So you’ve packed up the rest of your extravagant Thanksgiving feast, and your refrigerator is bursting at the seams (this is an American holiday surrounding food, after all). If you’re like us, you look forward to indulging in even more roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and cold stuffing, but also dreading the idea of dining on turkey-and-mashed potato sandwiches for the umpteenth time. We talked to Plated’s test kitchen manager, Chef Michelle, to get the scoop on her famous spin on Thanksgiving leftovers…
“My dad would usually make us leftover turkey sandwiches, which are great in their own way,” Michelle says, “but piling it all together on big pieces of bread just always felt really heavy. A few years ago, I thought I’d transform our mountains of leftovers into something a little more shareable, light, and exciting. We happened to have frozen pizza dough, so I defrosted it and just got really creative.”
Thus, Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza was born!
“Now, as my family’s yearly tradition, I try out a new combination. Veggie sides-only. Classic turkey with gravy and dots of cranberry sauce. Even a dessert version, with crumbled-up sweet potato pie, a drizzle of chocolate sauce or Nutella, and more marshmallows–since I’m known to pick off all the mini marshmallows the night before.”
Genius–combining everyone’s favorite holiday leftovers with everyone’s favorite dish makes it all feel somehow less heavy. We love the idea of not just eating the same exact meal again, with the same old flavor profile. “With the pizza, you just have a slice or two,” Michelle says, “and get to taste a couple different things that you weren’t necessarily putting together on your plate.”
If you still have family staying with you, we’re sure it’s a fun dish to bust out for brunch the next day, with a few sunny eggs baked on top. Or if you’re really maxed out on all of the big, rich Thanksgiving flavors, freeze the pizza and defrost in a few weeks to relive the warm and comforting magic.
3 tablespoons flour
1 pound pizza dough
1 parchment paper
By dividing your pizza dough into 3 or more mini pizzas, you get to make a variety of pizzas with as many leftover combinations as you like!
When you roll it out, pizza dough tends to shrink back. Keep going even if it does, being sure to apply pressure consistently. Frequently rotating it will help achieve an even shape. If you have trouble, let it temper at room temperature for five minutes before continuing.
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Prepare any leftovers as necessary (i.e. shred turkey into bite-sized pieces with 2 forks, chop roasted vegetables into small pieces, mash roasted potatoes).
Divide pizza dough into 3 equal pieces (see Recipe Tip). Sprinkle flour onto a clean dry surface. Using a rolling pin or the heels of your hands, roll and stretch each piece of pizza dough to about .25-inch thickness (see Recipe Tip).
Rub 1 teaspoon olive oil onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Carefully add each piece of pizza dough. Divide into 2 separate baking sheets/parchments, as needed.
Sprinkle desired toppings over pizza dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Add desired cheese in an even layer.
– Mashed sweet potato, shredded turkey, dollops of cranberry sauce, and shredded fontina (or another mild cheese)
– Stuffing, turkey gravy, and shredded Cheddar
– Roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and shredded taleggio (or another melty, flavorful cheese)
Bake pizzas until crusts are beginning to lightly brown and cheese is beginning to melt, 13-15 minutes. Cut pizzas into slices and go to town! Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.
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