Ever heard of the hangover remedy, "hair of the dog"? Well, this Thanksgiving leftovers pizza is the turkey day version.
I'll make this quick, and then you can succumb to that Thanksgiving-induced food coma weighting down your eyelids. What if this year, instead of the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches, you made a Thanksgiving leftovers pizza, complete with gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and/or stuffing, veggies, chopped up turkey, and whatever cheese you can find in the refrigerator?
It's a bold move, I know . . . but hear me out. When gravy is left in the fridge, it congeals to a thick, béchamel-like texture, perfect for spreading on pizza dough, and with only one bready layer on a pizza, you won't feel quite as bad loading on the mashed potatoes for the second day in a row.
Thanksgiving Leftovers in Pizza form (FAQs)
Nope! Just make sure you're using fully cooked turkey, take off any skin (it will turn rubbery on the pizza), and chop it up into little pieces.
This pizza recipe works great with whatever you have left from the big feast. If you plan ahead, you can set aside a little bit of each component before you serve Thanksgiving dinner. But don't fret if you can't do that. Chopped glazed carrots, green bean casserole, candied yams, and creamed spinach or kale can be used as the veggies; you can add mashed potatoes, any kind of stuffing, or a mix of both; and if you have leftover cranberry sauce but not gravy, or vice versa, either one will work as the pizza sauce.
You do need some sort of sauce for this pizza, because we all know how dry turkey (especially leftover turkey) can be. So, if everyone licked the gravy and cranberry sauce platters clean, you can try your luck at finding a can of cranberry sauce at the grocery store, or you can make a quick broth or bouillon-based gravy like this one.
Absolutely not. Just use whatever cheese you have on hand; I used eight slices of cheddar cheese because that's what I found in the back of my fridge. Bonus points if you've got some extra cubes from a Thanksgiving cheese plate.
Looking for more holiday recipes? Check out Thursday Night Pizza's collection of holiday-themed pizzas.
Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- ½ cup leftover turkey gravy
- ¼ to ½ cup leftover homemade or canned cranberry sauce
- ¾ to 1 cup chopped leftover (cooked) turkey meat
- ½ to ¾ cup leftover cooked green beans or other vegetables, chopped into small pieces
- ½ to ⅔ cup leftover mashed potatoes and/or stuffing
- 4 ounces aged Gouda or aged cheddar cheese, grated, or 8 slices cheddar or American cheese
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Spread the gravy evenly over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Spoon the cranberry sauce over the gravy, then add the turkey and vegetables, dollop on the mashed potatoes and/or stuffing, and finish with the cheese.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
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