Respect the Leftovers!

Leftovers get a bad rap these days! I mean, people rave over the Thanksgiving dinner, dedicate time and effort to the shopping for and prep of ingredients, slave over the preparation of dishes passed down from generations before us, and exclaim with joy when the platters of holiday goodness arrive at the table! The meal is enjoyed, talked about, praised, and even repeated–many times more than once! Then, for some reason, the very next day this same meal is shunned and even hated. WHY? C’mon people, it hasn’t even been a full 24 hours! Well, it’s time to show the leftovers some respect! Take those leftovers and create dishes that are just as amazing as their ancestor–the original Thanksgiving dinner!

Let’s start with the turkey and the mashed potatoes! I mean, these are two stars of the original meal, right? We are re-purposing the mashed potatoes as gnocchi and using the turkey as the protein in our version of Turkey and Gnocchi Soup (think the popular Italian chain restaurant’s Chicken and Gnocchi Soup).


First, whip out those leftover mashed potatoes.

Leftover Mashed Potato Gnocchi


  • 1 cup Leftover Mashed Potatoes, cold but not lumpy
  • 3/4- 1 1/4  cups flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt


  1. Place chilled leftover potatoes, 3/4 cup flour and egg in mixing bowl and stir until combined. Add more flour if dough is still “sticky”. Depending on your potatoes you may need up to 1 1/4 cups total of flour. Do not exceed 1 1/4 cups. If too much flour is added, add a teaspoon of milk at a time to incorporate all the flour.
  2. On floured surface, roll dough into a large ball. Divide into 4 sections.
  3. Roll each section into a long “rope” and cut into 1″ pieces
  4. Optional: Roll the prongs of a fork over each section of dough to add groves.
  5. Add gnocchi to a pot of boiling water. Cook until the float for 3 minutes.
  6. Serve with your favorite sauce or fry with melted butter and herbs.

Turkey and Gnocchi Soup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups half and half
  • 2 cups cooked roast turkey, shredded or cubed
  • 1 pound mashed potato gnocchi, prepared according to recipe above
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme and cook until softened, 5-10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Slowly whisk in the half and half. Stir in the chicken.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Add in the prepared gnocchi and spinach.  Cook until the spinach has wilted. Stir in Parmesan cheese.


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