James Van Der Beek's Favorite Way To Eat Thanksgiving Leftovers - Exclusive

Sure, Thanksgiving dinner is great. We love turkey with all the fixings straight out of the oven. But for many people, the real draw of Turkey Day isn't the initial feast, but all the delicious things that can be made with leftovers after the fact. When you inexplicably feel hungry again late on Thanksgiving night, nothing hits the spot like a big, sloppy leftover sandwich eaten in a comfy chair while half-asleep in front of the TV.

Star of the big and small screen James Van Der Beek knows this well — he's big into Thanksgiving. Every year, he holds a big potluck celebration at his Texas home featuring dishes both traditional and nontraditional. He also loves the act of giving thanks: His holiday traditions involve him and his guests saying their thanks around the table. In honor of the holiday, he is partnering with Libby's Vegetables to help donate canned goods to the food security organization Meals on Wheels. Van Der Beek spoke about his work with Libby's in an exclusive interview with Mashed, and while we had him on the line, we had to ask him how he takes his Thanksgiving leftovers.

James Van Der Beek stays classic with his Thanksgiving leftovers

The way you eat your Thanksgiving leftovers can say something about your personality. Some people like to put in extra effort and actually cook new dishes using leftovers as ingredients. You could use some of the cooked turkey to make a comforting pot pie recipe, or you could boil the turkey bones to make a hearty turkey soup. On the other end of the spectrum, some people just throw leftovers on a plate, heat them up in the microwave, and call it good.

James Van Der Beek falls in the middle between the try-hards and the minimalists. Like so many other people, he thinks you can't beat a good Thanksgiving sandwich. Here's his specific method: "You make a sandwich with some bread and get it all out. You get the stuffing; you get the turkey; you get the mashed potatoes; you toast the bread just a little bit." That sounds like a glorious symphony of carbs on carbs to us.

This last bit might be a bit controversial for the cranberry haters out there: Van Der Beek thinks cranberry sauce is essential for a proper Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. "You have to. Even if it's canned, that's fine. I will totally take canned cranberry sauce on my post-Thanksgiving dinner sandwich." If canned cranberry jelly is good enough for this TV heartthrob, it's good enough for us.

Now through December 31, 2022, if you like, share, or comment on James Van Der Beek's Instagram post, Libby's will donate a coupon redeemable for a can of vegetables to Meals on Wheels America. Libby's will also donate a coupon if you post a photo of any green bean casserole on its Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #LibbysGivesThanks before December 31.