Ch-ch-ch-changing up the Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey Green Bean and Pea Fried Rice

Thanksgiving’s a meal we get only once a year. So, it’s always nice to have leftovers…for a few days. My desire for a microwaved plate of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing wanes long before the leftovers are depleted. Even classics like turkey soup and turkey Tetrazzini still taste like one more serving of Thanksgiving dinner.

Jonathan Bardzik Thanksgiving Turkey
Photography by Martha FitzSimon

The solution? Change up the flavors (or use the Menupoly app and find somewhere to go out to eat). Turkey makes great tacos, mashed potatoes become the filling for Polish dumplings called Pierogi. But when my palate is really done with the taste of Americana it cries out for Chinese takeout.

Now I could order some, but I’m from New England so the urge for thrift is fully inbred. That means I can’t stare at a fridge full of perfectly good leftovers while I’m on the phone ordering takeout. So? I just go ahead and make my own! Fried rice is as easy as can be and the perfect dish to feed the houseful of family still hanging out on Friday night.

Bonus! If you’re all tuckered out from Thanksgiving you can make the rice ahead and have a panful of fried rice ready in under 15 minutes, which leaves plenty of time to sit on the couch watching Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. Pass me some chopsticks and the tissues please.

Turkey Green Bean and Pea Fried Rice

Serves 6
When you can’t stomach one more turkey sandwich or plate of microwaved leftovers then change the flavor up Chinese take-out style with this quick and easy fried rice.

Thanksgiving dinner peas turkey green beansFor rice:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
White pepper
3 tbs vegetable or peanut oil
1 bunch scallions
2 cups day-old cooked rice
1 cup frozen or leftover green peas
1 cup cooked green beans
1 cup cooked, shredded turkey

For sauce:
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil


  1. Whisk together eggs with sesame oil and season with white pepper and salt. Warm 1 tbs vegetable oil a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add egg and stir with a rubber spatula to scramble. Reserve.
  2. Thinly slice whites and greens of scallions. Return pan to med-high heat with 1 tbs oil. Add scallions and cook until just beginning to soften. Reserve with egg.
  3. Whisk together sauce ingredients.
  4. Return pan to medium-high heat with remaining 1 tbs oil. Add rice and warm through, about 2-3 minutes. Add reserved egg mixture, peas, beans and turkey and warm through, about another 2 min. Add sauce, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Jonathan Bardzik is a storyteller, cook, speaker and author based in Washington, DC. Jonathan believes life can and should be lived well, a goal within reach every single day by preparing a simple meal and sharing it with the people we love. You can find more recipes, videos and Jonathan’s cookbooks at Discover what he’s up to each day by following him on Instagram @JonathanBardzik.

Show More
Back to top button