Thanksgiving may be over but digging into leftover turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes has just begun! These three holiday favorites can be repurposed into Thanksgiving leftovers bites, inspired by Real Food By Dad, to serve hot with leftover gravy for dipping.
Crispy-fried on the outside and scrumptiously tender on the inside, these Thanksgiving leftovers bites are layers of deliciousness. Each bite has a panko-breaded crunch that gives way to a comfort food layer of mashed potatoes wrapped around a tasty center of stuffing, turkey, and Gruyère cheese. Dipped in hot gravy, these leftovers bites will become a new favorite way to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers.
Sound complicated? Slapping together a leftover turkey sandwich might seem easy, but these bites are surprisingly simple to make. Mix the ingredients, shape the balls, and fry them—you’ll never settle for a leftover turkey sandwich again.
Once you are done making your bites, serve and eat! Just like that, you’ve transformed the typical Thanksgiving leftovers into an innovatively tasty new meal guaranteed not to bore your overnight guests.
Combine stuffing, turkey, cheese, and parsley
In a large bowl, combine the stuffing, turkey, Gruyère cheese, and fresh parsley.
Form the stuffing and turkey mixture into a ball
Using your hands, form the mixture into 2-tablespoon-sized balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place this sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to set up. These are the center of the leftovers bites.
Heat the oil
These leftovers bites are fried. Prepare the hot oil just before the bites come out of the freezer. Fill a deep cast-iron casserole pot with enough oil to submerge the bites. Heat the oil to 365 F.
Wrap the turkey and stuffing with leftover mashed potatoes
Remove the bites from the freezer and wrap about four tablespoons of cold mashed potatoes around each ball.
Coat the bites with breading
These leftovers bites come to the table with a crispy fried coating of panko bread crumbs. To bread the bites, place flour in a bowl, whisk the egg in a second bowl, then pour panko bread crumbs in a third ball.
Roll each bite in the flour with one hand, lightly coat it with egg with the other hand, then use your first hand to cover the ball in panko.
Fry the leftovers bites
Before you start frying the bites, line a baking sheet with paper towels. Working in batches, drop 2 to 3 of the breaded bites in the oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Use a heatproof slotted spoon or a spider skimmer to transfer the fried bites to the prepared baking sheet.
Garnish and serve with hot gravy
Sprinkle the fried leftovers bites with minced fresh parsley. Serve them immediately with hot leftover turkey gravy.
Perfectly golden brown bites full of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers
A comfort meal all wrapped up in a ball of fried-potato goodness!
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
4 to 5 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, whisked
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 cups peanut oil
1-1/2 cups hot turkey gravy for dipping
In a large bowl, combine stuffing, turkey, cheese, and parsley. Mix until well-blended.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using your hands, form balls of the stuffing mixture using a 2-tablespoon measuring spoon. Roll all the mixture into balls and place them on 1 of the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and allow the leftovers bites to set for 30 minutes.
Fill a deep cast-iron casserole pot with enough oil to submerge the leftovers bites. Heat the oil to 365 F and keep it constant at this temperature.
Set up an assembly line of ingredients to finish making the balls. Fill the first bowl with the mashed potatoes, a second bowl with the flour, the third bowl with the whisked egg, and the fourth bowl with the panko bread crumbs.
Remove the leftovers bites from the freezer and wrap about 4 tablespoons of cold mash potatoes around each ball.
Next, gently roll each ball in flour and then transfer it to the egg bowl. Using one hand, roll the ball around to cover it in egg. With your other hand, dip and cover the ball in panko bread crumbs. Place the prepared bites on the second parchment-lined baking sheet and continue forming until all the ingredients are used.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Working in batches, drop 2 to 3 leftovers bites into the hot oil and fry until the bites are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bites with a heatproof slotted spoon or a spider skimmer and transfer to the paper-towel-lined parchment baking sheet to drain. Continue deep-frying the remaining bites. Be sure to adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil at a consistent 365 F.
Garnish the leftovers bites with extra minced parsley.
Serve immediately with a bowl of hot gravy for dipping.