How To Repurpose Thanksgiving Foods For Chanukah

Dena Don November 23, 2021

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It can be disappointing to trash leftovers that you worked hard to cook for Thanksgiving. Shockingly, 30 to 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted, which can lead to a host of environmental and food security issues, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


The fact that Chanukah starts only one day after Thanksgiving provides a great opportunity to repurpose your leftovers into exciting new dishes. Take our suggestions below as a guide – don’t be afraid to extrapolate from this list to come up with your own unique creations. We don’t want you to waste your efforts or your food this Thanksgiving!


Roasted Veggies and Fruit Dishes 


We love the idea of using leftover roasted vegetable and fruit dishes to create a sweet and savory latke bar. Place each leftover dish into its own bowl, and encourage everyone to top their latkes as they please. You may discover a new favorite combination!


Mashed Potatoes


Make fluffy latkes out of leftover mashed potatoes! Do this by mixing some eggs, sautéed onions, spices and whatever else you would normally add to latkes into your leftover potato purée. You may need to add some bread crumbs to help the latkes hold their shape. Latkes can be fried, or spooned into muffin tins to make latke cupcakes!


Alternatively, leftover mashed potatoes can be used as a filling for fried potato blintzes or potato knishes.


Cranberry Sauce



Instead of filling your sufganiyot with strawberry jam, try using leftover cranberry sauce instead for a tart, fall-inspired dessert.


Cranberry sauce can also be mixed into latke batter for a tart surprise or used as a latke topping with or without applesauce.


Green Beans



Coat leftover green beans in tempura batter, and fry for a crunchy, savory dish. This would be a great Chanukah party snack to serve while waiting for all of your guests to trickle in.


Alternatively, if you’re looking to add some extra veggies to your diet, leftover green beans can be chopped and mixed into your latkes before frying for some added texture.


Sweet Potatoes



Mash up leftover sweet potatoes and incorporate the purée into your latke batter to add some extra nutrition and natural sweetness to your diet.





Give your turkey a second use by repurposing leftovers into turkey wontons (see recommended kosher wonton wrappers here).


Alternatively, re-serve your turkey as-is on top of regular or sweet potato latkes with plenty of gravy. Yum!





Leftover gravy can be put to good use! Blend it into a soup or use in a sauce for pasta or gnocchi. You can also use leftover gravy to make a dip for the turkey wontons (see above). It can even be mixed into latke batter for a meaty potato flavor!


Apple Pie & Pumpkin Pie



Scoop out the fillings of your pies and use them to stuff your sufganiyot for a Thanksgiving-meets-Chanukah treat. You can also add leftover pie fillings to your latke bar! Apple pie fillings may need to be blended before they can be used to stuff sufganiyot.


Leftover Cookies



Repurpose leftover cookies into a Chanukah cookie pie! Follow this recipe or simply layer cookies in a dish or tin, placing whipped cream and blue and white sprinkles between the cookie layers. Cover the final layer with whipped cream and chocolate gelt coins, and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. No baking needed!


Alternatively, use ice cream instead of whipped cream and store in the freezer for a Chanukah Chipwich-style dessert!


Leftover Cake, Brownies, Cupcakes, or Blondies



Mash up leftover cake-like desserts and mix with plenty of frosting to make Chanukah cake pops! Form the mixture into spheres, or use these dreidel and menorah molds. Insert a skewer into each ball, and coat with blue and white frosting and sprinkles.


You can also decorate leftover desserts with blue and white frosting, icing and/or sprinkles to get into the Chanukah spirit!


Did you try any of these leftover repurposing ideas? Did you come up with your own? Please let us know in the comments below!


All leftovers from a meat meal should not be repurposed with dairy. Any whipped cream, ice cream, or frosting mentioned in this article should be parve.