Thanksgiving Leftovers Quesadilla with Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving leftovers are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving.  Sometimes the leftovers are almost better than the meal itself!  And did we have leftovers this year?  So many Thanksgiving leftovers!

For the past 6 years we have gotten together for what is becoming known as the annual “Orphan Thanksgiving”.  A happy hodgepodge of people, not from the area, who don’t make it home to see family.  Sometimes as many as 20 people, some years just 6, but we always cook the same amount of food.  And we cook all day long, snacking and sipping mimosa, or hot apple cider rums until the turkey is done.

While all this cooking is going on, the boys put on a ritual wakeboard contest.  They refer to it as, ‘The Cold Water Turkey Classic”.  Some years there are only 3 contestants, but there is always an added twist to make the contest more I interesting.  One year, the challenge was time.  Who ever held on the longest, in the cold water, without a wetsuit, won.  I believe the prize was old roller blades.   This year, the challenge was design.  They had to build their own wakeboard, and try to actually ride it.  Here’s some of that amazing footage. …

This year’s Thanksgiving was a smaller gathering, which made the leftovers plentiful for all.  The line up of dishes were as follows; Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh cranberry sauce, purple sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, green beans and herbs, rolls, stuffed mushrooms, Brie cheese wrapped in a puff pastry with peaches, Brussels sprouts with cinnamon squash and sugared pecans, autumn cranberry salad, and a classic spinach dip.  The desert table was equally out of control.  It held mini pumpkin spice pies, with whipped cream.  There was little red velvet cake pops, covered in white chocolate, and a puréed banana cream pie.  You would think we’d be too full, and would not even want leftovers the next day, but it was just the opposite.  We woke up wanting more Thanksgiving dinner!

The Husband loves himself a big bowl of Thanksgiving leftovers, all mixed together and warmed with cheese.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffed mushrooms, and gravy.  Mix it all up and top with extra crispy onions and he is stoked.  It’s not a pretty dish, but it is tasty.  This quesadilla though, is all of it.  It’s very pretty and very tasty.  It is all the warm, cheesy, mashed potatoey nostalgia that you need right after Thanksgiving.

Topped with the sweet, tart, gingery heat of fresh cranberry sauce.  This Thanksgiving leftovers quesadilla is Thanksgiving dinner part Two.

Thanksgiving leftovers quesadilla turkey, mashed potato, and cheese, with fresh cranberry ginger sauce drizzled on top

Thanksgiving Leftovers Quesadilla with Cranberry Sauce
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Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes



  1. Heat mashed potatoes, turkey, and cheese
  2. Over medium heat, warm both sides of the tortilla
  3. Smooth mashed potato mixture over the tortilla and fold tortilla in half
  4. Once tortilla is your desired crispness, remove from pan, and slice into 4 pieces
  5. Drizzle Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pineapple on top

* optional add in: sautéed onions

If you missed out on real fresh cranberry sauce, make some now!  Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pineapple

Fresh cranberries bubbling on the stove with pineapple and ginger

What is your favorite way to enjoy Thanksgiving, or holiday, leftovers?  I am always interested to know!

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