What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

Get ahead of your Thanksgiving leftovers with these easy leftover turkey recipe ideas!

It’s not like you can make turkey for two.

Heck, even if you make turkey for eight… you’ll have enough leftovers to fill the fridge.

What to do…what to do?

After that first cold turkey sandwich it’s hard to plan enough fresh meals that include turkey without everyone losing their minds!

To the RESCUE! Here’s a new twist on ways to re-mix your turkey, stuffing, gravy veggies and even cranberry sauce into some FUN treats and there’s nary a casserole in the mix!

Mayo Salady THINGS

Pesto Turkey Salad

Place bite-sized chunks of leftover turkey, diced celery, green onions, and diced fennel in a bowl.

Combine mayo with a tablespoon or two of pesto. Pour the pesto dressing over the turkey and veggies.

You can add leftover fresh fruit (like chopped apple or sliced grapes) and a bit of basil to freshen everything. Toss to coat.

Serve on leafy lettuce or in a tomato or avocado half.

Sandwichy THINGS

Thanksgiving Panini

Layer leftover turkey, leftover veggies (like green beans or sliced Brussels sprouts) onto a thick slice of bread.

Top with your favorite cheese (I like Brie for this). Spread some cranberry sauce on the second slice of bread and top the sandwich. Brush the bread with olive oil and place into your panini maker.

Toast until golden, crisp and the cheese is melting.

Turkey Pinwheels

Lay a flour tortilla flat and brush with mayo. Lay slices of Swiss cheese on the tortilla. Add a column of diced leftover turkey, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, and chopped tomatoes.

Roll up the tortilla over the filling. Slice into 1-inch pinwheels.

Mix a spoonful of cranberry sauce into a couple of spoonsful of Thousand Island dressing and you have the perfect dipping sauce for your pinwheels.


Turkey Pithivier

A pithivier is a round, enclosed pie usually made by baking two disks of puff pastry, stuffed with your favorite filling. It looks like a UFO disk with swirls on the top. If this is a tad fancy for your tastes, shape yours into rectangles and call these popovers!

Roll out a sheet of puff pastry. Cut into 4 large disks or 6 rectangles. Spread some leftover cranberry sauce onto 2 of the disks and add finely diced leftover turkey.

Top with leftover veggies (I used chopped kale). Top with a pile of grated Gruyere cheese. Place a second piece of pastry over the top. Use a fork to seal the pastry.

Make a small hole in the center. With the tip of a sharp knife draw swirling lines from the center to the edge. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash.

Bake at 400° until golden about 15 minutes.

Turkey Quesadilla

Layer a tortilla with cheddar cheese. Top with leftover turkey. Sprinkle with diced onions, diced bell pepper and diced, pickled jalapeno pepper. Top with another tortilla. Coat the bottom of skillet with olive oil.

Cook the quesadilla in the oil until golden on one side. Carefully flip and cook on the second side, about 5 minutes total cooking time. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Spruce up the salsa by adding a spoonful or two of leftover cranberry sauce.

Buffalo Turkey Dip

In a pot over low heat combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, diced celery, diced leftover turkey and a whole bunch of hot sauce. When everything is gooey and melted together, pour into a serving dish. Serve with tortilla chips.

Turkey Jalapeno Poppers

Take the dip from the last recipe and stuff it into jalapeno peppers that you have stemmed and deveined.

Coat these in bread crumbs and fry in oil. Oh, yum yum!

Turkey Nachos

Layer a tortilla chip (Scoops work well here) with a bit of refried beans. Top with finely diced turkey. Top this with shredded cheddar cheese. Heat in a microwave until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes on high.

Top the nachos with sour cream, salsa, and pickled jalapeno peppers.

Simple Supper THINGS

Turkey and Waffles

Heat leftover turkey chunks in leftover gravy. Make your favorite waffle batter. Stir in a couple of spoonsful of leftover stuffing into the batter.

Pour the waffle batter into the waffle iron and cook until crisp.

Serve the warmed turkey and gravy over the waffles. Top with a drizzle of maple syrup and a drop or two (or more) of hot pepper sauce..

Turkey Soup

Cut the meat from the turkey. Place the bones into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least an hour. Drain the liquid through a colander into a large bowl. Discard the bones.

Add some olive oil to the pot. Add an onion, diced, and cook until soft. Add any leftover veggies you have and the turkey. Pour in the stock. Season with all your favorite seasonings. Add in the turkey.

At this point you can add rice or noodles for a heartier soup. For a thicker soup, you can stir in a bit of leftover mashed potatoes.

Turkey Cakes

Place leftover turkey into the bowl of a food processor. Add leftover stuffing. Add some onion and bell pepper. Pulse to combine. Add an egg. Form into cakes. Dredge the cakes in breadcrumbs, coating both sides. Saute in olive oil in a skillet until golden on both sides.

Make a sauce of leftover cranberry sauce mixed with plain yogurt, fresh basil, sweet pickle relish and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve the turkey cakes with a dollop of sauce.

Fun Things: Crackers!

Take your leftover dinner rolls and cut them into thin slices. Place these onto a baking sheet. Mix melted butter, garlic powder, paprika, minced fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese together.

Brush this onto the thin slices of roll. Place under a broiler until golden, just a minute or two.

Tried it? Tell us!

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