Melissa Elsmo

The most blissful aspect of any well-executed Thanksgiving feast is plowing through plates heaping with a veritable cacophony of distinct flavors. A savvy Thanksgiving dinner guest appreciates how each component of a proper turkey dinner, from the stuffing to the Brussels sprouts, is not only delicious on its own, but designed to intermingle on the plate in a mishmash of savory abundance. Bourbon spiked sweet potatoes practically beg to cozy up to a rosemary-cranberry compote, while orange-scented green beans clamor for a little kiss of giblet gravy. Autumn’s peak holiday offers a cornucopia combinations and each and every one can handle a little morsel of turkey or two!

It’s no wonder most folks cannot wait to get hungry again after the main event is over. 

Outside of reconnecting with loved ones and expressing gratitude for good fortune, leftovers are quite possibly the greatest part of the Thanksgiving holiday. A haze of mile high sandwiches, open face turkey and gravy, and even the occasional hokey 1950’s casserole make the hours and days following this food focused holiday nothing short of a tryptophan laden dreamland.  

Right after the Turkey Tetrazzini and just before the carcass gives up its last burst of flavor in a lovely homemade soup, I look forward to transforming the waning remnants of my Thanksgiving menu into a batch of crispy egg rolls. This creative spin on holiday leftovers celebrates the hodgepodge Turkey Day flavors and offers maximum flexibility for everyone to create their own perfect snack.  Purists can limit these custom creations to turkey and stuffing or more adventurous toss in a little bit of everything from your menu into these crunchy nuggets; either way this casual spin on leftovers is an ideal recipe for some hands-on fun in the kitchen!

Thanksgiving Egg Rolls

make as many (or few) as you want!

I filled my rolls with whipped sweet potatoes, stuffing, turkey, cranberry, parsley and sage, but feel free to use this recipe as a gentle guide for creating an array of personalized egg rolls. Extra wrappers can be frozen for later use.

  • 1 pkg Egg Roll Wrappers
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • Leftover mashed potatoes, sweet or white
  • Leftover turkey meat, shredded
  • Leftover stuffing
  • Leftover cranberry sauce
  • Leftover Thanksgiving vegetable
  • Leftover fresh herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage and/or thyme, chopped
  • Canola Oil for Frying
  • Leftover gravy for dipping

Pour oil to a depth of 3” into a large high sided skillet. Heat the oil until a piece of bread sizzles on contact, but the oil is not smoking (about 325 degrees). 

Meanwhile, place an egg roll wrapper on a work surface like a diamond with a point facing you. Spread a generous tablespoon of mashed potato in the lower third of the diamond. Top with a few shreds of cooked turkey, a tablespoon of stuffing, a hint of veggies and a sprinkling of cranberry and herbs. The wrapper should hold about ¼ Cup of combined ingredients.

Fold the bottom corner up toward the top corner to enclose the filling. Pull back slightly on the wrapper to ensure everything is firmly held inside; putting the potatoes down first helps with this process as they act like glue to hold everything else in place.

Using a finger spread some beaten egg on the top triangle of the diamond.  Fold the side corners in toward the center of the filling; the egg roll will look like an envelope at this point. Roll the egg roll up to the end making sure the egg seals the edges.

Dust the wrapped rolls with cornstarch and cover them a towel until you’ve filled all the wrappers you are planning to make. Fry the egg rolls in batches as soon as you are finished wrapping them 2 minutes per side until golden brown and crunchy.  Serve the egg rolls with leftover thanksgiving gravy for dipping.

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