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These Stuffed Buns Are Perfect For Thanksgiving Leftovers!

When it comes to using your Thanksgiving leftovers, here’s an idea that’s second to bun — er, none. Make Thanksgiving leftover stuffed buns! 

Thanksgiving leftover buns

Photos via CakeSpy

A simple dough that comes together in minutes is filled, dumpling-style, with various Thanksgiving leftovers. The buns are then baked to golden perfection, with a flavor surprise inside!

These Thanksgiving leftover buns offer a fantastic alternative to leftover turkey sandwiches. Best of all, no two buns will be the same! Some may prefer just turkey and gravy in their buns, whereas others may prefer a tiny melange of all of the Thanksgiving flavors. Choose your own adventure! 

Thanksgiving leftover buns

Thanksgiving leftover stuffed buns

Makes 16 servings


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup warm water (about 105 F)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • About 1 pound Thanksgiving leftovers, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water 

Step 1:

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Mix to combine, then knead, either by hand for 5-7 minutes or using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment for 3-5 minutes, until a soft, smooth dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, and let rise at warm room temperature for about 2 hours, or until puffy-looking (not quite doubled in bulk). 

Step 2: 

Balls of dough

Gently deflate the dough. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Let the balls of dough rest for about 15 minutes before proceeding; it will make them easier to work with.

Step 3: 

Leftover Thanksgiving bun filling

Assemble your buns. Grab one of your dough balls and gently flatten it into a disc about 5″ in diameter. Brush with the egg wash, and then place about 2 tablespoons of leftovers (chop larger items, such as turkey, into bite-sized pieces) on the top center. Gather the dough and form a seal on top of the filling. Really pinch the edges together to try to seal the filling in; this will discourage the buns from oozing the filling out during the baking process. 

Step 4:

Place the buns on two parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheets (8 buns per sheet), seam side down. Let them proof for about an hour, or until nice and puffy. 

Step 5:

Baked Thanksgiving leftover buns

Near the end of the proofing period, preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the buns with the egg wash. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Note: If any of your buns do “leak” filling while baking, don’t panic! The filling won’t spread far, and they’ll still be delicious. 

Step 6: 

Thanksgiving leftover buns

Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. 

Note: This recipe is undoubtedly a great idea for utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers, but don’t limit yourself! You can use this recipe to create filled buns of all sorts. For instance, I have used this recipe and made a ham and cheese filling and the results were delectable!

Love this creative idea for Thanksgiving leftovers? You’ll also love our recipe for Thanksgiving leftover croissants!

What’s your favorite way to use Thanksgiving leftovers?

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