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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

Okay, everyone has their day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches - that's just standard...

But what are some of your favorite leftover turkey recipes?

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  1. Middle School Cafeteria Lunch:

    Turkey Squares........turkey pieces, stuffing and gravy.

    Turkey Barley Soup

    1. turkey hash
      turkey divan
      curried turkey stir fry or salad with cashews
      smoky turkey salad with broccoli & bacon
      turkey tetrazzini
      turkey noodle soup
      turkey enchiladas
      turkey chili
      shredded turkey tacos

      10 Replies
        1. re: RaeRenee

          ever had chicken divan? you can just substitute turkey meat for the chicken. i like this recipe from Eating Well magazine:

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            LOL...I have an old community recipe book from my MIL (Wilmington DE) from the late 70's that has Chicken Divan as a featured recipe...and it includes curry powder...and it's a delicious recipe...yes, it does use the horrific cream of chicken soup but the addition of the curry powder is great!

          2. re: RaeRenee

            The recipe for Turkey Divan I was introduced to by a former landlady in the 70's was broccoli spears, chunks of leftover turkey (preferably large and white) in a casserole, covered with your very best cheese sauce, and baked until bubbly.

          3. re: goodhealthgourmet

            A Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson. There are a lot of half-ass recipes floating around the internet, most of them repeat. In its better form, this is basically green chili stew made with leftover turkey, especially the dark meat, instead of pork, with the addition of garbanzos, cilantro, and lime. Served over rice with avocado slices. Just use your favorite recipe for chili verde or green chili stew with the additions.

            I love turkey hash, GoodHealthGourmet. Especially with some crisp pancetta dice and a mustard sauce.

            1. re: carbonaraboy

              gotta love the hash...and regular old bacon isn't half bad if you don't have pancetta on hand ;)

              1. re: carbonaraboy

                I'll be trying this chili Thanksgiving weekend. I wonder if a few tomatillas would add anything?

                1. re: coll

                  Tomatillos are often used in green chili stew. The thing is, you need REALLY good green chilis on which to base it.. The usual Old El Paso and similar ones have no flavor whatsoever. The Hatch green chilis that are showing up in the stores now are way better, but the best comes from places like this (I'm sure there are others):


                  They have the Hatch green chilis but go for the jarred green chilis (under "Chilies"). But the best is to get the frozen roasted green chilis (while they last, they are usually gone by Christmas because the harvest is in Sept.) and make your sauce from scratch. A green chili sauce made with these is just heavenly, one of the true great American tastes, vastly overlooked outside of Northern NM and thereabouts. Tomatillos would smooth out the flavor, especially if the chilis are hot (which they ARE this year.)


                  1. re: carbonaraboy

                    So are the canned/frozen any better than fresh? We have a nice asst of fresh locally, we definitley have hot green ones but not sure if they are Hatch: and not too many canned or frozen. These look like what they call "long green chiles" at my local grocery, I always wondered what they really were. It's easy to get fresh tomatillas here, lately, which is what made me think of that. Anyway I'm sure I can cobble something together, thanks to you.

                    1. re: coll

                      If you can get fresh green chilis of the true New Mexican variety, then by all means roast them yourself. However, these are only available around harvest time in NM, early September. The chilis I can get year-round in the grocery store are pale facsimiles (usually sold as Anaheims). Fresh, roasted poblanos are another option. If you have access to fresh green chilis that you like, use them. But there is nothing like these chilis from Northern NM. The locals talk about their production in some of the same terms as winemakers -- microclimates, soil types, rainfall distribution, etc.

                      BTW, the frozen ones have been roasted right after harvest, their charred skins left on, and frozen in heavy plastic bags. They are just loaded with flavor and "deep heat".

            2. Turkey Tortilla Soup and the hubby likes to make Turkey carcus Soup ( I think its gross but thats me!)

              1 Reply
              1. re: jenwee

                What's gross about it? Does he leave the carcass in?

              2. I just made a terrific chantarelle and turkey stroganoff using chantarelles cooked pancetta, turkey meat, turkey gravey, and finished with a bit of sour cream. Toddler got it into serious trouble trying to a 12 inch spoon into the pot. Where does he find them?

                1 Reply
                1. re: JudiAU

                  Mmm! That sounds so good! Do you just make it like a regular stroganoff, subbing turkey for meatballs?

                2. Since the 70s (or maybe 60s) our family favorite is chicken or turkey salad mixed with cream cheese etc, wrapped in crescent roll dough, folded over like a pattie, dipped in butter and bread crumbs and baked til golden. Not healthy at all but delicious. Here's the basic recipe, although I've jazzed it up over the years.

                  I got another nice recipe here a year or so ago, it's was a turkey and ham cordon bleu casserole which was easy but different and nice tasting. Here it is, with credit given to Todao for posting it

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: coll

                    Oh, I never would ever have come up with that first recipe! That sounds decadent. Thanks for posting it. Yum!

                    1. re: coll

                      Those chicken pockets sound good. I know my husband would love those. Will definitely try that this year. Thanks for the recipe!

                      Every year now I make Beetlebug's Leftover Turkey Pie. Basically line a buttered casserole dish with phyllo, layer the leftover ingredients (mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, vegetables), cover with more phyllo, and freeze. It makes the house smell like Thanksgiving again when we enjoy it a month or two later. I also freeze a container of gravy, and cranberry sauce to go with:



                      1. re: Rubee

                        I don't know anyone who doesn't love these, I think my brother lived on them when he first moved out. I make them bigger, 2 triangles with the perforation mushed closed, then fold over like a Jamaican patty and press the half moon closed with the tines of a fork. Makes it look more presentable.

                        We were talking here last year about a Mexican pie based on Shepherds Pie, with chopped up turkey mixed with salsa and a sweet potato topping, maybe made with the leftover chipotle casserole that I make every year now. Haven't perfected it yet, but when I do, I'll let you know.

                    2. For years, my family loved the Sunday after T-giving best -- Mom cooked the carcass for soup and hash. The soup was a turkey avegelemono, and the hash was the leftover turkey meat mixed with leftover gravy (gravy bolstered with a bit of the turkey broth to stretch it enough to coat everything well) and roasted mushrooms and butter, all heated together and served on toast.

                      1. Turkey croquettes.

                        Rather than breadcrumbs, this year I'm coating them in cornflake crumbs and deep-frying. Pass the gravy!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: shaogo

                          I screwed up last year, and overcooked the turkey but then got great croquettes when I included stuffing, curry powder, and garam masala in the mix. I formed them as patties, breaded with panko, and did a shallow pan-fry. I added gravy and cider to the cream sauce. Way better than the standard turkey dinner.

                          In the past I have also made a nice casserole layering plain mashed sweet potato, stuffing, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and corn, with a bechamel on top.

                        2. Turkey shepherd's pie (which ALSO uses up the gravy and the mashed potatoes, bonus)
                          Turkey fried rice
                          Turkey curry! As made famous by Bridget Jones's mother...

                          Both Chinese and Indian food flavors are about as different from the flavors of T-giving as I can imagine, so they're great for the inevitable sage/celery/gravy flavor burnout. ;)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LauraGrace

                            What's your favorite turkey curry? I'm thinking of trying to replicate a Thai yellow curry this year - but I hear that turkey usually goes better with green curries. Any thoughts?

                            1. re: RaeRenee

                              RaeRenee, i like this turkey curry:

                              it's a yellow curry, but i usually substitute red curry paste for at least half the curry powder anyway, and i don't see why you couldn't use green curry paste. (oh, and don't be thrown by the banana in the recipe, it really does work!)

                          2. At the risk of repetition...

                            Sloppy Sam's (sloppy joe's with turkey)
                            Turkey Burritos
                            Turkey Salad - w/ mayo, cranberries, pecans, celery, poppyseeds, and a little honey
                            Turkey Sandwich from leftovers (bread, butter, then stuffing, then turkey, then a gravy soaked bread slice, then mashed potatoes, little more turkey, then cranberry, then buttered bread)
                            Turkey Blintzes

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Emme

                              Emme, i've been making Sloppy Joes with turkey forever, but i've never heard the term "Sloppy Sam" before. it's cute! i Googled it but the only recipe that turned up was a vegetarian version made with lentils.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Oh haha, I made that term up... Usually Sloppy Sam's or Sloppy Tim's (the T being for turkey)... feel free to use it and spread the term!

                              2. re: Emme

                                I also forgot about stuffed potatoes... Bake sweet potatoes, mash with some butter, salt, and nutmeg. Mix together some turkey with BBQ sauce of choice or leftover gravy if preferred. Load up the potato, and sprinkle with cheese and broil. Serve with chives, sour cream, or any other toppings of choice.

                              3. When I was a kid, we did a two-day Thanksgiving most years: Thursday with my dad's family, and Friday with my mom's, about a half hour away. Mom's sister is a school cafeteria cook, and she always used the previous day's turkey for what is still today one of my favorite foods of all time.

                                She made pie crust, then used it to wrap up the most perfect turnovers with the leftover turkey and gravy, along with newly-diced and sauteed carrots, celery and potatoes.

                                Good lord, those things were amazing. Aunt Betsey is the greatest, and I'm now starving.

                                1. I usually make this soup but have never actually added coriander
                                  One year I blew it when I used sweet coconut milk by mistake- that was before I wore glasses in the grocery store.