Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Best easy recipes using leftover turkey

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

Thanksgiving roast turkey on a dish

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!) Here's what to do with leftover turkey.

How to safely divide up and store your leftover turkey

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.) It needn't be in slab form; small shredded bits are perfectly fine for all of these recipes with leftover turkey. 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.

Here are the best easy leftover turkey recipes. There are plenty of different options so that you can go for something traditional to something more unusual and back again depending on everyone's tastes. There's enough variety for a whole week of meals here - no more wondering what to make with leftover turkey.

Leftover turkey recipe ideas

All of these ideas for leftover turkey are easy and tasty - no-one will even realize they're still eating leftovers!

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, use this shredded turkey pizza recipe at baked by rachel. If you're not into making the dough from scratch (I get it! - it's time-consuming), simply buy a ready-made pizza base at the store and just do the toppings as described in the recipe.

Turkey chili

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

Pastry-topped turkey casserole

Reminiscent of a chicken pot pie, this pastry-topped turkey casserole recipe will have everyone clamoring for more. To keep it easy, I recommend using store-bought pastry for the topping instead of making your own.

Turkey fried rice

There's no need to make sides when you fix this delicious all-in-one turkey fried rice dish. If you're looking for healthy turkey leftover recipes, this is for you. Best of all, it's quick and easy to make and requires very little in the way of ingredients.

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. This is perfect if you're looking for leftover turkey pasta recipes.

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 Skinny Taste, but replace the chicken with turkey. When I make it I prefer to replace the regular onion with sliced green onions but you can leave that up to personal taste. This is one of my favorite turkey leftover ideas.

Turkey and dumpling 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. You've got plenty of flavorful options with these leftover Thanksgiving recipes - in fact, you can use these as a menu plan for a week. Enjoy!

There's no real need for sides with any of these recipes, but if you're looking for a side item that will go well with any of these meals, I recommend our garlic bread recipe - it's fast, cheap and easy.

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