Makeover 5 – Dueling Croquettes

Things got a little competitive for this round of leftover makeovers. Drew and I went head to head in a duel to use up more leftovers.

I made stuffing croquettes out of the cornbread stuffing with chiles and green onions. Here’s the non-recipe: This stuffing was super flavorful, so I didn't feel like I had to do much in terms of flavoring. I added a little shredded cheese plus an egg for binding, then formed the mixture into balls. I rolled the formed balls around in flour, whisked egg, and bread crumbs, then fried them up until crispy.  I served them with cheese sauce and hot sauce.  


Drew made arancini with a bit of an Asian spin. These were rice balls with turkey/sausage fried up until crispy – kind of similar to Japanese Spam Musubi, but with the leftover meats instead. He then topped them with seared lardo and a spicy sauce. (I can’t give you a non-recipe since this one wasn’t mine.)

It might've been a dual, but there were no losers here since it was all delicious! (Plus, I think we each think we won.)

We had these with Symington Altano Branco Douro 2019 (sample), which made a lovely pairing for both croquettes. Afterward, we also tried a Quinta da Foz Douro 2017 and it was also delicious. Both of these wines have a balance of richness and brightness to match both the texture of the food and liven up the palate. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

And if you’re looking for ideas for how to use up leftovers, here are a few ideas:
Mushroom, Kale, and Ham Quiche
Turkey Enchiladas
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Post Turkey Day Leftover Makeover Trio 



Thanks so much for leaving your comments and questions. I always love to hear from you!