What to do with turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving? Try some of our favorite leftover turkey recipes, from soup to pasta and rice; you are bound to find something you like.
Thanksgiving is over, and you still have about half a massive turkey in your fridge? It happens to us every time… There is just too much food we all cook for Thanksgiving (or Christmas), and no matter how much we all love a delicious Red Wine Turkey or a Dutch Oven Turkey, there is only so much meat we can eat in one go.
But no complaints here! We all love the leftover turkey recipes we cook over the next few days. Just look and choose a few recipes; your family will surely love them.
Table of contents
How much leftover turkey do I need for the recipes?
- I indicate how much leftover turkey you will need for each recipe. However, rest assured that these suggestions are not cut in stone.
- If a recipe requires 2 cups and you only have 1 or maybe 3, you will be fine in most cases. Make sure it is enough but don’t overload the dish either.
- All recipes can be cooked with leftover chicken as well.
So let's start, shall we?
What to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey?
- Leftover Turkey Fricassee
Our number one recipe when it comes to using up turkey leftovers, I make this silky-smooth fricassee at least ten times a year. It’s easy and quick, and the entire family is crazy about it.
It’s a classic dish that never disappoints, meat and mushrooms smothered in a velvety white sauce, a creamy, comforting dish that seems to be a childhood favorite for many.
We usually serve it with rice, but polenta or Spätzle are also perfect.
You will need about 2-3 cups/ 250 – 400 g of cooked turkey.
2. Leftover Turkey Risotto
Another rich and creamy dish with risotto rice, pancetta, and Parmesan. An excellent dish made with cupboard ingredients, a simple and tasty way of using leftovers.
My family could eat risotto of any kind every week, and this simple recipe ticks all the right boxes.
You will need about 1 ½ cups/ 200 g of cooked meat.
3. Leftover Turkey Lasagna
After the holiday indulgence, I find myself in need of something a bit healthier. And although this is still a creamy and comforting pasta dish, unlike most lasagna recipes, it will not leave you with a guilty conscience.
Made with cottage cheese and other low-fat dairy products and full of carrots and turkey bits, this lasagna is the perfect solution for turkey leftovers.
You will need about 3 cups/ 375 g of shredded turkey.
4. Leftover Turkey Pasta Recipe
This is my son’s favorite leftover turkey pasta bake. A satisfying combination of pasta, leftover meat, and velvety white sauce – this dish is rich and very kid-friendly.
It uses simple and cheap ingredients; it’s easy to make and ready in less than one hour. It is an excellent dish for any time of the year, as you can also make it with chicken leftovers. And deli ham pieces are great if you do not have any leftovers.
You will need about 1 ½ cups/ 200 g of shredded meat.
5. Cream of Turkey Soup
The creamiest of soups! This is a dish I cook all the time, no matter the time of the year. I make it with turkey or chicken; I sometimes cook the meat just to make this soup… it’s really worth it!
The soup is filling enough to be served as a main meal with some crusty bread or over rice (excellent – a sort of more fluid fricassee), or you can serve it in smaller portions as an appetizer.
You will need about 2 cups/ 250 g of shredded meat.
6. Lentil Turkey Soup
A simple soup made with leftover turkey, rice, and lentils, this is a healthy recipe you might crave after all the holiday indulgence.
Another bonus: Should you have made turkey stock with the bird’s carcass, you can use that to make this delicious soup.
You will need about 3 cups/ 375 g of shredded meat.
7. Buckwheat Soup
Another hearty, spicy, chunky soup full of vegetables, roasted buckwheat, and leftover turkey. A good winter soup that will warm you up from the inside and will have anyone begging for seconds.
The recipe is simple and versatile, whipped up in one pot and ready in less than an hour. You can make buckets of it and eat it several days in a row.
You will need about 2 cups/ 250 g of meat.
8. Vegetable Strudel (with Leftover Turkey)
This vegetable strudel is a fancier way of using leftovers. Filled with turkey bits, chestnuts, and mushrooms and wrapped in crispy filo pastry, this strudel makes an excellent dinner for guests that might decide to visit you after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
You will need 3 cups/ 375 g of meat.
9. Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
The creamy and delicious turkey pot pie recipe is made easy by using store-bought puff pastry instead of homemade pie crust.
Make sure you buy some puff pastry just before Thanksgiving to make this comforting pie the next day.
The recipe will need 2-3 cups/ 250 – 400 g of shredded meat.
10. Turkey Bone Broth
This bone broth is the basis of countless soups, sauces, and gravies. I cook my own broth all the time using turkey or chicken bones and use it for everything; nothing beats a homemade stock or bone broth in terms of richness and deepness of flavor.
Don’t waste the bird’s carcass; add a few spices and veggies and cook this fantastic broth on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or an instant pot.
You can make the bone broth with the whole carcass and the giblets or use the breast or leg bones if you’ve only cooked smaller parts of the bird.
11. Turkey Sandwich
Making a sandwich is one of the most straightforward, popular ways of using leftovers. And this delicious sandwich layered with creamy avocado, tomatoes, and cheese is better than the average sandwich.
Ensure you have some napkins near you and dig in.
You will need 3 slices of turkey breast per sandwich. For this recipe, it’s preferable to use breast slices; they are leaner and easier to cut.
Swap out the chicken for turkey
12. Chicken Mushroom and Leek Pie
13. Chicken and Leek Pie
14. Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew
15. Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake
16. Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
17. Chicken and Ham Pie
18. Romanian Boeuf Salad
19. Romanian Pilaf
Other turkey leftover parts
How to Render Turkey Fat
Learn how to render turkey fat from the skin of a large turkey breast, for instance.
How to Cook Turkey Liver
I hope you will try some of these delicious leftover turkey recipes!