Thanksgiving is a day for celebrating, where we enjoy the company of friends, share delicious food, and reflect on our country’s history and traditions. Throughout this celebration, though, there is one lingering thought in the back of our minds that cannot be ignored: Tomorrow there will be leftovers.

Will we eat pie for breakfast? Will there be turkey soup simmering on the stove? Did we buy bread specifically for the purpose of making sandwiches with leftovers? The answer to all of these questions should be yes.

Every family has its own unique Thanksgiving traditions and recipes. But the next day, homes across America are bound by a common ritual: the day-after turkey sandwich. And while our recipe for a Thanksgiving Sandwich has all of the classic components (plus bacon!), the beauty of leftovers is that they can be personalized to suit your mood—and the contents of your refrigerator.

Eventually, we all suffer from turkey and mashed potato fatigue. Luckily, all it takes is a few minutes and a little bit of creativity to transform these ingredients into something fresh. Make a gourmet brunch at home by chopping turkey, roasted veggies, and stuffing; browning it in a skillet; and serving with a fried egg and hot sauce.

Dessert isn’t immune to leftovers, either. If you run out of enthusiasm for eating that apple or pecan pie, try scooping out the filling (or, if you’re bold, mashing up the whole thing, crust and all) and folding it into freshly churned ice cream. We think cinnamon, bourbon, or maple would make some seriously awesome sundaes.

Thanksgiving Sandwich

Start to Finish

15 minutes

Amount Makes

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 8 slices whole-grain bread
  • 3/4 cup Cranberry Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1 pound sliced turkey
  • Lettuce, as needed
  • Sliced tomatoes, as needed
  • Sliced crisp bacon (optional)
  • In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sage.

Directions

To assemble the sandwiches, spread 4 of the slices of bread with the mayonnaise mixture, add a layer of cranberry sauce, and top with the turkey, lettuce, and tomato. Spread the remaining four slices of bread with cranberry sauce and place on top of the turkey. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve.

Chef’s note: You can make a Turkey Club Sandwich by simply adding another slice of bread and another layer of cranberry sauce, turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato.