Food Culinary Institute of America Thanksgiving Sandwich

Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwiches

Phil Mansfield/The Culinary Institute of America via AP

Thanksgiving is a day for celebrating, where we enjoy the company of friends, share delicious food, and reflect on our country’s history and traditions. Throughout this celebration, though, there is one lingering thought in the back of our minds that cannot be ignored: Tomorrow there will be leftovers.

Will we eat pie for breakfast? Will there be turkey soup simmering on the stove? Did we buy bread specifically for the purpose of making sandwiches with leftovers? The answer to all of these questions should be yes.

Every family has its own unique Thanksgiving traditions and recipes. But the next day, homes across America are bound by a common ritual: the day-after turkey sandwich. And while our recipe for a Thanksgiving Sandwich has all of the classic components (plus bacon!), the beauty of leftovers is that they can be personalized to suit your mood — and the contents of your refrigerator.

Eventually, we all suffer from turkey and mashed potato fatigue. Luckily, all it takes is a few minutes and a little bit of creativity to transform these ingredients into something fresh. Make a gourmet brunch at home by chopping turkey, roasted veggies, and stuffing; browning it in a skillet; and serving with a fried egg and hot sauce.

Dessert isn’t immune to leftovers, either. If you run out of enthusiasm for eating that apple or pecan pie, try scooping out the filling (or, if you’re bold, mashing up the whole thing, crust and all) and folding it into freshly churned ice cream. We think cinnamon, bourbon, or maple would make some seriously awesome sundaes.

This article was provided to The Associated Press by The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. This recipe also can be found in The Culinary Institute of America’s cookbook, “The Young Chef.”

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