One of the best things about a big Thanksgiving turkey dinner is that it keeps on giving! If you’re long on turkey leftovers but short on ideas for what to do with them, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best tips and tricks shared by our readers.
Join the conversation here: What is your favorite thing to make with turkey leftovers?
Freezing Leftover Turkey
Turkey is really easy to freeze, and can be enjoyed all winter long. For that reason, it’s a great idea to get a large turkey for your Thanksgiving meal when they’re on sale and you’re preparing one anyway. Here’s how I freeze turkey:
- While the turkey is still warm, pick all the meat off the bones (save the bones for making turkey stock).
- Divide into quart-sized Ziplock freezer bags. Make sure you get all the air out of the bags, as any excess air can cause freezer burn.
- If you have a little bit of the turkey drippings, it’s ok to add that as well, as it keeps your turkey moist when you thaw and re-heat it.
- With a Sharpie, date and label the bags.
- When it comes time to thaw your turkey, let it defrost in the fridge overnight.
Turkey Leftovers: 10+ Quick Easy Recipes
Turkey Noodle Soup
We make a turkey noodle soup. I don’t measure anything, so all I can do is give you a list of ingredients. Take the cooked, deboned, skinned turkey and cut or shred into small chunks into a soup pot. Add chicken broth. Add sliced baby carrots. Add chopped celery. Add salt and pepper, and other seasoning (we use this Tone’s Herb and Garlic seasoning, you could try lemon pepper or Mrs. Dash or make up your own.) Add Fideo Mediano noodles. Cook till the noodles are done. It is great with leftover, rewarmed rolls, or fresh baked bread. It also freezes ok, if you add some water when you thaw. Great for a cold day or a day with a cold! — Beth
Turkey Corn Soup
My mom always makes chicken corn soup with the leftover chicken, so I tried it with leftover turkey. I used the drippings leftover from the turkey and chicken broth. I then placed the leftover turkey into the pot. I then used corn, potatoes, celery, and hard boiled eggs to make the soup. It was very good. — Holly
Turkey Burrito Mix
One dish that my family makes every year using Turkey leftovers is “burrito mix” (what my kids call it). You saute leftover turkey with onions, potatoes, zucchini (if your kids like it) or yellow squash, a can of diced stewed tomatoes w/juice, garlic, salt & pepper to taste. Let it all simmer until the potatoes are done. I either serve it over white rice or make burritos with it. Get some big tortillas, a can of refried beans, cheese, etc. Talk about grub!!
Creamed Turkey Over Toast
I make a gravy using flour, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Chop the turkey and mix into the gravy. Serve over toast or whatever. You can add in veggies too. Very versatile. – Yvonne
Turkey Tortilla Soup
Turkey Tortilla Soup: Saute one onion and a clove of garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add 2 C. chopped turkey, one can of corn (drained), one can of tomato soup, one can of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of chicken broth. Simmer for one hour. Serve with crushed tortilla chips on top and a dollop of sour cream. Yum! — Kim
Turkey and Rice
Saute 1/4 C. green pepper 1/4 C. chopped celery and 1/4 C. chopped onions in margarine until soft. Add 2 C. chopped turkey and 3 C. gravy. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.
Turkey Pot Pie
2 c. chopped turkey leftovers
1 (4 1/2 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 c. sliced green onion
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 tsp. salt
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease pie plate (10 x 1 1/2-inches). Sprinkle turkey, mushrooms, onions, salt and cheese in pie plate. Beat remaining ingredients until, 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake until knife inserted between center and edge comes out clean, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
Leftover Turkey and Rice Casserole
1 c. wild rice
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. margarine
1/4 c. flour
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms (saute and save the liquid)
1/4 c. diced pimiento
1 1/2 c. light cream
3 c. diced cooked turkey leftovers
2 Tbsp. snipped parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Prepare rice and set aside. Saute onion in margarine. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Add chicken broth to saved liquid from sauteed mushrooms until it measures 1 1/2 cups of
liquid. Stir this into flour mixture. Add cream and cook (stirring constantly) until mixture thickens. Add all other ingredients and stir well. in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 to
30 minutes. Should brown slightly around the edges.
Leftover Turkey Casserole #2
7 slices bread, cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can beef noodle soup
2 C. turkey leftovers
Mix all together and pour in greased casserole. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for an hour.
1 lb. spaghetti
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. parsley
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. fresh mushrooms
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
2 c. hot chicken broth
1 c. cream
1/2 dry white wine
2 c. diced turkey leftovers
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Cook noodles in boiling salted water for 10 minutes and drain. Chop garlic and parsley together. Place oil in skillet, heat and add mushrooms, garlic, parsley and salt. Cook slowly for 4 minutes. Stir. Place butter in another saucepan. Melt. Add flour and blend. Add hot chicken broth, stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add cream and wine. Stir well. Place drained noodles in a buttered oven casserole or 13 x 9-inch pan. Spoon mushroom mixture over the noodles and arrange turkey over that. Pour the cream sauce over all and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Stuffed Turkey Casserole
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
1/2 pt. sour cream
1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm herb dressing mix
Grease bottom of 9 x 13-inch pan. Mix soup and milk; fold in sour cream. Put pieces of turkey or chicken on bottom of pan. Pour the sour mixture over meat. Mix dressing to recipe on package. Put on top of meat. Cover pan with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.