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Food: 7 Comforting Soups Made With Thanksgiving Leftovers

5 Tips for Freezing Leftovers Straight From a Meal Prep Expert

  5 Tips for Freezing Leftovers Straight From a Meal Prep Expert Freezer burn? Nope, don't know her.This is exactly when freezing leftovers can come in handy. When stored correctly, food can last a long time in the freezer—almost indefinitely, in fact. That means you can save that Shepherd's pie or enchilada casserole for weeks or months later, ready to pull out on nights when the "what's for dinner" question is about to put you over the edge. The key, of course, is storing your leftovers properly. Otherwise, you'll end up with unpleasant (or worse, inedible) freezer-burnt pasta bolognese, soup, or bean chili.

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No matter how careful you are with regards to your Thanksgiving food shopping, you're bound to have at least some leftovers at the end of the night. And even if you don't plan on preparing a holiday meal yourself, there's a good chance your host will send you home with a doggy bag packed with turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, and more.

You can’t go wrong with these warm and cozy dishes. © Getty Images You can’t go wrong with these warm and cozy dishes.

Regardless of how you acquire your leftovers, it's best not to let them go uneaten. Not only do Thanksgiving leftovers taste just as good (if not better) than the initial meal, but tossing leftovers helps contribute to food waste, which is harmful to the planet.

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Luckily, there are seemingly endless ideas for how you can take just about any Turkey Day leftovers and transform them into another tasty meal. And while there's absolutely nothing wrong with a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich or even some Thanksgiving egg rolls, you really can't beat Thanksgiving leftover soup. Hear us out: Not only are soups the perfect cold weather meal, but they're also incredibly versatile and adaptable, which means you can find a place for just about any variety of holiday scraps.

Thanksgiving Leftover Soup Recipes

Whether you've got extra turkey, cornbread, potatoes, or more, we found a soup recipe that fits your leftover needs. Keep reading for a collection of Thanksgiving leftover soup recipes that won't disappoint.

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  I made Ina Garten's easy cornbread, and the dish was so perfect I'm going to make it for every Thanksgiving Insider's food reporter loved Ina Garten's new Thanksgiving recipe for her deliciously moist brown-butter skillet cornbread.

Turkey-Barley Vegetable Soup

This recipe calls for ground turkey (which you can prep at home by placing leftover turkey meat in a food processor until it's coarsely chopped) but shredded turkey or turkey pieces work well too. The barley in this soup gives it a hearty, cozy quality, and it's also filled with veggies, such as carrots, celery, and spinach.

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get the recipe Turkey-Barley Vegetable Soup © Provided by Real Simple Turkey-Barley Vegetable Soup

Turkey, Dill, and Orzo Soup

Shred any leftover turkey meat and toss it in this soup, which is also made with carrots, orzo, and dill. It's basically a slightly different take on classic chicken soup that uses turkey instead of the other popular bird.

get the recipe Turkey, Dill, and Orzo Soup © Provided by Real Simple Turkey, Dill, and Orzo Soup

Creamy Corn and Leftover Turkey Soup

Turkey is the star yet again in this rich soup that's perfect for a cold day. Just shred some of your extra Thanksgiving bird to get the ball rolling. Then pair the meat with chicken broth, some chopped vegetables, and a can of creamed corn to create a filling meal in less than 30 minutes.

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get the recipe Leftover-Turkey Chowder © Provided by Real Simple Leftover-Turkey Chowder

Butternut Squash Soup With Sage and Parmesan Croutons

Chances are that butternut squash is part of your Thanksgiving feast in some way, shape, or form. Once the gourd has finished its Turkey Day duties, feel free to purée it and use it as the base for a practically perfect autumnal soup. This recipe features puréed squash and other veggies, along with fresh sage and savory Parmesan croutons. If you've got any extra cornbread lying around (from a stuffing recipe, perhaps?) you can top the soup with cornbread croutons instead.

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get the recipe Butternut Squash Soup With Sage and Parmesan Croutons © Provided by Real Simple Butternut Squash Soup With Sage and Parmesan Croutons

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup With Cheese and Walnuts

If roasted sweet potatoes are on your Thanksgiving menu, save any leftovers and turn them into this sweet and savory soup. Here, sweet potatoes and apples (perhaps a few that never made it into an apple pie) are puréed along with vegetable broth and nutmeg to create a velvety meal you won't soon forget. Crumbled blue cheese and walnuts add a pungent and crunchy punch.

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get the recipe Sweet Potato and Apple Soup With Cheese and Walnuts © Provided by Real Simple Sweet Potato and Apple Soup With Cheese and Walnuts

Turkey-Pumpkin Chili

Yes, chili is technically more of a stew than a soup, but this recipe, which you can make with leftover turkey, is too tasty not to include. The dish also has a slightly looser consistency than your standard chili (thanks to chicken broth and pumpkin purée), so you'll still be able to slurp away.

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get the recipe Turkey-Pumpkin Chili Recipe © Provided by Real Simple Turkey-Pumpkin Chili Recipe

Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup

This soup—sometimes called ajiaco—calls for russet potatoes (a Thanksgiving staple) as well as chicken thighs, frozen corn-on-the-cob pieces, onions, and celery. However, if you don't have chicken on hand, or simply prefer to use up some of your leftover turkey, feel free to change up the protein in this flavorful dish. While it might not be traditional ajiaco, it will still taste delicious.

get the recipe Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup © Provided by Real Simple Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup

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How to eat your Thanksgiving leftovers without risking chemical exposure or food poisoning .
If you're microwaving your leftovers, make sure to use a glass or ceramic container instead of plastic, which can shed chemicals into your food.Heating up a plate of leftovers can be as simple as popping it in the microwave. But it's important to consider when and how you reheat prepared foods, whether it's home cooking or take out.

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