Thanksgiving leftovers quinoa cakes

Here are some ideas for making the most of your Thanksgiving bounty.

Thanksgiving leftovers quinoa cakes

After hours of cooking and preparation for Thanksgiving, it feels good to sit down at the dinner table and spend time with the people we care about.

If you are left with a bounty of leftovers in your refrigerator after the big meal, here are some innovative ways to enjoy them.

Consider making a Mexican lime turkey soup by simmering turkey stock with diced white onion, garlic, jalapeño, diced tomato, and dried oregano. Add a handful of shredded turkey a few minutes before removing from the heat. Finish with chopped cilantro and generous squeezes of lime juice to taste.

A breakfast hash would be a good way to use any roasted vegetables or greens. Simply chop up the veggies and add them to a pan of sautéed onion and garlic. Grate a little sweet potato in as well. Ground cumin or paprika would work here, too. Sauté the veggies together and top with a poached egg. 

Chop any roasted vegetable and shred some turkey leg, add lime juice, shredded cabbage, and serrano chile. Put it all on a soft corn tortilla to make a delicious taco.

Did you make green beans? Whip up a stir-fry with mixed vegetables, green beans, firm tofu, garlic, ginger, and your favorite sauce.

Make quinoa cakes, with chopped roasted vegetables, leafy greens, and mashed potatoes with some herbs, aromatics, and spices. Try it under a poached egg for breakfast or with a salad for lunch. 

Servings: 8

Prep time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup roasted vegetables, chopped (I used Brussels sprouts)
  • 1 cup cooked greens, chopped (such as chard, kale, or spinach)
  • 1/2 cup mashed tuber or root vegetable (potato or sweet potato)
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, season it with salt, and cook about one cup of dry quinoa at a simmer for 9 to 10 minutes. It will still have a little bite. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside until cool and dry. You may have some extra cooked quinoa.
  4. While the quinoa cooks and cools, chop or mince the remaining vegetables.
  5. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Make a test patty with moist hands. If it is a little wet and too pliable, add flour or ground oats to the bowl, one tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry, add another 1/2 egg or 1 tablespoon of tahini paste.
  6. Shape into patties using a 1/3-cup measure and gently place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip over with a spatula, and bake for another 9 minutes. They are done when you see browned quinoa, feel crisp greens, and smell Thanksgiving all over again.  

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 70
  • Total fat: 1.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 25 mg
  • Sodium: 230 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 12 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2 g
  • Total sugars: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g

(Nutrition analysis approximate as can vary with ingredient choices)