Unconventional Thanksgiving Leftovers: Tacos de Pavo y Papa

Featured Post on: November 23, 2010

This year we’re going to a potluck dinner so I won’t be cooking the bird! But in case you were wondering what to do with your leftovers, here’s a tasty trick, more scrumptious than a cold turkey and mayo sandwhich! xogabriela 


No argument, Thanksgiving is the quintessential soul-feeding, heart-warming, pant-button-unfastening meal of the year. This year, like all others before it, I enjoyed the potluck of too much turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, perfectly salted and buttered mashed potatoes, collard greens, butternut squash gratin and a fall salad.

The meal was comforting and delicious, but as soon as I finished my first helping I knew that I didn’t want to simply reheat it and eat it again. I was musing over what I would do with the leftovers!

Tacos filled with either leftover mashed potatoes or turkey

If I had my way the entire meal would have been Mexican, but my guests and boyfriend had the right to an almost* traditional All-American meal. I saved the Mexican meal in me for the next day and made both turkey and mashed potato tacos!

*Of course, I laced one of the two stuffed birds with oregano, cilantro and green chile powder and stuffed her with cornbread, pepitas and green chile dressing.

Make as many or as few as you like according to how much leftover food you have.

leftover mashed potatoes
leftover turkey deboned and shredded
corn tortillas
cilantro or lettuce
queso blanco or monterrey jack cheese
hot sauce
vegetable oil
sour cream (optional)

Pre-heat a comal or griddle on the stove top on high for five minutes. Once hot, place corn tortillas one at a time on the comal. Heat each tortilla for 30 seconds on each side, flipping with a metal spatula. Place hot tortillas in a clean dish towel so they stay warm and soft while you heat the desired amount of tortillas.

Now, pour approximately a quarter inch of vegetable oil into a cast-iron or heavy-duty frying pan. Heat the oil on medium for about five minutes until it’s hot enough for frying.

Meanwhile, spread about 2 tablespoons of potato or the equivalent amount of turkey in each tortilla. This may seem like a small amount, but really it is not! Over-filling the tacos makes them difficult to fry. Gently fold the tortilla in half like a shell and CAREFULLY place in the hot oil using tongs. Fry each taco for about five minutes, two and a half minutes on each side until a crisp golden brown. Remove from oil and drain excess grease.

Place on a plate with paper towels to remove even more oil. Remove paper towels and garnish tacos with cheese, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, hot sauce and sour cream.

5 Responses to “Unconventional Thanksgiving Leftovers: Tacos de Pavo y Papa”
  1. Betty says:

    I am so excited to see this recipe! I have leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge and fresh corn tortillas! This will be dinner for sure!

  2. Stacey says:

    That is quite clever, would love to try that sometime. 🙂

  3. Karine says:

    Great tacos! They look delicious 🙂

  4. gloria says:

    Great idea for leftover turkey. They look good.

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