waste not: pan-fried leftover stuffing patties with sautéed greens & eggs.

November 20, 2018

Waste Not is a collaboration with my friend, Carrie King. The premise is simple: Carrie, a food writer and editor, shares a recipe highlighting at least one particular way that we can curb food waste. I make it at home, take a bunch of pictures, and share it with everyone here.

I realize we haven’t even made it to Thanksgiving morning yet, but in anticipation of the holiday and in hopes that we might be able to help you put the inevitable leftovers to good use, here’s a little something delicious that you can return to over the long weekend.

From Carrie:

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m really just there for the sides and gravy.

I gobble up some turkey just because I feel like I should, but it really is not where my heart lies. Even dessert, which is always varied and plentiful, isn’t what gets me out of bed on Thanksgiving morning.

And of all the usual suspects—mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, sweet potatoes in all glorious forms, pearled onions, the list goes on —my absolute fave is stuffing.

A stuffing by any other name —dressing perhaps? —smells (and tastes) as sweet because the point remains the same: bread that’s been crisped on the edges, but is still moist in the center, and that’s loaded with veggies and herbs is a recipe for satisfaction.

Especially if doused in gravy.

Flavor aside, the other beautiful thing about stuffing is its perfect frugal symmetry. On the preparation side, you’re using up stale, dry bread of all sorts. Maybe even odd ends of veggies. On the leftover side, the possibilities for reinvention are endless: muffins, waffles, sandwiches, quick breads, casseroles. Diving directly into the leftovers with a fork in the dark of the night is also not out of the question.

I’ve transformed the hardworking turkey day hero into a pan-fried patty that serves as a foundation to greens and eggs. Perfect as a Thanksgiving weekend brunch, it’s special enough for any lingering (or unexpected) houseguests, but simple enough to treat just yourself.

Make the eggs your favorite way—I prefer any method that leaves the yolks runny enough to cover the stuffing and greens in a rich stream of liquid gold. Turn it into a Benedict with real hollandaise if you have the cooking energy after the Thanksgiving marathon. Or, put leftover gravy to work to act as the sauce draped over top!

Pan-Fried Leftover Stuffing Patties with Sautéed Greens & Egg

2-3 cups leftover stuffing

4 large eggs (plus 1 more possibly)

⅓ cup flour

Olive oil

1 bunch spinach/Swiss chard/kale, stems removed and roughly chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 250ºF.

Divide the stuffing into 4-6 portions, about ½ cup–¾ cup stuffing per portion, depending on how many you’re making.

If the stuffing is moist enough, you should be able to easily form each portion of stuffing into patties simply by using your hands to apply pressure and shape into round patties about 1½ inches thick. Don’t be afraid to give a good squeeze to force them into shape—especially if it’s a stuffing with larger pieces of veggies/bread.

If you’re having a hard time getting the patties to stick together, it means your stuffing needs a little moisture. If this is the case, transfer the stuffing to a large bowl along with 1 beaten egg. Use your hands to gently knead it all together, then divide and shape into patties.

Scoop the flour onto a large plate and place the patties in the flour, lightly coating both sides, pressing to help the flour adhere to the stuffing. Gently pat to get rid of excess flour.


Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high until shimmering.

Add the patties, in batches if necessary, until golden-brown on both sides, carefully using a spatula to flip.

Once evenly browned, transfer patties to a sheet pan and place in the oven to keep warm.

Wipe out skillet.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter in the same skillet over medium.

Add the greens, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, cooking, until the greens have wilted, 3–5 minutes. (Note that spinach and chard will wilt more quickly than the kale.)

Make your eggs the way you like them: poached, sunny side-up, fried, or scrambled!

Serve each patty topped with some of the sautéed greens and an egg.

Chances are that you’ve got other Thanksgiving leftovers along with your stuffing. Here are some ways to incorporate them into this dish:

+ Turn this into a leftover stuffing eggs “Benedict” by reheating your leftover gravy and draping it over top in place of traditional hollandaise.

+ Serve the patties, greens & eggs with a scoop of cranberry sauce for sweet and tangy flavor in each bite.

+ For the meat eaters—shred any leftover turkey and layer on top of the patty underneath the greens and eggs. Or use in place of the eggs.

+ Leftover Brussels sprouts? Thinly slice and reheat them for use instead of the greens.

Thanks to Carrie King for writing this post and developing the recipe. When Carrie’s not encouraging me in tiny-apartment cooking adventures, she’s a food writer and editor. Her cookbook work includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner….Life with Missy Robbins and The Chef Next Door with Amanda Freitag. She has contributed to Gather Journal and Life & Thyme and works as recipe editor at Marley Spoon and Dinnerly. Thanks to culinary school and lots of time spent in kitchens, both professional and home, she can cook just about anything, but usually just wants a few couple few slices of pizza.

For the curious:

I made an iteration of this stuffing using a combination of leftover sourdough and French baguette. Since I tore the bread by hand, I found it helpful to use an egg to bind the stuffing as I shaped patties.

The cranberry sauce is homemade (with honey!).

The bitty bowl for cranberry sauce is from East Fork Pottery.

The grid napkins are from Fog Linen.

My trusty cast iron skillet is from The Field Company

If your own family has more than you need this holiday and you’re contributing to a food drive, here are a few helpful things to consider.

 This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links. 

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  • Reply Helen November 20, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    This is basically my ideal meal.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 20, 2018 at 2:37 pm


  • Reply ECKal November 20, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for the nudge on food bank donations! Reminded me to donate $$$ to my local food bank.

  • Reply kimmag November 20, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I would love to live in a household where there is leftover stuffing!!! We never seem to have enough

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 20, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Double that recipe!

      • Reply kimmag November 21, 2018 at 1:04 pm

        Triple more like it 😉 Have a very happy Thanksgiving Erin and family

  • Reply steph November 20, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    looks delicious! definitely adding this and the stuffing to my list:

  • Reply Nicolle Ann Sloane November 6, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Oh my goodness this sounds amazing! Must hold onto this for Thanksgiving leftover ideas 😉

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