Leftover turkey recipes seem to be as essential to our Thanksgiving and Christmas experience as much as the roast itself. Most people go in for turkey sandwiches, turkey in burritos or leftover turkey enchiladas. But if this sounds boring to you, there are many other innovative and delicious ways to use leftover turkey.
Here are some classic as well as new ideas to put that leftover turkey breast or carcass to good use:
1. Leftover turkey casserole
What to do with the leftover turkey breast? This leftover turkey casserole is so good that you might not wait for the traditional turkey-eating season. If that is the case, just use fresh turkey breast. You can easily multiply the recipe for large potlucks or family dinners.
In an oiled or buttered baking dish, add a mixture of chopped turkey, scallions, mushrooms, mayonnaise, celery, and lemon juice. Sprinkle grated cheese, chopped nuts, basil, oregano, and chopped pork rinds on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F until cheese melts-approximately 20-30 minutes.
For more leftover turkey casserole recipes, click here.
2. Leftover turkey enchiladas
This is the best way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey or chicken.
To make the enchilada filling, combine shredded turkey, condensed chicken soup, sour cream, chiles, onions, black olives, garlic, cilantro, cumin, a bit of turkey broth, mixed Mexican cheese blend along with grated Monterey Jack cheese. Fill each tortilla with two tablespoons of the mixture. Place the tortillas seam-down in a greased baking pan. Pour the remaining filling over the tortillas, add cheese on top and bake in a preheated oven at 350 F until the cheese melts.
For more ideas on leftover turkey enchilada recipes, click here.
3. Leftover turkey tetrazzini
A fan created leftover turkey tetrazzini for the famous Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini who was touring the United States in the early 1900s. Now, this dish has become an American favorite and is one of the most ‘searched’ recipes during the Holidays for the best leftover turkey recipes.
- Cook the pasta (typically spaghetti) as per instructions. Combine it with the leftover, cubed or shredded turkey.
- You can add chopped onions, green peppers, mushrooms, or other vegetables. Also add in cream of mushroom soup, turkey or chicken broth, sherry, salt, and pepper. Top it off with shredded cheese.
- Add the mixture in a greased casserole.
- Bake it in a preheated oven at 350 F for 45 minutes.
For more leftover turkey pasta recipes like this one, click here.
4. Leftover turkey recipe in the slow cooker
Everyone has leftover Thanksgiving turkey and that is part of the Holiday fun. You are going to love this leftover turkey slow cooker recipe as much as we do!
- At the bottom of a lightly greased slow cooker, place frozen hashbrown potatoes.
- Add seeded, sliced red peppers, chopped mushrooms, and 3 cups of cooked shredded turkey.
- Sprinkle hot sauce, paprika, and black pepper. Pour leftover gravy over the vegetables.
- Cover and cook on low setting for 3 hours.
- Top with shredded Monterey cheese and cook for 30 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve warm.
5. Leftover turkey sandwiches
According to the National Turkey Federation, the number one way to use leftover turkey is in sandwiches.
- Split your sub roll lengthwise.
- Spread a light layer of mayonnaise on both sides.
- On the bottom half of the roll, add thinly sliced ham, thinly sliced roasted turkey, turkey stuffing, cranberry sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover with the top half of the sub roll.
- Slice in half and serve right away.
Here are 35 more ways to make leftover turkey sandwich recipes.
6. Leftover turkey soup
On the fourth Friday and Saturday of every November, smart cooks in America use their leftover turkey carcass by serving this delicious all-American turkey soup.
- In a large stockpot, add leftover turkey carcass, onions, scallions, celery, garlic, cilantro, parsley, sage, and peppercorns.
- Cover with water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 hours.
- Strain and transfer the broth to a clean pot.
- Bring the broth to a boil, add leftover turkey meat pieces, green beans, leftover sweet potatoes, pine nuts and turn off the heat.
- Cover and serve warm with grated cheese.
7. Easy leftover turkey salad
If you are wondering what to do with leftover turkey breasts, this delicious and easy recipe is just the thing!
- Chopped leftover turkey breast
- Miracle Whip salad dressing
- Onions – chopped
- Bell peppers, diced
- Boiled eggs, chopped
- Sliced apples
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Salad vegetables
- In a bowl, add the chopped turkey, apples, onions, bell peppers, and boiled eggs. Add the Miracle Whip dressing, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
- You can also add chopped pineapples, raisins, and nuts to this salad.
- Serve over salad vegetables.
- You can also add it to sandwiches.
Some more things you can do with leftover turkey breast.
8. Very easy turkey and rice salad
This recipe will help you use up not only your leftover turkey but also your leftover rice.
- Make the salad dressing by blending together 1/3rd cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp chopped chives, a few tablespoons of white vinegar, 1-2 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp brown sugar, and salt and pepper, in a blender.
- In a bowl, mix half a cup of cooked rice, a cup of chopped leftover, cooked turkey, finely shredded red cabbage, chopped, peeled sliced apples, chopped celery, dried cranberries, and toasted nuts.
- Drizzle the buttermilk dressing on top.
Adjust the ingredients as per the number of servings you need.
9. Turkey noodle soup
This is a delicious, warming soup which your family will love.
- In a slow cooker, combine 5 cups of low-sodium broth, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of corn, drained, and salt and pepper.
- Add ½ cup each of chopped onions, green onions, carrots (peeled and chopped), and celery (peeled and chopped).
- Next, add 1 ½ cups of uncooked noodles of your choice.
- Also add 2 cups of chopped, cooked turkey breast.
- Cover and cook on low setting for 4-5 hours.
- Serve warm.
10. Turkey ratatouille
If you are like most cooks, you may be tired of the same old leftover turkey sandwiches. This turkey ratatouille is a refreshing way to use up turkey left over from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.
- In a skillet, heat oil and add thinly sliced zucchini, 1 small eggplant (peeled and cubed), and a large thinly sliced onion. Also add in sliced green peppers, chopped mushrooms, and thinly sliced yellow squash, along with a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Cook stirring continuously until vegetables are crispy and cooked.
- Next, add in 2-3 cups of cooked, chopped turkey.
- Add oregano, basil, and chopped tomatoes.
- Cook for about 15 minutes.
- Serve over hot rice, sprinkled with cheese.
11. Turkey vegetable lasagna
Your family is going to love this delicious leftover turkey lasagna!
- Make a white sauce (béchamel sauce) by heating butter with flour, garlic, and milk. Stir continuously to thicken the sauce. Add salt and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Cover and keep the sauce warm. If it thickens, add a little milk.
- In a bowl, add frozen, thawed spinach-drained. Mix it thoroughly with cottage cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and Parmesan cheese.
- Arrange lasagna sheets in a baking dish. Top with half of the cheese/spinach mixture.
- Layer shredded cooked turkey along with canned, drained mushrooms, coarsely shredded carrots, chopped onions, chopped celery, and sliced green peppers.
- Add ½ cup of white sauce along with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Layer again with lasagna sheets and add remaining sauce, cheese/spinach mixture, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses.
- Bake at 350 F until the cheese is bubbling – about 35 minutes.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.