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Put your Thanksgiving leftovers to good use or start with a few kitchen shortcuts! Turkey (or chicken), cranberry sauce, stuffing, and green beans come together in this easy Thanksgiving casserole. Pair it with an autumn salad, a skillet of cornbread, or a pan of biscuits, and enjoy the comforting taste of the holidays all year long!

Overhead shot of a pan of thanksgiving leftovers casserole on a table

Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole

We all know that the sides are some of the most popular items on the Thanksgiving table. Whether you serve stuffing, sweet potato casserole, butternut squash casserole, or mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli and rice casserole, cranberry sauce, or ambrosia, there are bound to be plenty of leftovers! If you need an easy dinner that takes advantage of the extras from your holiday feast, or if you just want to make a quick meal that features all of the best flavors of the season, then this Thanksgiving casserole is for you!

The recipe provides options for using up Thanksgiving leftovers, or for starting from scratch with a handful of simple store-bought shortcuts (like canned cranberry sauce and a rotisserie chicken). In other words, you don’t need holiday leftovers in order to make this dish! It’s also a very flexible casserole, so you can feel free to add or subtract a variety of different ingredients. For instance, throw in some corn if you’ve got it, or add a layer of mashed potatoes beneath the stuffing (carb fest!). If you don’t care for cranberry sauce, leave that layer out, or swap the green beans for broccoli. You get the idea!

Cranberry sauce in the bottom of a baking dish

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a Thanksgiving leftovers casserole. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cranberry sauce: this is optional! We love the sweet and tart flavor of the berries combined with the other savory ingredients in the casserole, but I know that not everyone feels the same. Leave it out if cranberry sauce isn’t your thing. If you don’t have leftover homemade cranberry sauce, grab a can of the store-bought whole berry sauce.
  • Turkey: use leftover Thanksgiving turkey or cooked chicken.
  • Green beans: frozen green beans that have been thawed and drained are perfect here. You can substitute with broccoli florets, corn, frozen mixed vegetables, or other veggies. Have a leftover green bean casserole? That will work, too! You just might not need as much condensed soup if your green bean casserole is already swimming in a creamy sauce.
  • Cream of mushroom soup and cream of chicken soup: form the base of the creamy casserole sauce. You can substitute with two cans of your favorite flavors of condensed soup. I like the “Healthy Request” line of soups, but any similar variety will work. If you have leftover gravy, you can use that in lieu of some of the soup!
  • Milk: to thin the sauce.
  • Stuffing: you have options here, too! Take advantage of leftover stuffing if you have it, or prepare store-bought stuffing mix instead. I prefer one (12 ounce) package of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing, but you can also use two (6 ounce) boxes of Stove Top stuffingYou will need the additional ingredients called for on your box of stuffing mix (typically chicken broth or water, and butter).
Stirring together turkey and green beans in a bowl

How to Cook Chicken for a Casserole

If you don’t have leftover turkey to use in this Thanksgiving casserole, you’ll need cooked chicken instead. Here are some options:

  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 1 ½ lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken. You’ll need a total of about 3 cups shredded. I find that 1 ½ lbs. of chicken breasts yields about 3 cups of pulled chicken, but there’s some flexibility here — it doesn’t need to be exact.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a rotisserie chicken (or two) from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed. One very large rotisserie chicken should yield about 4-5 cups of meat.
  • Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in this casserole.
  • Canned Chicken: Yep, even canned chicken from the pantry will work in this recipe.
Spooning stuffing on top of casserole

How to Make a Casserole with Thanksgiving Leftovers

This casserole uses leftover stuffing or a store-bought mix such as Stove Top stuffing or Pepperidge Farm stuffing for the moist, flavorful topping. If using a store-bought mix, you’ll prepare the stuffing according to the package instructions, and then spread the warm stuffing over a creamy, tender turkey, green bean, and cranberry filling. Bake the dish covered until it’s warmed through, and then remove the cover at the end so that the stuffing can get a little bit crispy on top. It tastes like Thanksgiving dinner in a single pan!

  1. Spread the cranberry sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish that’s been greased or sprayed with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the condensed soups and milk in a large bowl.
  3. Add the turkey and green beans, then stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the turkey mixture to the dish with the cranberry sauce; spread in an even layer.
  5. Prepare the stuffing according to the package instructions (mixing the stuffing cubes with the broth or water and butter) — or use leftover stuffing.
  6. Spoon stuffing on top of the turkey mixture.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the foil, then continue baking for 10-15 more minutes. The casserole is done when the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired, and serve!
Overhead shot of thanksgiving casserole with turkey and stuffing on a dinner table

What to Serve with Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole

You’ve basically got an entire meal in one dish, thanks to the meat, veggies, and stuffing. That said, you might like to offer some additional options on the side. Here are some easy ideas to serve with your Thanksgiving casserole:

Square overhead shot of a plate of thanksgiving casserole

Make Ahead “Tastes Like Thanksgiving” Casserole

  • This is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • You can freeze the casserole before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled casserole will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Thaw a frozen casserole in the refrigerator overnight and bake according to the recipe instructions. If the dish is still cool when it goes into the oven, you will likely need to increase the total baking time.
Pan of thanksgiving casserole on a wooden table

Storage

  • Leftover casserole will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat the casserole: If reheating an entire casserole, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through (about 20 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Use chicken instead of turkey. See my notes above for specific instructions on how to cook chicken for a casserole.
  • Omit the cranberry sauce if you don’t care for the sweet-and-savory combination.
  • Try other vegetables in the casserole, depending on what you have leftover. Frozen mixed vegetables, canned or frozen corn, frozen peas, Brussels sprouts, or sautéed mushrooms would all be great additions, too!
  • Almost any packaged stuffing mix will work in lieu of leftover homemade stuffing. I prefer one (12 ounce) package of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing, but you can also use two (6 ounce) boxes of Stove Top stuffing. Try different flavor varieties, too. Cornbread stuffing is delicious, and so is the herb stuffing and turkey stuffing.
  • Stir some shredded cheddar cheese into the filling, and sprinkle a layer of grated cheese on top before adding the stuffing.
  • Use any flavor combination of condensed soups that you prefer: cream of chickencream of mushroom or cream of celery are all nice options.
  • Add a layer of leftover mashed potatoes on top of the turkey, and then finish with the stuffing on top.
  • Use leftover turkey gravy instead of one of the cans of soup. If using gravy, which is thinner than the condensed soup, you will likely need to reduce the amount of milk.
Overhead shot of a plate of thanksgiving leftovers casserole

Tips for the Best Thanksgiving Casserole Recipe

  • If you’re sensitive to salt, feel free to substitute with the Healthy Request or 98% fat-free varieties of condensed soups for lighter options with less sodium.
  • Stir some herbs or other seasonings into the sauce. Try dried or fresh parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, chives, or garlic. A squeeze of lemon juice is also a nice, bright addition!
  • Prepare the stuffing according to the instructions on your specific package. Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix recommends adding sauteed celery and onion as well. I do not use these ingredients (but you can if you want). Instead, I follow the instructions with the chicken broth and butter, but omit the extra veggies. Stove Top stuffing mix, by contrast, only requires water and butter for preparation.
  • If you like your stuffing really moist, keep the dish covered for the entire baking time.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half (using a single 6-ounce box of Stove Top stuffing mix) and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square pan. You can reduce the total baking time by 5-10 minutes, too. Alternatively, you can prepare the full recipe, but divide the ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Freeze the extra dish for a later meal.
Close overhead shot of thanksgiving casserole in a pan on a wooden table
Square overhead shot of a plate of thanksgiving casserole

Thanksgiving Casserole

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 496 kcal
Put your Thanksgiving leftovers to good use or start with a few kitchen shortcuts for this easy Thanksgiving casserole!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce, optional (or about 1 ½ cups leftover cranberry sauce)
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, NOT diluted
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, NOT diluted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded turkey (or chicken)
  • 2 cups frozen green beans, thawed and drained
  • 1 (12 ounce) package Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix, prepared according to the package directions (or about 6 cups of leftover stuffing)
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or thyme

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread the cranberry sauce in the bottom of the dish, if using. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together condensed soups and milk. Stir in turkey and green beans.
  • Transfer turkey mixture to the baking dish.
  • Spread prepared stuffing evenly on top of the turkey mixture.
  • Cover the dish with foil. Bake, covered, at 350°F for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until heated through and lightly browned on top. If you like your stuffing really moist, leave the dish covered for the entire baking time.

Notes

  • If you’re sensitive to salt, feel free to substitute with the Healthy Request or 98% fat-free varieties of condensed soups for lighter options with less sodium.
  • Stir some herbs or other seasonings into the sauce. Try dried or fresh parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, chives, or garlic. A squeeze of lemon juice is also a nice, bright addition!
  • Prepare the stuffing according to the instructions on your specific package. Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix recommends adding sauteed celery and onion as well. I do not use these ingredients (but you can if you want). Instead, I follow the instructions with the chicken broth and butter, but omit the extra veggies. Stove Top stuffing mix, by contrast, only requires water and butter for preparation.
  • If you like your stuffing really moist, keep the dish covered for the entire baking time.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half (using a single 6-ounce box of Stove Top stuffing mix) and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square pan. You can reduce the total baking time by 5-10 minutes, too. Alternatively, you can prepare the full recipe, but divide the ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Freeze the extra dish for a later meal.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 496kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 24gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1043mgPotassium: 758mgFiber: 6gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 841IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 133mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: leftover thanksgiving casserole, tastes like thanksgiving casserole, thanksgiving casserole, thanksgiving leftover casserole, thanksgiving leftovers casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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