What to do with the piles and piles of turkey meat staring at you from the fridge? No worries! Here’s a collection of tasty and easy leftover turkey recipes.
No one likes to throw out leftovers. I know I’m not the only one who faces this issue year after year. The day after Thanksgiving, it’s great to make a plate with some leftover meat and trimmings. It makes the holiday last a little longer!
But the day after, the meat is dry, and you kinda feel tired of eating the same thing day after day. But you still have lots of 🦃 in the fridge! That’s when a good collection of leftover turkey recipes comes in handy.
How to avoid the issue of leftovers
Sometimes I buy a very small turkey. This actually works best, but small turkeys (6 to 8 lbs.) are not easy to find.
Occasionally I don’t roast a whole turkey. Instead, I roast just a turkey breast or turkey legs. This is a decent solution, although it’s not as elegant. Presenting and carving a whole turkey is such a big part of the holiday meal.
More often than not, I buy a standard turkey. I roast it for hours, and then – just like you – we are stuck with piles of leftover meat. And then the search for leftover turkey recipes begins!
Over the years, I’ve come up with many ways of using up those leftovers. Before my husband and I adopted a low carb diet, I made lots of sandwiches, paninis, and wraps. These days I favor interesting recipes such as stir-fries, chilis, and curries.
12 leftover turkey recipes
So here you go: a collection of recipes that make great use of those leftovers, so that nothing will go to waste, and you’ll get to enjoy tasty, varied meals for several days.
Casseroles are perfect for using up leftovers. This cheesy, delicious enchilada casserole calls for pre-cooked chicken breast, but you can easily replace the chicken with shredded turkey meat, white or dark. Just make sure to leave out the skin.
Chilis are also a great solution for leftovers. This chili is flavorful, comforting and very filling. It’s an easy recipe, and using precooked meat makes it even easier.
Chinese turkey salad
The day after Thanksgiving, I often use shredded turkey breast to make a delicious Chinese turkey salad, inspired by my easy recipe for Chinese chicken salad. I also like to make a classic turkey salad with leftover turkey breast.
Stuffed poblano peppers
This is one of my favorite recipes, Thanksgiving or not. I usually make stuffed poblano peppers with precooked chicken, but obviously, turkey works just as well.
I adore the exotic flavors of this turkey curry. It’s also quick and easy to make. No doubt, one of the advantages of having pre-cooked meat on hand is that it considerably shortens the cooking time in these recipes.
Moo shu turkey
Another recipe that calls for cooked chicken but is perfect for turkey is this yummy moo shu chicken. The flavors in this dish are truly phenomenal, and the addition of red pepper flakes adds subtle heat without overpowering the dish.
Turkey lo mein
Another Asian-inspired recipe with lots of flavors and texture, I keep this lo mein recipe low carb by using shirataki noodles.
Delicious turkey stir-fry coats the meat with a tasty Asian-style sauce. Boring turkey is thus transformed into a new, fabulous dish!
No-mayo turkey salad
Another satisfying, well-seasoned dish where the chicken can be replaced with turkey. I really like the flavors of this olive oil turkey salad. They make a nice, fresh variation on the classic mayonnaise-based salad.
Flavorful turkey hash makes a wonderful breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. It’s so very flavorful and filling, and there’s no need for potatoes!
These crisp and golden patties are a great way to use up leftover turkey. They are very versatile – they’re great on their own or (for those who eat bread) in a sandwich.
Just as much a tradition as the bird itself, having a hot, comforting bowl of turkey soup for a late dinner on Thanksgiving is something I look forward to every year.
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