Grilled Potato Holiday Leftovers Quesadillas

November 27, 2021     Updated December 14, 2021    Jump to Recipe

holiday leftovers quesadillas

My Grilled Potato Holiday Leftovers Quesadillas are the perfect way to transform those holiday leftovers into a completely new dish.

After just about any holiday that includes a big meal, we all usually end up with an overwhelming amount of leftovers.

Most of us have probably put those holiday leftovers in a sandwich before.

But have you ever put holiday leftovers in a quesadilla before?

Because you should.

holiday leftovers quesadillas

Grilled Potato Holiday Leftovers Quesadillas

Thanks to the genius idea of one of my best friends, I put Thanksgiving leftovers into a quesadilla yesterday.  And it was absolutely amazing.

Think about it.  You could literally put just about any of your favorite Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter, etc., sides into a tortilla, add cheddar, and end up with an incredibly delicious quesadilla.

In our case, that meant putting mashed potatoes, dressing/stuffing, Beyond Meat sausage, and caramelized bell peppers and onions into a tortilla, adding freshly grated cheddar, and grilling it to perfection before dipping the quesadilla in cranberry compote.

holiday leftovers quesadillas

Grilled Potato Holiday Leftovers Quesadillas: The Best Holiday Leftovers Recipe!

I’m convinced there’s no more delicious way to use holiday leftovers.  All those familiar traditional flavors are present in these quesadillas, but at the same time, those flavors are completely transformed into a new dish.

Use my recipe below as a good holiday leftovers quesadilla base, but get creative with the leftovers you’ve got on hand.  Obviously, sticking that sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping into a tortilla probably isn’t the best idea…(not saying it wouldn’t work, just saying I take no responsibility for the end result if you try it 😄).  The possibilities here are truly just about endless.  

So if you’re starting to get sick of all those leftovers, make these Grilled Potato Holiday Leftovers Quesadillas.  You’ll never look at holiday leftovers the same way again.

One Thing!

I make quesadillas a lot.  (Remember these?  And these?  And these?). So I definitely have a favorite spatula for quesadilla flipping.  Here it is on Amazon [aff. link].  Yes, technically this little spatula was made for getting cookies off the cookie sheet.  But its slim size actually makes it perfect for flipping quesadillas.  In fact, this is the only spatula I ever use, whether I’m flipping quesadillas, taking cookies off the cookie sheet, or sautéing vegetables.

holiday leftovers quesadillas
5 from 4 votes

Grilled Potato Holiday Leftover Quesadillas

My Grilled Potato Holiday Leftovers Quesadillas are the perfect way to transform those holiday leftovers into a completely new dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Holiday leftover suggestions:

  • Dressing, link to my ciabatta vegetarian dressing recipe is in the notes below
  • Mashed potatoes, link to my mozzarella mashed potato bake recipe is in the notes below
  • Turkey/meat substitute, I made my Beyond Meat sausage and caramelized bell peppers; link to the recipe is in the notes below
  • Cranberry sauce, link to my cranberry compote recipe is in the notes below

Everything else:

  • Cheddar, freshly grated or vegan cheddar like Miyoko’s (about 2 cups; use more or less to preference)
  • Tortillas, any size, I prefer the mini street taco tortillas

Instructions

Prepare the ingredients

  • On the counter, line up all the Thanksgiving leftovers you plan to use, along with the tortillas and freshly grated cheddar.
  • Tip: I recommend mixing your leftover mashed potatoes and meat substitute together. It will help both ingredients stay in the tortilla better.

Compile the quesadillas

  • You can use whatever size tortillas you have on hand, but I recommend using the mini street taco-sized tortillas. Whatever tortillas you use, keep in mind that a little bit of the filling goes a long way!
  • Spread the mashed potatoes and meat substitute out on one side of the tortilla, followed by some cheddar.
  • Now layer whatever other Thanksgiving leftovers you want to use on top of the cheese. I did my ciabatta dressing next, and kind of stuck it into the potatoes and cheddar to help the dressing and the veggies in the dressing stay put.
  • Now fold the other side of the tortilla over the filling.
  • Repeat until you have used up your leftovers, or made as many quesadillas as you need.

Grill the quesadillas

  • Heat a few Tbsps of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds.
  • Now add the quesadillas to the skillet. (In my 12 inch skillet, I grill 2 mini street taco-sized quesadillas at a time, but you can grill as many quesadillas at a time as you feel comfortable. Just don’t overcrowd the pan!)
  • Grill the quesadillas for about 2-3 minutes, until the tortilla turns golden brown, then flip and grill the other side until golden brown.
  • Transfer the quesadillas to a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the quesadillas until you’ve grilled them all.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve the quesadillas with your favorite condiments. I recommend serving with my Cranberry compote. (Link to recipe is in the notes below.)
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Here is my recipe for Vegetarian Ciabatta Dressing.
Here is my recipe for Mozzarella Mashed Potato Bake.
Here is my recipe for Beyond Meat sausage with caramelized bell peppers and onion.
Here is my recipe for Cranberry Compote.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    That’s probably one of the most creative and unique ways to utilize leftovers. While I love the sweet and savoury & salty combinations, it never would have occurred to me to use it for quesadilla. Stunning!

    1. Shannon

      Thanks Ben! Haha it’s definitely a unique quesadilla!

  2. Jeff the Chef

    I never thought before about how versatile quesadillas could be ! What a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers!

    1. Shannon

      Thanks Jeff! Aren’t they versatile? The possibilities are truly endless!

  3. Ron

    5 stars
    Great idea, alas we don’t have any Thanksgiving leftovers. But we’ll have some Christmas leftovers soon to try your idea with. You know over this way we love our Swedish Tunnbrödsrulle which most often has mashed potatoes in it, at least mine do…

    1. Shannon

      Thanks Ron! Oh my goodness I need to try Swedish Tunnbrödsrulle. Now I know exactly what to eat the next time I’m in Stockholm, yum! 😋

  4. David @ Spiced

    5 stars
    I love this, Shannon! One of Laura’s favorite sayings is all leftovers – no matter what they are – can be repurposed into tacos or quesadillas. However, we’ve never tried it with Thanksgiving leftovers. Putting this on the list! We actually froze a lot of our Thanksgiving leftovers this year, and we plan to pull them out over the holidays – I suspect we have some delicious quesadillas in our future!

    1. Shannon

      Haha I love the way Laura thinks, that’s awesome! And great idea to freeze leftovers, I definitely need to do that.

  5. Karen S.

    5 stars
    I cannot get enough of your quesadilla recipes! I’m more excited about using my leftovers next time I make mashed potatoes for a meal than I am for the meal they are intended for!

    1. Shannon

      Thanks so much Karen! Haha that’s awesome! 😄

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