Try Cushaw Pie instead of pumpkin this year. Plus, from chili to tetrazzini, keep this leftover turkey recipes on hand

Kevin Nance

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Want to experiment with dessert? Try Cushaw Pie instead of pumpkin this year

Giant crookneck squashes aren’t just great decoration for fall, they’re a perfectly edible addition to Thanksgiving dinner. Cushaw squash can be pureed into a pie, described by Kentucky cookbook author Barbara Harper-Bach as “like pumpkin pie, but better.”

“It’s not as orange as pumpkin pie, but it’s enough to fool young’uns,” Harper-Bach said. “You don’t even need whipped cream or eggnog ice cream, which I suggest in the cookbook. It’s just so darn good like it is.”

Unlike pumpkin puree, you won’t find convenient cans of cushaw puree in the store. Harper-Bach said the secret to making puree is straining it overnight. “There’s tons of water in it, so if you don’t strain it, your pie’s going to be watery,” she said.

It’s time-consuming, but rewarding. Cushaw pie is somewhat sweeter than pumpkin pie, but far less dense. The custard filling takes a light golden brown hue that’s speckled with fresh spices.

Too much leftover turkey? We’ve got a wealth of leftover options for you

The table is cleared and the leftovers are packed. It’s a matter of hours before the first leftover sandwich is made, where you have to face the music: there is a disproportionate amount of turkey left.

If it didn’t dry out in the oven, turkey will dry out in the refrigerator. After a stressful few days of meal preparation and planning, you might need some easy meals. So try using that turkey in this easy turkey tetrazzini.

It’s a creamy baked pasta dish with mushrooms and peas. The tetrazzini gets coated in Parmesan and breadcrumbs and emerges from the oven a beautiful, bubbling, golden-brown masterpiece that takes very little work.

If tetrazzini doesn’t sound like something your family wants, substitute turkey in any of these recipes:

  • Chicken and Dumplings: Cooked turkey easily substitutes for the rotisserie chicken called for in this recipe.

  • Pumpkin Chicken Chili: Keep those seasonal flavors rolling with an easy fall-focused spin on chili. I find this is great for leftover chunks of white meat.

  • Chicken Salad: Use up those stubborn shredded pieces in an easy lunchtime classic. Shred your turkey and toss with celery, mayo and dried cranberries for an easy, flavorful meal.