The Leftover Queen Strikes Again

When our kids were still living at home they used to call me the Leftover Queen. I could stretch a week’s groceries in many different directions by getting creative and re-purposing food that didn’t get eaten at the first meal. When they were older, our son and I were watching Top Chef and Morgan commented that anyone could create a fabulous meal with ready access to luxury ingredients like lobster, Wagyu beef, fresh Chilean sea bass, truffles, rack of lamb and diver scallops. It takes a real cook to make something good from more pedestrian food. Indeed.

butternut squashLast week I opened the refrigerator to survey several containers of formless leftovers. What to do? I got busy and created something I called Turkey Dinner Casserole. I didn’t take a picture of the finished dish because I was just making dinner. But the next day I described it to a friend at the gym and added that I should write a cookbook about using leftovers. She laughed and suggested that I just write a blog post. So next time, I’ll have a photo.

With Thanksgivvukah coming up at the end of the month, it’s a perfect time to share this “recipe” because the dish can be made with leftover chicken, turkey, or turducken. And it’s easy.

TURKEY DINNER CASSEROLE

Leftovers On Hand

  • Mashed potatoes (about a cup and a half)
  • Mashed butternut squash (about a cup and a half)
  • Chopped onion and celery (about half a cup) 

Ingredients Added

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Ground turkey (1 pound)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s whole-grain biscuit mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Bell’s Seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°

  • Chop the onion and sauté it, along with the leftover onion and celery, in the olive oil. Set aside.
  • Sauté the ground turkey until completely cooked and add to the onion and celery.
  • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Bell’s seasoning and mix together.
  • Layer the mashed potatoes in the bottom of an oven-proof casserole dish.
  • Spread half the turkey mixture in the dish.
  • Layer the squash on top of the turkey.
  • Spread the remainder of the turkey mixture on top of the squash.
  • (If you have any leftover gravy, pour some of it over the top.)

Mix the biscuit mix, milk and oil according to the directions on the box. Knead mixture and form a round crust. Spread it over the casserole dish, trimming the edges to make it even. Form the remainder of the dough into biscuits.

Bake the casserole and the biscuits for 12 minutes or until crust is completely cooked on the bottom. Serve hot.

No one will complain, “Oh, no. Leftovers again!” Neither will anyone ask for the diver scallops or the beef Wellington. They’ll be too busy eating. Enjoy.

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