🧁 🦃 Thanksgiving Leftovers Savory Cupcakes 🦃 🧁
The Stuffing Everyone Loves
Stuffed with Turkey
Topped With Mashed Potatoes
Served with Dried Cranberries and Turkey Gravy
We 🧡 Thanksgiving Leftovers! They offer a convenient and enjoyable way to continue savoring the flavors of the holiday way beyond the initial feast. Moreover, they allow for culinary ingenuity and resourcefulness in the kitchen without the stress of timing every dish to be served hot and promptly!
In essence, leftovers hold a special significance – blending tradition, the chance to minimize food waste, and nostalgia for mom’s leftover turkey sandwiches from days gone by.
Here, whimsical cupcakes are crafted using leftover stuffing, turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Besides the adorable presentation, they are super tasty and combine all the tastes of Thanksgiving into one savory little package.
The Stuffing Everyone Loves
What makes this recipe different from the familiar mushroom sage dressing served on dinner tables all over the country at this time of year? Not much, and that is the beauty of it. It’s just like you remember, only better. And everyone loves it.
Rustic ciabatta, with its porous, chewy texture is the perfect bread for this stuffing. A homemade rich-flavored giblet stock, eliminates the need to cook the stuffing inside the turkey, while retaining that classic turkey flavor.
A 50-50 ratio of vegetables (mushroom, celery, onion, and leek) to the volume of ciabatta creates a balanced, not overly bready-y dish. Cooking the stuffing in a shallow baking dish allows for the desirable contrast of buttery toasty bread atop a moist stuffing beneath. Plenty of butter, Italian parsley and butter-fried sage bring the classic flavors of the season.
And with no “surprise” ingredients (no oysters, no nuts, no fruit, no chestnuts, no sausage) it simply appeals to everyone…and exceeds expectations.
How To Make The Stuffing Everyone Loves Recipe
Remove the crust from two large loaves of ciabatta bread. Cut the bread into cubes about 3/4″ to 1″ thick. Place the cubes on a baking sheet and allow to dry out overnight, or place in a 200° oven until dried. Removing the moisture allows the bread to better soak up the flavorful stock.
Sauté onion, celery, leek, and mushroom separately in butter until soft, season with salt and pepper.
2 medium onions, diced
4 large celery ribs, sliced
2 medium leeks (white and pale green part only), sliced
24 oz. fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
The vegetables are cooked simultaneously on the stovetop in separate sauté pans due to volume and to preserve their individual flavors. In order to sauté properly, each vegetable is cut to a uniform size and cannot be overcrowded in the pan. Mushrooms are cooked separately to release their water, then to brown in the pan.
Let vegetables cool, then place in plastic bags and refrigerate until the next day.
Turkey Giblet Stock
Rinse and dry the turkey neck and giblets. In a small stock pot, brown the giblets and neck in a small amount of olive oil. Add 6 cups of purified water along with a rough chopped onion, celery rib, carrot, a couple bay leaves and a few whole black peppercorns. Simmer for two to three hours while the turkey roasts. Strain through a sieve and remove the fat.
turkey giblet stock
salt and pepper
Fry a bunch of fresh sage leaves in butter until lightly crisp. Remove to a paper towel. When cooled, crumble by hand. Chop a bunch of fresh Italian parsley.
Heat 2 cups of the stock with one stick of unsalted butter to melt the butter. Toss bread cubes with vegetables in a large bowl. Pour stock/butter over the bread mixture. Toss to moisten all the bread. Add more stock if necessary.
Add parley, sage, coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper to the stuffing. Toss again then pack loosely in a buttered baking dish. Dot the top with small cubes of butter.
Although I am tempted to use one of my pretty casserole dishes, this is best baked in a large shallow pyrex dish (for a higher ratio of crispy crust). Bake uncovered 30-45 minutes at 350° until the top is browned and crispy. And keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Thanksgiving Leftovers Savory Cupcakes
How to Make Thanksgiving Leftovers Savory Cupcakes
butter and turkey stock
leftover turkey gravy
leftover mashed potatoes
fresh ground black pepper
Chop up the leftover stuffing if it is too chunky. If needed, moisten with a bit of turkey stock and melted butter.
Spoon stuffing into a greased muffin tin. Press stuffing into the sides and bottom leaving an indentation for the turkey meat.
Chop up the turkey meat and moisten with a bit of gravy. Place the turkey meat into the indentation.
Top the turkey with more stuffing to cover completely. Compress the stuffing so it stays together after baking.
Bake at 350°F until the cupcakes are hot all the way through and the sides are getting a little crispy. (About 20 minutes or more).
Remove the tin from oven and let cupcakes sit in the muffin tin for 5 minutes.
Carefully remove the cupcakes.
Pipe warm mashed potatoes onto the cupcakes.
Ladle warmed gravy onto warm serving plates. Place cupcake in the middle. Decorate the mashed potatoes with cranberries. Garnish with chives, finish with black pepper.
2019 Domaine Weinbach
“Cuvée Ste. Catherine” Pinot Gris Grand Cru Alsace
97 points James Suckling
If you’ve never tasted a great Alsace pinot gris, here is the place to start! All the richness and creaminess we expect from this category, but married to lively acidity and pristine clarity. We love the super ripe pear bouquet with hints of exotic fruit and flowers. No perceptible tannins and still dry enough at the delicately spicy and mineral finish to be food-flexible. Drink or hold. (11/2020)
A special thank you to Chip & Pat for bringing this absolutely delightful wine.
Inspiration for my recipe comes from an Instagram image by The Food Market, Baltimore Chef Chad Gauss, and his highly talented team. Merci, Chef!
More Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes
Herby Turkey & Corona Bean Soup here
Leftover Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles here
Turkey Matzo Ball Soup here
Turkey Soup with Tortellini and Kale here