Thanksgiving leftovers recipes: pizza and pasta

Italian recipes to re-use those Thanksgiving leftovers in your fridge.

HOUSTON – Thanksgiving leftovers don't have to be boring. This year instead of making those same turkey sandwiches, how about some Italian dishes? 

Anthony Russo head chef and founder of Russo’s New York Pizzeria stopped by our studio with delicious ideas to re-use turkey or roasted ham that might pile up in your fridge the days after Thanksgiving.

According to Russo, with some sauce, olive oil and a whole lot of cheese you can make pizza or pasta that will surprise your family and will put that extra turkey to a tasty use. “It’s simple to make, just three or four ingredients and you can make a nice meal for the next days.”

These dishes are versatile and you can add as much ingredients as you have available in your house. If you have some sweet potato, you can even use it for the pizza. Just get creative, but remember the key to a great Italian dish according to chef Russo is “You got to use the best cheese.”


Thanksgiving pizza

12 inch pizza crust
1/3 cup sweet potato casserole, pureed
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
4 ounces of roasted turkey (about ¾ cup chopped)
1/3 cup sauteed spinach

Spread the pureed sweet potato casserole thinly over the pizza crust. Add the mozzarella and feta cheeses and then top evenly with roasted turkey and spinach. Bake at 450 degrees on a pizza stone or directly on the oven rack for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.

Thanksgiving Fettuccine Alfredo

8 ounces of Fettuccine pasta, cooked
4 ounces of roasted turkey or ham
¼ cup of peas
¼ cup of fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup of Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil

Sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan for 1 minute. Then add meat, peas, fettuccine and Alfredo sauce to the pan. Heat and stir until ingredients are well blended.
Plate and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Alfredo Sauce:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add the cream and butter to a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the garlic and simmer for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and whisk in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Continue whisking until cheese has fully melted and sauce is smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
This sauce makes enough to generously coat 1 pound of pasta.

Recipe provided by Chef Anthony Russo.