Thursday, June 01, 2023
For men, women, and teens

Best easy Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipes

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You've hosted Thanksgiving, it's over, and your guests have a full stomach and full hearts. But what about all the turkey leftovers? Don't worry - we've got you covered. No need to keep eating slabs of reheated turkey over and over again! These meals are full of variety, and no-one will feel like they're eating endless turkey, even if they are.

Before starting

First of all, let's be certain about food safety. If you can do so on the day, package up turkey leftovers into separate freezer bags and keep them in the freezer.

The best way to do this for a family of 4 is to use quart-sized freezer bags, and fill them half to three-quarters full of turkey, then store in the freezer. (For a family where the kids are young and don't eat much, use sandwich-sized freezer bags and fill them almost full.) The stored turkey needn't be in slab form; small shredded bits are perfectly fine for all of these recipes. You can see how you would easily be able to make the most of every last bit of turkey you cooked this way.

If it's already the day after Thanksgiving and all the turkey is in one giant container in the fridge, don't worry; separate it out now into bags as described above; keep one bag in the fridge for today and freeze the rest.

Recipes for Thanksgiving turkey leftovers

Turkey tetrazzini

turkey tetrazzini

For those who love traditional-style foods but still want something different from a Thanksgiving meal, turkey tetrazzini is the way to go. This turkey tetrazzini recipe is a great way to cook an all-in-one meal in the oven, so you don't need to add side items or use more dishes.

Turkey chili

turkey chili

On a cold day, a big pot of warm chili is just the ticket for everyong to gather around the table and have some togetherness. Try this turkey chili recipe, or simply use your regular chili recipe and replace the beef with shredded turkey.

Turkey pizza

turkey pizza

Make home-made pizza and use your shredded turkey as one of the toppings. Both kid-friendly and adult-friendly, this is a safe bet for picky eaters.

If you don't have a go-to pizza recipe for making from scratch, try this one at baked by rachel. If you're not into making the dough from scratch (I get it! - it's time-consuming), simply buy ready-made pizza bases at the store and just do the toppings as described in the recipe.

Turkey enchiladas

turkey enchiladas

Fixing enchiladas is a fantastic way to make turkey seem very different to what you ate on Thanksgiving day. Your family will appreciate the variety.

To make it, just use this enchilada recipe from, but replace the chicken with turkey. I like to add sliced black olives to the mix along with the black beans, but you can leave that up to personal taste.

Turkey and dumpling soup

turkey soup

A hearty meal perfect for the colder season of Thanksgiving, this turkey and dumpling soup recipe lets you make delicious comfort food your family will love. You'll need to make sure your dumpling dough is fairly dry in texture so that it cooks fully into fluffy dumplings; be certain to cook it for long enough, as described in the recipe.


You don't need to resort to eating re-runs of the Thanksgiving meal. The recipes above give a variety of flavorful options for using up Thanksgiving leftovers. Enjoy!

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