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Here's How You Should Actually Be Eating Thanksgiving Leftovers

Everybody's favorite food holiday should last as long as possible.

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Lauren Zaser / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

FACT: If you don't make way too much food for Thanksgiving, you're doing it wrong.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

We churned out a whole lot of Thanksgiving food in the BuzzFeed Test Kitchen this fall, which means we had plenty of leftovers. And, while straight-up leftovers and delicious and awesome, they're even better when you turn them into something new!

Here are some next-level ways to remix your leftovers into something just as amazing (or better?) than Thanksgiving dinner itself.

1. Blend leftover slices of pie into a very ~balanced~ smoothie.

John Gara / BuzzFeed

Throw leftover slices of your favorite pies in a blender, add a cup of almond milk (because it's healthier), and blend until smooth.

2. Wrap any and all of your leftovers into a burrito with plenty of cheese.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Microwave a 10- or 12--inch flour tortilla for a few seconds to soften it. Put the tortilla on a work surface. Pile on leftovers, such as turkey, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Top with shredded cheese. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the filling. Then roll the burrito, leaving the top open. Wrap in foil and toast in the oven until the cheese melts.

3. Reheat stuffing in the waffle maker for nooks and crannies that'll hold maple syrup or gravy.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Preheat a waffle iron. Get out your leftover stuffing and gather 1 large handful of it. Press and squeeze the stuffing into a large ball about the size of a softball. Mist the hot waffle iron with cooking spray and place the stuffing ball in the waffle iron. Close and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Serve with turkey and maple syrup.

4. Sandwich turkey, potatoes, and cranberry sauce between triangles of crescent roll dough to make savory-sweet hand pies.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Unroll a can of crescent roll dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, breaking up the pre-cut triangles. In the middle of each triangle, pile about half a cup of Thanksgiving leftovers (we used turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce), then top each triangle with another dough triangle from a second can of crescent roll dough. Bake until the dough is cooked and golden brown, 20 to 23 minutes.

5. When in doubt, turn to grilled cheese.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Melt some butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, then place two slices of whole grain bread in the pan. Spread 1/4 cup cranberry sauce on the bread, then top both slices with 2 slices cheddar. Top one slice with some shredded turkey. Cover the pan and cook until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Sandwich the bread together and cook until they're attached, about 2 minutes more.

6. Mix the innards of your pumpkin pie with oats and milk for decadent overnight oats.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Scrape the filling out of 1 slice of pumpkin pie and into a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Stir together and refrigerate overnight. Top with chopped pecans, if you want. If you're feeling really crazy, you can even garnish with a little more leftover pie.

7. Heat leftover turkey and veg in gravy, then top with puff pastry and bake into the most delicious pot pie ever.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Heat up about 2 cups of gravy in an ovenproof skillet. Stir in 4 cups leftover vegetables and 2 cups each shredded turkey. Top with a sheet of puff pastry and bake until everything is very hot and the puff pastry is golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.

8. Turn mashed potatoes into pancakes with a little flour and some beaten egg.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Stir together 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, 2 large, beaten eggs, and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour until it forms a uniform dough. Shape the mixture into "pancakes" roughly 1/2-inch thick and 3 to 4 inches in diameter, then fry the "pancakes" in a little bit of canola oil in a skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes per side, until they're golden brown and hot throughout. Top with leftover turkey and gravy, if you want.

9. Wrap a boiled egg in chilled mashed potatoes and breadcrumbs and deep-fry the whole shebang.

Peel a medium (or hard) boiled egg and place it in the middle of a ball of chilled mashed potatoes. Make sure the egg is completely surrounded by mashed potato. Coat the mashed potato ball in breadcrumbs (panko works really well). Heat about 1" of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Fry the potato ball on all sides until golden brown and the mashed potatoes are warmed through, about 4 minutes total.

10. Put leftovers on store bought pizza dough with plenty of cheese for the perfect pizza snack.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Stretch one pound pizza dough into a 12-inch round. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, leftover vegetables, turkey, and a boatload of Cheddar. Bake at 400º F until the crust is golden brown and everything's hot and bubbly, 22 to 27 minutes.

11. Pile everything onto some very large, very sturdy bread and go to town on a classic Thanksgiving sandwich.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

The OG and the best.