Amazing Ways To Use Leftover Stuffing

You can't have a turkey dinner without the stuffing, and it doesn't matter if you make it from scratch using all the turkey giblets and your grandmother's tried and true family recipe, or if you open up a box of Stove Top. It's delicious either way, but the next day, it's not so great, right? Maybe, if you're just reheating it, but we have some awesome ideas to help you make sure stuffing never gets thrown away again.

To top poutine

If you've never had poutine that's a shame, because it's a delicious regional dish popular across French Canada and into the US border states. It's essentially French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, and we did mention it's delicious? You can do a ton of different variations on this one, but we're going to suggest still adding all that gravy and those amazing cheese curds, along with a generous helping of leftover stuffing. Not only does it add an amazing bit of seasoning and spice to the saltiness of the fries, but the cheese curds take it from delicious to divine. What better Friday night meal to end a long week with?

For bacon-wrapped stuffing bites

Any family who's a firm believer in the idea everything is better with bacon is going to love this one! It's equally easy and tasty, and we'll tell you right now it's a win whether you need a tray of goodies to take to your neighbor's party or if you want something to snack on while you're watching the game. All you need to do to turn leftover stuffing into an appetizer or snack that's going to be gone in minutes is form your leftover stuffing into bite-sized balls, wrap with half a slice of thick-cut bacon, and skewer with toothpicks. Bake them until the bacon turns the right amount of crispy, then serve on their own or with a side of your favorite dipping sauce.

For eggy breakfast patties

Dinner shouldn't be the only time you get to experiment with seasonal favorites, so how about using some of that leftover stuffing to make some easy patties perfect for breakfast? All you need to do is mix up your stuffing with some of your favorite shredded cheese and form it into patties. The cheese will help hold it together when you fry it up to a crispy golden brown, and when you plate it up and finally cut into it, it's going to be a patty filled with warm, wonderful, cheesy goodness and all those stuffing spices you love. Serve it with a fried egg on top and it'll be even better, or use an English muffin for the bottom of an open-faced breakfast sandwich. That's starting the day off right.

To make dumplings for your favorite soup

Every family has their favorite soup recipes, and it doesn't matter if those are for chicken, turkey, or potato soup, they can probably benefit from some dumplings made from stuffing. This is one hack that's going to make even those Bisquick dumplings taste completely homemade, and all you have to do is mix a handful of leftover stuffing into your dumpling mix. Add a bit of water or milk to get them to the right consistency, then cook just like you would regular dumplings. That dash of stuffing will make your dumplings extra moist and full of flavor — so good you'd better make sure you've made enough for everyone to have seconds.

For stuffing muffins

Stuffing muffins are such a cool idea that once you make them, you might just find yourself making them every time you serve up stuffing. Just combine some of your leftover stuffing with an egg (or two) and a dash of chicken stock, and you should end up with a slightly firm, scoopable mixture. Scoop some stuffing into muffin tins and bake until they start to crisp. They're perfect for any meal, and you can plate them up alongside a few eggs and strips of bacon in the morning (and even crumble some of that bacon right into your muffin mixture), have one with your lunchtime soup, or serve them as sides with whatever you're having for dinner. No one's going to judge you if you have a few for a savory nighttime snack, either, and you may just be making stuffing muffins for next Thanksgiving.

For a unique take on shepherd's or cottage pie

It's no secret we love the idea of a good, British-style pie. It doesn't matter what your protein of choice is, there's something about that mix of gravy, hunks of meat, and veggies that just fills you up right on even the coldest of winter days. Traditionally, shepherd's (or cottage) pie is topped with a healthy helping of mashed potatoes, and that's a great way to use up some of those leftovers. Don't forget the stuffing, though, and there are a few ways to work it in. 

The first option is to replace those mashed potatoes with a thick layer of stuffing and baking this just like you would a traditional pie. If you want to keep the potatoes, press some stuffing into the bottom of your pie tin to make a crust that's full of flavor, and one that will soak up all the juices from your gravy filling.

For waffles

Waffles, you're saying? Yes! Dig out that waffle maker and instead of stirring up a batch of batter, scoop some of your leftover stuff in and make some stuffing waffles. Serve with a dollop of cranberry sauce if you're looking for a sweet topping, or use these waffles for the base of an amazing savory breakfast. Top with your favorite country gravy and crumbled sausage, or whip up a traditional British breakfast with some peppery sausage, baked beans, some slices of ham, and some black and white puddings.

For deep-fried mozzarella balls

These are bound to be a new family favorite, so it's a good thing they're great for a late-night snack, as an appetizer, a side dish, or to fill up a party platter. They're easier than you think, too, and all you need to do is take some chunks of mozzarella cheese and use your leftover stuffing to form tightly-packed balls around that cheese. Dip your balls of stuffing into a beaten egg, then dredge through the batter of your choice. We'd suggest using some Panko bread crumbs, but you could also add some more seasonings or Parmesan cheese, too. Fry them up in hot oil until the outside is nice and crispy, and you have a bite-sized snack that's crunchy on the outside and full of gooey mozzarella in the middle. Pretty amazing, right?

To top a delicious casserole

Casseroles are a great way to use up all kinds of leftovers, and stuffing is no exception. In fact, topping your mid-week casserole with a layer of stuffing might just make the entire dish, because it bakes up into a crispy cover you have to cut through to get to all the gooey goodness below. There are no limits to what you can use for the basis of your casserole, just poke through your fridge and see what you can find! We'd like to recommend using things like leftover chicken or turkey, or perhaps you have some leftover beef stew that shouldn't go to waste. Leftover meatloaf? No problem! You can use pretty much anything, but we do have one more invaluable tip for you: make some stock. Whatever your protein is, make up some stock to add to your casserole to make sure it won't be too dry, and don't just add it to your base. Drizzle some over your stuffing, to ensure it comes out of the oven absolutely perfect.

To fill your favorite stuffed peppers

There's no right or wrong way to make stuffed bell peppers, and if this dish is one of your family's favorites, you probably have your go-to recipe. Mix it up a little bit and swap our your usual rice or beans with stuffing for a completely different — but amazing — flavor profile. Just how you want to finish this one off is up to you, but we suggest adding some shredded chicken or turkey, a dash of stock to keep the whole thing moist, and then topping your stuffed peppers with a layer of cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, then dig into these gooey treats. It can't get much easier than that, can it? Best of all, they're hearty enough to be a meal on their own, but they're light enough to be just what you need after a heavy, filling, and time-consuming turkey dinner.

In your favorite mac and cheese or stuffed shells dish

Who doesn't love mac and cheese? It's a favorite dish for kids everywhere, and it's one we never outgrow. We just tend to dress it up a bit when we're older, and leftover stuffing is a brilliant way to do that.

You can taste it now, can't you? Add a layer of stuffing on top of your go-to mac and cheese recipe, and you won't be able to dig in without covering your stuffing in cheese sauce for a hearty meal that almost guarantees you're never going to be able to make mac and cheese the same way again... and no one's going to blame you if you keep a couple of boxes of Stove Top handy for this one. You can do the same thing with bigger shells, and make up a tray of stuffing-filled, cheese-covered stuffed shells. It's sure to be a dish that'll make the whole family happy.

To replace the breadcrumbs in your favorite meatloaf

If you're still craving something heavy and hearty after that big turkey dinner, how about using some stuffing to make a flavorful meatloaf? By now, you know the secret ingredient in any good meatloaf is a helping of bread crumbs, and you can replace those bread crumbs with stuffing for an extra kick of flavor. Mix up your preferred ratio of meat, add your leftover stuffing and the rest of your regular ingredients, and bake in your roasting pan. Your meatloaf will come out bursting with all that amazing stuffing flavor, and you already can't wait to try that, right?

Added to your favorite chicken cordon bleu

Whether you bake it or fry it, chicken cordon bleu is delicious. When you're cutting your chicken in half and layering in slices of ham and cheese, add some of that leftover stuffing, too. (You don't even need the ham!) It'll come out a miniature version of the full bird, and there's one huge difference here. Give the gravy a miss and whip up some cream sauce to cover your chicken breast in, and that stuffing is going to make this dish — we guarantee it! It's just the right amount of filling, and that cordon bleu cream sauce is going to give that boring, leftover stuffing a whole new life.

As the center in some hand pies or stromboli

Take some of that leftover stuffing and make something fun for lunch! Start with that package of puff pastry you keep in the fridge (and if you don't keep some handy, you should start). Use it to make stuffing-filled hand pies, stromboli, or rolls. Make your own version of traditional British sausage rolls by using some breakfast sausage along with the stuffing, or use up all your turkey dinner leftovers in pies filled with stuffing, shredded turkey (or chicken), and cranberry sauce for added flavor. Add some cheese, diced green or hot peppers, onion, or celery, bake until the pastry is flaky, and enjoy a hot, delicious lunch!