12 Ways to Use Leftover Turkey

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and time with family. Before we know it, we’ll be on to those tasty leftovers! I’m sure I’m not the only one who tries to be creative with all that turkey we couldn’t finish, so here are some ideas to consider.

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Ideas for Leftover Turkey

  1. Make “Turkey Noodle Soup” instead of “Chicken Noodle Soup” (pictured below) and freeze the leftovers. Here is a recipe to get you started (just sub turkey for the chicken).
Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot
Turkey noodle soup
  1. Make “Turkey Terrific Sandwiches” inspired by a sandwich shop on Nantucket Island called Provisions. All it takes is some good whole-wheat bread, a little mayo, stuffing, turkey, and the optional cranberry sauce to make one good sandwich. Another great sandwich option would be turkey, brie, and a quick apple chutney…yum!
  2. Make homemade turkey stock with the bones…just like you do with leftover chicken bones/parts. This would be the perfect starting point for your “Turkey Noodle Soup” as mentioned above or for other dishes that call for chicken broth/stock. See “The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot” recipe for details.
  3. Freeze batches of the cooked turkey meat for sandwiches or recipes on another day using either zip lock bags or other freezer-safe containers.
  4. Sub turkey for cooked chicken/meat (or just add it to the veggies in vegetarian dishes) in some of your favorite recipes, including these…

“Chicken” Recipes You Can Use with Leftover Turkey Instead

  1. Chicken Enchiladas
  2. Turkey Gumbo (just sub turkey for the seafood and sausage)
  3. Tortilla Soup
  4. Fajitas
  5. As a topping on Whole-Wheat Pizza
  6. Turkey Chili (see the White Chicken Chili recipe in my blue book on page 188)
  7. Stuffed Shells or Lasagna

Check out the comments below for more ideas, and if you have any additional suggestions for turkey leftovers, please share!

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35 thoughts on “12 Ways to Use Leftover Turkey”

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  1. We deliberately buy a larger than needed turkey. We eat turkey sandwiches the following day, then all the rest is turned into turkey pot pies, using frozen or refrigerated pastry, and adding the leftover gravy, stuffing and veggies with frozen mixed veg if needed. Then we freeze the pies for a wonderful meal weeks later.

  2. Turkey Tettrazini!!! My absolute favorite :). Last year I even made and froze extra sauce hoping I can whip it up before the turkey disappears this year. I hope it’s still tasty… :D Happy Thanksgiving all!!

  3. Leftover Turkey shepherds pie : layer sautéed mirepoix in bottom of baking dish, top w leftover turkey chopped into bites; layer of stuffing, spoonfuls of Gravy, layer mashed potatoes, sprinkle w shredded cheddar. Bake until warm and bubbly at 400. Serve w cranberry chutney. Enjoy!!!!

  4. I really like your tip about turning turkey leftovers into a turkey sandwich. My family and I always seem to run into the problem of having a lot of leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner. I will be sure to save these tips out for the next time we have a turkey meal and find ourselves with leftovers.

  5. I have a pot of turkey stock already going on the stove as we eat dinner!When carving the turkey the bits and bobs go into a large stock pot, along with the carcass and veggies.(I clean and chop the veggies the night before and store them in ziplocks.

    Last year I really didn’t have much leftovers a little of this a little of that. Faced with the thought of cooking a meal on Friday I made Dump Soup. I took some of the stock, added the chopped turkey and gravy, all the little bits of leftover veggies. I even added the mashed potatoes and stuffing to thicken the broth. It was AMAZING!!! We are looking forward to this again this year.

  6. turkey club sandwich the tearoom way. Bottom slice of bread, cheese, I like Swiss, turkey slice of bread, lettuce tomato, bacon top bread slice sliced egg, Thousand Island dressing over all.

  7. I package up leftover turkey, stuffing, green beans, potatoes, etc. into individual “TV dinners” and freeze them. Perfect for lunch in January when turkey is a long-ago memory!

  8. How could everyone forget turkey a’la king? I saute’ mushrooms in butter with a little onion, add turkey gravy, pimento’s and cut in chunks, turkey meat leftovers and serve over homemade mashed potatoes with steamed green beans and maybe a cucumber salad. Yum! Total comfort food with the mashed potatoes.

  9. We use the leftovers and make a turkey burrito. Put in some turkey and anything else you want, throw in a little cheese, wrap in tortilla, warm it up and enjoy.

  10. I take leftover stuffing layer in the bottom of the pan, cover with favorite vegetable mix, slices of turkey over that, and cover with gravy or cream of mushroom soup. Bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Great casserole dish.

  11. I make Turkey pot pie out of my left overs (We raise turkeys- so LOTS of left overs)
    I shred up the meat, take the onions out of the cooking pan and set them aside chopped up. I also take all the large herbs out of the pan- add a bit of lemon juice and milk- bring to a boil and add gravy thickener. Once I have a great gravy I set that aside with the onions. I add chopped up broc and carrots to the meat in a large pan- pour the gravy over that and then put drop cheddar biscuits on top of that- cook till biscuits are done. I always cook my turkey with 2 sticks of butter mixed with the juice of 2 lemons, fresh garlic and 1/2 box of bells seasoning. I put the lemon halves inside the turkey along with 3 cut in quarters onions and a sprig or two of rosemary. I shove the flavored butter underneath the skin of the whole bird- and coat some outside the skin. This way the meat it’s self is flavored.

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      Yum…love empanadas! We also made the turkey noodle soup and a last-minute gumbo, too…which was a big hit! Good to hear from you :)

  12. I left some meat on the bones when I made my stock. Then with all the meaty bits we mixed it with our favorite bbq sauce for bbq sandwiches.

    1. Opps, posted too soon. Then I used about half of the broth and the rest of the meaty bits for turkey and dumplings.

  13. Turkey Reuben Sandwiches! 2 slices of Rye bread with a light smear of butter on the outside,as if you were making a grilled cheese sandwich. On dry side of bread, stack sliced turkey, sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese or Provolone slices, either Thousand Island dressing or Spicy Mustard depending on your preference. Top this with the second bread slice, butter side up and grill in a non stick skillet (again, as if you were making grilled cheese, browned and crispy on one side, then turn carefully with large spatula) until cheese melts and bread is grilled “toasty”.

    1. do you make your own 1000 is? or did you find a good storebought kind? Bolthouse Farms might make a yogurt version. Not sure will havta look for it!

  14. I always save the turkey bones for stock. My daughter cooked a whole turkey and I asked her to save it for me. I haven’t had buy broth or stock in ages. Nothing goes to waste.

  15. I mix the leftovers into a Shepherd’s Pie casserole. Turkey on the bottom then a layer of corn and chopped up carrots with mashed potatoes on top. Yummy!

  16. I like to make turkey salad sandwiches, just like your favorite chicken salad. I like to chop up the turkey, apple, celery and onion. Add some salt, pepper & garlic powder, mix up with mayo. Serve on whole wheat bread with sliced tomato, cheese of your choice and some romaine lettuce. If you want to do open face sandwiches, leave off the lettuce and melt the cheese on top under a broiler.

  17. Oh! Oh! Another yummy thing to do with the turkey broth is to make juk (rice porridge) with it! And then when it is almost ready, mix some bits of meat in there and serve it with a bit of sesame oil. Sooooooo yummy!