Thanks given: Recipes for leftover mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes on a wooden spoon
Photo credit: FotografiaBasica/Getty Images

By Mark Nothaft

It’s the perennial Thanksgiving question: What do we do with the leftovers? We can eat only so many turkey sandwiches and stab only so many forkfuls of stuffing and pumpkin pie straight from the fridge. And, please: We can stomach only one replica meal from the day before.

But mashed potatoes… Well, they’re something else altogether. They are pliable, literally and figuratively.

Mashed potatoes: A base for excellent leftovers

Think of those humble mashed potatoes as a semi-blank canvas awaiting your masterpiece. The creative opportunities are boundless:

  • Stir them into soups as a thickener
  • Bake them into potato rolls
  • Turn them into dumplings
  • Make them into mashed potato pancakes
  • Roll them into fresh pasta

Need a few recipes to get you started? Check out this killer mashed potato-corn chowder, gnocchi that would make Grandma proud, and a shepherd’s pie that’ll herd everybody into the kitchen. (You can also try using up the spuds in a Zucchini and potato pie.)

Killer mashed potato-corn chowder

Mashed potato and corn chowder
Photo credit: fahrwasser/Getty Images
Mashed potato and corn chowder

1 vote


Killer mashed potato-corn chowder recipe

Yield 10-12


  • 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups leftover turkey, cubed
  • 2 cups leftover creamed corn (or frozen corn)
  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon (about 1/3 pound)
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Cut bacon into 1/4-inch strips and saute in bottom of 8-quart stock pot until rendered down. Strain off bacon grease.
  2. Add onion and celery, and sweat for about 1 minute. Add water and stir.
  3. Add mashed potatoes, turkey, corn, salt and pepper; stir. Bring to boil while stirring, then reduce to medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add half-and-half or milk. Stir thoroughly. Check salt and pepper levels and adjust as needed.
  5. Serve as is, or mix with immersion blender.

Courses Soup

MORE: Creamy leftover turkey and tortellini soup

Gnocchi that would make Grandma proud

Leftover mashed potato gnocchi
Photo credit: B. and E. Dudziński/Getty Images
Leftover mashed potato gnocchi

1 vote


Leftover mashed potato gnocchi recipe

Yield 10–12


  • 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Sage leaves (optional)


  1. Scramble eggs in large mixing bowl with salt and pinch of black pepper. Fold in mashed potatoes until wet.
  2. Fold in flour at 1-cup intervals until integrated and the consistency of Play-Doh.
  3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in an 8-quart stock pot. Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Dust a cutting board with flour. Roll gnocchi out into 1-foot-long, 1/2-inch-thick “snakes." If you like, run a fork gently along the length of the dough to create the characteristic gnocchi ridges. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  5. Drop 24–36 pieces of gnocchi into water and reduce to medium-high heat. Gnocchi will float to top when cooked -- usually about 3 minutes.
  6. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Strain gnocchi, place in saucepan with butter, and sauté.
  7. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese, if desired, or garnish with sage leaves. 

MORE: 16 Thanksgiving potato recipes that will change your life

Shepherd’s pie from Thanksgiving leftovers

Shepherd's pie
Photo credit: Elena Veselova/Getty Images
Shepherd's pie

1 vote


Shepherd's pie from Thanksgiving leftovers

Yield 4-6


  • 1 cup leftover turkey, cubed
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup leftover or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup leftover gravy
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. In medium sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sweat onions and celery for 1 minute.
  2. Stir to combine the turkey, peas, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. (You can also add other un-sauced Thanksgiving vegetables if you like, such as carrots or green beans.)
  3. Stir gravy into the turkey-vegetable blend, and remove from heat.
  4. Coat 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick spray, and line bottom of dish with turkey-veggie mixture. Spoon leftover mashed potatoes evenly over that layer. If desired, run a fork over the top of potatoes to create texture. Optional: Top with sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 350 F.

MORE: Leftover Thanksgiving turkey pot pie