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Our Favorite Leftover Turkey Recipes

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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.

collage of four pictures of recipes cooked with leftover thanksgiving turkey.

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.

Best tips

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?

  1. 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.

leftover turkey fricassee in a small blue pot.

Turkey Fricassee (with Leftover Turkey)
A quick turkey fricassee recipe featuring turkey simmered in a silky, creamy white sauce. There’s hardly a better way of dealing with leftover turkey.
Check out this recipe

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.

plate of leftover turkey risotto

Leftover Turkey Risotto
A quick and creamy leftover turkey risotto recipe using the rests from your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Check out this recipe

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.

slice of leftover turkey lasagna with white sauce on a white plate

Leftover Turkey Lasagna
A delicious leftover turkey lasagna with vegetables and a white sauce made with cream cheese and cottage cheese.
Check out this recipe

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.

small dish with pasta turkey bake

Leftover Turkey Pasta Recipe
A delicious leftover turkey casserole with pasta and white sauce, this easy noodle bake will become a family favorite.
Check out this recipe

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.

creamy turkey soup in a small brown bowl

Cream of Turkey Soup
What to do with the turkey leftovers? This amazing cream of turkey soup with potatoes and vegetables, a comforting and super delicious easy soup.
Check out this recipe

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.

turkey lentil soup with vegetables and rice in a red pot

Lentil Turkey Soup
Hearty lentil turkey soup with vegetables and rice. Easily made with leftover or fresh turkey pieces.
Check out this recipe

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.

blue bowel full of buckwheat soup with vegetables and parsley on top

Buckwheat Soup
Healthy buckwheat soup with chicken or turkey leftovers, lots of spices, and vegetables.
Check out this recipe

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.

vegetable strudel

Vegetable Strudel with Leftover Turkey
Vegetable strudel recipe made with leftover turkey and served with a simple tomato sauce. And information on working with yufka and filo pastry.
Check out this recipe

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.

golden puff pastry pie showing the turkey and vegetable filling.

Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
Turkey pot pie with puff pastry – creamy leftover turkey and vegetable filling covered with flaky, buttery puff pastry. Probably one of the best ways of using Thanksgiving leftovers.
Check out this recipe

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.

golden bone broth in a jar and a bottle

Turkey Bone Broth Recipe
Turkey bone broth made from the leftover turkey carcass or other bones. This healthy and easy-to-make broth makes the basis for countless delicious soups, sauces, and gravies.
Check out this recipe

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.

boy's hands holden turkey avocado sandwich.

Turkey and Avocado Sandwich
Turkey avocado sandwich: loaded yet healthy, this easy recipe makes a perfectly delicious quick lunch. You can make the sandwich with deli or leftover turkey breast.
Check out this recipe

Swap out the chicken for turkey

12. Chicken Mushroom and Leek Pie

overhead view of chicken, mushrooms and leek pie with puff pastry on a blue white cloth with a spoon.

Chicken Mushroom and Leek Pie
This creamy chicken, mushroom, and leek pie covered with crispy puff pastry is a classic British recipe, perfect comfort food that you’ll want to make again and again.
Check out this recipe

13. Chicken and Leek Pie

chicken and leek pie on a platter

Chicken and Leek Pie
This chicken and leek pie is fantastic! Flaky crusty and a delicious filling, it's the perfect dish for serving to guests.
Check out this recipe

14. Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew

romanian chicken recipes

Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew
This is one of the most traditional Romanian chicken stews: chicken and peas stew. A very popular dish with children, just like the grandma used to make.
Check out this recipe

15. Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake

chicken and bacon pasta bake

Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake
Creamy chicken and bacon pasta bake with cheese and sour cream, this pasta bake has the potential to become a family favorite.
Check out this recipe

16. Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

two pieces of enchiladas on a plate

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
These sour cream chicken enchiladas are the best enchiladas I have ever eaten. You can make them with leftover chicken.
Check out this recipe

17. Chicken and Ham Pie

chicken and ham pie with puff pastry

Chicken and Ham Pie
Traditional English cooking: chicken and ham pie with peas, a luscious white sauce and puff pastry.
Check out this recipe

18. Romanian Boeuf Salad

Romanian salad de boeuf decorated with mayonnaise and olives

Romanian Boeuf Salad
Romanian boeuf salad or Salata de boeuf is probably the most famous Romanian salad, traditionally served Easter and Christmas.
Check out this recipe

19. Romanian Pilaf

chicken rice and vegetables in large serving dish

Romanian Pilaf with Chicken and Vegetable
Sticky, soft Romanian pilaf or rice with chicken and vegetables, this is traditional Romanian comfort food at its best!
Check out this recipe

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.

jar full of golden freshly rendered fat

How to Render Turkey Fat
Learn how to render turkey fat and make turkey cracklings. Clean, natural, whole-food, perfect for using in cooking and baking.
Check out this recipe

How to Cook Turkey Liver

turkey liver served with mashed potatoes and onion apple sauce on a white plate

How to Cook Turkey Liver
Turkey liver with onions, apples, and mashed potatoes, this is the most delicious way of cooking turkey liver.
Check out this recipe

I hope you will try some of these delicious leftover turkey recipes!

collage of four pictures of soup, pot pie, sandwich and risotto maked with turkey.

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