TikTok's Favorite Grandma Just Shared Our New Favorite Hack for Thanksgiving Leftovers

This holiday trick from Babs is pure genius.

Person scooping leftovers into tupperware
Photo: Getty Images

Over the years, we've collected dozens of recipes for using up Thanksgiving leftovers, but even some of our favorites, like this creamy Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole, this Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup, and Dad's Leftover Turkey Pot Pie require additional cooking and potentially even an extra trip to the store. On the day after Thanksgiving, who wants to be back in the kitchen already?

Thankfully, right in time for Turkey Day, TikTok-famous grandmother, Barbara Costello ('Babs' for short), shared a fuss-free hack for enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, and it's as brilliantly simple as simple gets.

The self-proclaimed "internet mom/grandma you didn't know you needed" Babs has been a trusted source of food wisdom since her TikTok stardom began in 2020, sharing everything from family recipes to tips for avoiding oil splatters in your frying pan.

In a recent post on her TikTok account, @brunchwithbabs, she shared a surprisingly clever hack for packaging and sharing Thanksgiving leftovers. After one glance at the comment section, it seems her audience finds this hack just as ingenious as we do, saying, "Life changing, Babs!" and "Where have you been my whole life?!?"

The best part of this trick? All you need is a kitchen tool that's probably already in your cabinet.

The Muffin Tin Thanksgiving Leftovers Hack

Here's how to do it: Bring several disposable cupcake/muffin tins to the Thanksgiving meal. Then, after everyone has finished eating, Babs recommends setting up a 'leftovers station' where the guests can serve up a little bit of everything in each of the round cavities.

While she suggests disposable trays, reusable muffin tins are an even better, environmentally-friendly option. Just ask your friends and family to bring their own muffin tins with them to the meal.

Either use the designated muffin tin lids or aluminum foil to seal up the tins for easy transport home. Then, when you're ready to enjoy them, just pop the whole tray in a preheated oven, and Thanksgiving 2.0 will be ready in minutes.

Pro tip: package up the foods you want to keep chilled separately so they won't be warmed up with the rest of the dishes.

Why We Love This Hack

This has to be one of the easiest ways to share leftovers with guests, speed up kitchen clean-up, and avoid food waste. This trick doesn't require any more extensive cooking to enjoy your day-after surplus. All you have to do it pop the muffin tin into an oven to reheat and eat your favorite holiday foods all over again, just like a single-serve TV dinner with all the fixin's.

Plus, we love finding new uses for everyday kitchen tools, and everybody has at least one muffin tin on-hand (even if they're initially bringing it loaded up with cornbread muffins).

The beauty of the muffin tin is that you can keep all of the sides separate rather than having them merge into one big leftover mash on your plate — because some, especially kids, have no tolerance for that. Commenter @ctugirl echoes this sentiment agree, writing, "As a girl who doesn't like my different foods to touch, this tip warms my heart in every way!"

So whether you're attending a Thanksgiving feast or hosting this year, try out disposable or reusable muffin tins for your easiest day-after-Thanksgiving meal yet. And, if you can't get enough of Babs and her comfort meals, her cookbook, Celebrate with Babs, might be the perfect holiday gift for yourself or the other cooks in your life.

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