November 23, 2010

John’s Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza {Naptime Tales from the Trenches}

Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza

Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza

John Matthews is a professional chef and stay at home Dad of twins. Though restaurant work is no longer his day job he still cooks and bakes like crazy for his family. Today he is sharing his amazing recipe for Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza, the recipe that the whole family went bananas for when he made it up on a whim last year. Currently John is juggling his children’s schedules with his own baking start up. His new company, xx, is dedicated to serving up delicious gluten-free dairy-free baking goods and I’ll be writing more about that soon.

We did last Thanksgiving at my sister’s house in CT. Auntie Laura is a full service aunt. After doing most of the work shopping, cooking, baking, etc., she runs herself ragged playing the perfect hostess and favorite aunt of our twin’s Hadley and Deegan and cousins Rachael and Michael. Michael is old enough to take care of himself. Rachael is ten months younger than our kids and when the three of them get together it’s nonstop action. And very loud. Despite the presence of several adults, when you have very energetic three year old twins and a rambunctious two year old, anything can happen so it’s kind of all hands on deck.

assembling the tortilla

Assembling the Tortilla

Leftovers are pretty easy at Thanksgiving. And since I didn’t do anything but eat and drink (moderately, as I am a responsible parent) all day I took charge of dinner. Which always cracks me up because everybody is clearly still full from a few hours ago. In my family leftovers is basically your favorite stuff from the previous meal piled onto a bulky roll. For the past several years I’ve either been gluten-free or almost gluten-free with the occasional exception like the pound of stuffing I’d had very recently. So I would occasionally make little flatbreads using tortillas. Kind of like a thin crust pizza with less bread. So when I was rummaging through my sisters fridge and saw she had large tortillas I thought, well why not.

Ready to Bake Thanksgiving Pizza

Ready to Bake the Pizza

As a professional chef and a stay at home dad and all around food lover I like to experiment. I’ll also try almost anything once. My sister had a big chunk of pepperjack cheese. How bad could it be, right? So I threw together a couple flatbreads and everyone went bananas over them. So, I made a couple more. And we were all thankful. And then we probably had pie.


John’s Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza


1 large flour tortilla
1 tablespoon veg. oil
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
1 cup turkey
1 cup stuffing
¼ cup gravy
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese


Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 350ºF. Heat 10″ saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and gently swirl around the pan so it coats ½ inch up the side. When oil begins to shimmer spread salt evenly over bottom of pan. Salt adds flavor and prevents sticking. Place tortilla in center of pan. Using silicon spatula work your way around the pan pressing the tortilla against sides to form a nice lip. After 1-2 minutes turn the heat to low so as not to burn tortilla.
Transfer to foil lined sheet pan.
In large bowl combine turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cheese. Spoon into shell and spread evenly.
Bake at 350′ for 10-15 min. until cheese begins to brown.
Transfer to large cutting board. Using large chef’s knife cut like a pizza.

If making more than one you can do as many tortillas ahead of time as you want. Line sheet pans with foil. Two tortillas per baking sheet.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Serve this up like a classic pizza, in wedges hot off the baking sheet.

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes from start to finish!

Naptime Reviews

Everyone goes bananas for this in John’s house and you can see why. Enjoy!

More Naptime Recipes

5 Responses to “John’s Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza {Naptime Tales from the Trenches}”

  1. Fixmeasnack says:

    This looks genius! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Phoebepeabody says:

    Our tradition has been to make “turkey loaf” which is essentially a large turkey, stuffing and gravy stromboli. I still crave it after the holiday.

  3. Lauren says:

    Nice to know you can do something with the loads of turkey you have leftover.

  4. […] John, a professional Chef and stay at home Dad, guest posted on my blog and shared his recipe for Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza. It is an incredibly simple recipe using leftovers from Thanksgiving and making them into a […]

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