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What to Cook the Weekend After Thanksgiving

There are some people who collapse on the couch after Thanksgiving and don’t get up for hours, or even days. And then there are the people who treat the whole holiday weekend as a cooking and baking marathon, using up leftovers and pivoting right into cookie baking. (Speaking of: Sign up for Your Daily Cookie, our new pop-up baking newsletter, to get a new cookie recipe every day in December until Christmas.)

We’ve got recipes for both camps below: utterly simple and light dinners to make things easy, as well as a leftovers recipe that’s a little more complex than putting it all in the microwave, for the enthusiastic cooks. We’ve got a festive Hanukkah moment, too. Tell me what you kind of recipes you’re looking for, or what you made this week. I’m [email protected], and I love to hear from you.

Impress the Gen Zers in your life by making this recipe, a.k.a. the feta pasta that went viral on TikTok. That recipe called for baking cherry tomatoes and feta, then tossing them with boiled pasta. Melissa Clark streamlines it by cooking the pasta directly in that pan in the oven.

This easy, gorgeous dish from Ali Slagle is ideal for the week after Thanksgiving: The brash brightness of orange and grapefruit is a good U-turn from stuffing and potatoes. This is also nice enough to make for any family or friends hanging around.

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This recipe from Kay Chun is another light, post-Thanksgiving winner. It showcases soft tofu, which steams over bok choy; a ginger-tahini sauce ties it all together, for a beautifully simple meal. Make a pot of rice to go with it if you’d like.

Last year, on the first night of Hanukkah, I made these latkes from Joan Nathan and served them for dinner with smoked salmon and sour cream on top and a salad on the side. It was great. The “pure” in the name refers to the lack of other ingredients: These are made with just potatoes, salt and pepper. For a more traditional latke, I recommend this five-star recipe from Melissa Clark.

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This is one of the best uses of leftover Thanksgiving turkey that I know: a play on pho gà, the classic Vietnamese soup with chicken, from Samin Nosrat. The fragrant broth, chewy noodles and fresh herbs are heaven together. If you made turkey stock, this is the right place to use it.