turkey on farm at sunset

Leftover Turkey Recipes (more than 50)

Leftover Turkey Recipes: Newly Revised for November 2015

Since you might need leftover turkey recipes after your holiday gathering we have expanded this section to make sure that any turkey left hanging around doesn't go to waste. With the following ideas you won't feel like you are eating the same food over and over.

We always buy more turkey than we need for the feast just so we will have leftovers. And when we don't have leftover turkey we buy pieces of turkey to use in these recipes.

Rachael Turkey Sandwich

Rachael Turkey Sandwich

Leftover Turkey Safety

  • Refrigerate all leftovers immediately following the meal

  • Use shallow containers so that leftovers cool more quickly

  • Refrigerated turkey should be used within 3 - 4 days

  • Stuffing and gravy should be used within 1 - 2 days

  • Leftovers may be frozen but should be used within 2-6 months for best quality.

Most Popular Leftover Turkey Recipes

The five most popular leftover turkey recipes are:

  • Turkey Sandwich

  • Turkey Soup

  • Turkey Casserole

  • Turkey Stir Fry

  • Turkey Salad

There are many leftover turkey recipes for each of the above categories, and we have some new categories too.

All of the recipes on this page use already cooked turkey. The turkey may be leftover from your feast or bought fully cooked. For many of these recipes you can use deli style turkey or other fully cooked turkey pieces. These are not just ways to get rid of turkey, these are good dishes that you will want throughout the year.

If you have a favorite leftover turkey recipe or a special side dish that you would be willing to share please go this page and share.

Turkey Breakfast - Leftover Turkey Recipes

Turkey and Waffles:turkey, waffles, and a syrup of your choosing.

Turkey Omelet: omelet filled with turkey, cranberries and other leftovers.

Hash Browns and Turkey: Hash Brown Potatoes mixed with shredded turkey and topped with an egg.

Turkey Red Flannel Hash: Here is another leftover turkey recipe to start your breakfast, brunch, or lunch the day after the feast. This is a cousin to Hash Browns and Turkey and was a dish actually created to use up leftovers. CLICK HERE for recipe.

Monte Christo: This is both a breakfast and a sandwich. CLICK HERE for recipe. Don't forget the maple syrup.

Red Flannel Hash


Turkey Sandwiches - Leftover Turkey Recipes

This can be as simple as putting pieces of leftover turkey on white bread with mayonnaise and maybe some lettuce. This one is all about the turkey with maybe some nostalgia mixed in.

Turkey likes cheese, so if we have cheese left over, turkey and swiss, american, or cheddar, as well as many others make a good Turkey Cheese Sandwich. And if we saved leftover ham, turkey, ham, and cheese - maybe with lettuce mayo and or mustard works to make a Turkey Ham and Cheese Sandwich.

How about a Pilgrim's Sandwich - this leftover turkey recipe was designed to create a sandwich to use your leftovers. It consists of turkey, cheese, dressing, cranberry sauce and any other leftovers you might have between two slices of bread. Called the Bobbie at Capriotti's restaurant in Delaware, a turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayo sandwich on a sub is their signature dish and it was acclaimed best sandwich in Delaware.

But don't confuse the Pilgrim’s Sandwich above with Pilgrim’s Sandwich Spread - Click Here to check that out on a different web site.

Another classic combination is Brie and Turkey on Sourdough Baguette: Cut the baguette lengthwise. Spread honey mustard on both sides. Add turkey, Brie sliced to 1/8th inch, crumbled bacon , tomato, and lettuce. This classic sandwich sometimes contains fruit (apple or pear) or a spread such as apple butter. It can be toasted or grilled.

Want to get more complex? Try a Cubano! In the previous sandwich change the lettuce to a pickle, make the bread a hero bread. Mix mayo and mustard put Swiss cheese, cooked ham, dill pickle (cut in half lengthwise) and turkey on the bread. Heat a cast-iron skillet. Butter the outside of the sandwich on both sides, place sandwich into skillet and press down with another skillet to flatten the Cubano. Cook 2 minutes on each side.

Hot Brown with not too much work, try an old fashioned favorite, the CLICK HERE for the Hot Brown Recipe.

Turkey Sub: just turkey slices on a sub (hoagie) roll with anything you like. Think about - but don't be limited to such items as: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, olives, and pickles. Top with a sauce such as a vinaigrette, mayonnaise, mustard, or your favorite salad dressing.

Turkey French Dip Sandwich: You went to the trouble of cooking a turkey, and you have the drippings. Some of those drippings will probably go into a gravy, but consider saving some for “au jus”. Turkey on a French roll with a side of its own de-fatted cooking juice is an overlooked leftover. There is nothing easier than the Turkey French Dip Sandwich once you have gone to the trouble of roasting a turkey.

Turkey, Avocado, Cheddar Melt: the name is the recipe and a sourdough baguette or sub roll works well..

TLT - Turkey, Lettuce, and Tomato: substitute the turkey for the bacon of a traditional BLT. This is especially good with smoked turkey.

Turkey BLT: add turkey to a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato (this time include the bacon.)

Turkey Club Sandwich: Three slices of toast each slathered on one side with mayonnaise. Place lettuce, tomato, and turkey slices on the bottom - then the second toast slice - then layer tomato and bacon on the top. You can also use other sauces like Dijon mustard. Ham and cheese are also sometimes used on a club. Cut the stack into 4 triangles and hold together with toothpicks.

Monte Cristo: Turkey and cheese sandwich on French toast. We listed this under breakfasts, but it is also a popular anytime sandwich. CLICK HERE for the Monte Cristo recipe. Put maple syrup on this sandwich and you get what the Business Insider listed as the best sandwich from New Hampshire.

Vermonter: Speaking of state sandwiches, the Vermonter is a turkey or ham and turkey sandwich with Vermont cheddar cheese, and sliced apples.

Turkey Wraps: use your favorite flatbread and wrap it around shredded turkey and other ingredients of your choice.

Lettuce Turkey Wraps: Even lighter, use lettuce leaves to wrap shredded turkey with Thai or Chinese ingredients. CLICK HERE for some Turkey Wrap suggestions.

Rachael Sandwich: a Ruben with turkey instead of corned beef – sometimes a Rachael also switches the sauerkraut to coleslaw. So, a Rachel is turkey on rye bread, with swiss cheese and sauerkraut (or coleslaw), with Russian or thousand island dressing. It is best when heated.

Naked Rachael: Naked Rachael – a sandwich without the bread. Okay maybe that isn't a sandwich, but it is closely related to one. This came about when we had leftover turkey and wanted to make a Rachael but didn’t have rye bread. Just skip the rye bread, serve the turkey with sauerkraut (or coleslaw), and a tomato salad with Russian dressing. We have since made this, even though we had rye bread, when we wanted something other than than a sandwich. We just serve the rye bread on the side slathered with butter and salted. Thanks to Loretta for the name.

Sloppy Tom: This changes the taste of the turkey by adding barbeque flavor. Just shred leftover turkey and heat it in a pan with barbeque sauce. Serve it on a bun with coleslaw, maybe with baked beans on the side. (You can make really good baked beans with turkey tails.)

Pulled Turkey With Alabama White Sauce: Similar to the above, but instead of regular barbeque sauce use Alabama White Sauce as found on this page.

Turkey Salad Sandwich: see turkey salad below under salad. Put it on bread to make this sandwich.

Turkey Soup - Leftover Turkey Recipes

There are as many turkey soups as there are combinations of ingredients that you can think to add. And on the day of or the day following the stripping of the turkey carcass, you have an instant soup starter.

Here are some of the more popular turkey soups, but use them as inspiration. Soup, especially a soup made after a feast is about producing great taste while using up leftovers. So, be creative.

Turkey soup makes the most of the turkey because it extracts flavor from the bones. The reason for the 2 stage cooking process, cooking - straining - and cooking again, is to develop flavor, remove all of the bones from the soup, and then to add back new vegetables that don't have all of the flavor and texture cooked out of them.

Turkey Vegetable Soup: For 6 to 8 servings: pick most of the meat from the frame of your turkey and refrigerate the meat.

Cut the carcass into sections and place the bones in a large stockpot (about 12 quarts).

Add one onion chopped, two carrots chopped, two celery stalks cleaned and chopped, two bay leaves and just enough water to cover the turkey. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for one to two hours.

Strain the liquid. That is your Turkey Stock.

Now add vegetables. Consider any vegetables left over from the turkey dinner; or saute a chopped onion, two carrots, two celery stalks and/or add a frozen bag of mixed vegetables. Add a couple cloves of garlic, chopped. Now add a starch such as 2 cups of diced cooked potatoes, or rice, or pasta.

Add 2 to 3 cups of leftover turkey, chopped. Cook this for 10 to 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you use noodles Instead of the potatoes, you have Turkey Noodle Soup.

Or, add rice instead for Turkey Rice Soup.

Turkey Chowder: There are lots of different types of chowder, and if you have a favorite chowder recipe just add turkey to your own. CLICK HERE for one of ours.

Turkey Posole: A turkey and hominy soup. CLICK HERE for a recipe

Turkey Casserole - Leftover Turkey Recipes

Why are turkey casseroles so popular? They give turkey a different persona, it stretches the leftovers, and it is easy to make. After a major holiday cooking extravaganza, we can be excused for wanting to relax, and make a simple one dish meal.

If you have a favorite turkey casserole or any other leftover turkey recipes that you would like to share please go the bottom of this page. We would really appreciate your input.

Next Day Casserole

This one serves 6

3 cups diced cooked turkey

3 cups cubed white bread

8 ounces shredded swiss cheese

1 tablespoon all-purpose white flour

1 tablespoon prepared mustard (Dijon or Creole work well)

3 tablespoons butter (melted)

3 cups milk 4 large eggs, beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Butter a casserole dish and add the turkey, bread, and cheese into the baking dish. Mix other ingredients in another bowl. Pour mixed liquid into the casserole dish. Stir to mix thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Turkey Divan: This is the broccoli casserole with turkey and Mornay sauce. Butter your casserole dish and line the bottom with buttered toast. Cover the toast with cooked sliced or shredded turkey breast pieces. Cover the turkey with a layer of leftover cooked broccoli or asparagus. Pour as much Mornay sauce over the broccoli as you wish. Older recipes called for as much as 2 cups, you may want to cut back. If you need a recipe for the Morley sauce we have one HERE which is part of the Hot Brown Sandwich recipe.

Turkey Lasagna

Lasagna is a casserole dish made all times of the year, and turkey lasagna can be superb. You won't feel at all like you are eating leftovers with our Lasagna recipe HERE.

Turkey Stir Fry - Leftover Turkey Recipes

Simple Turkey Stir Fry: just heat oil in a skillet or wok and stir fry ingredients that you like maybe onion and a mixture of vegetables. Add the pre-cooked turkey pieces along with a stir fry sauce just long enough to reheat them.

Want a more detailed a recipe? Here is one of our favorites. it serves 2 to 3.

Woodland Turkey Stir-fry

This quick stir-fry brings together a great mix of flavors for leftover turkey. It is prepared in a large skillet or wok and can serve two to three as a main course.

Quantities of each ingredient can be varied according to your

8 oz Skinless, Boneless cooked Turkey cut into
bite-sized pieces
1 medium Yellow Onions – 1 medium sliced thin
6 oz Baby Bella or Shitake Mushrooms diced ¼” thick
⅔ cup Dried Cranberries
3 Tbs oil, peanut or sesame oil preferred
¼ cup Walnuts or Hazelnuts - chopped (optional)
½ tsp salt - (about)
Pepper – fresh ground to taste

1 Slice, cut and chop all the ingredients in advance and place them within easy reach of your cook top.

2 Pre-heat a large skillet or wok for at least a minute on medium high heat.

3 Add 3 tablespoons of the oil, carefully tilt the skillet or wok to coat the sides and bottom.

4 Add the sliced onions and diced mushrooms to the hot pan. Sprinkle all the salt stir the ingredients. Cook for slightly over one minute or just until the onions become translucent.

5 Add the dried cranberries and the turkey pieces, then sir-fry until the turkey has been gently heated. You are not cooking the turkey here so just barely heat it or don't heat it at all and just cover with the warm sauce in step 8.

6 Remove from the heat, stir in the Walnuts or Hazel nuts.

7 Add fresh ground pepper to taste.

8 Serve this dish immediately with a side of white rice, wild rice or a mixture of the two.

Turkey Chow Mein

Use Canned Chow Mein noodles as a base and layer with stir fried onions, celery, broccoli, carrots, and sprouts. Add the turkey near the end of the stir frying because you are just heating it, not cooking it.

Turkey Salad - Leftover Turkey Recipes

Turkey Salad Sandwich: This is the traditional meat salad served on crackers, bread, or buns.

For 6 servings: combine 2 cups of turkey, 2/3 cup chopped celery, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup green onions thinly sliced, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.Add salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey Waldorf Salad: To serve 6: Place into a bowl 2 cups of turkey, 2 medium apples cut into chunks (coated with lemon juice to prevent browning), 2 cups of small seedless grapes (halved), 2 celery sticks cut into matchsticks, and 1/4 cup walnut pieces. For the dressing, mix 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 Tablespoon yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix the dressing with the salad ingredients in the bowl. Serve on loose lettuce leaves.

Turkey Cobb Salad: (Serves 4 – 6) On a large platter place ½ cup iceberg lettuce, ½ cup of romaine lettuce and  ½ bunch watercress – all chopped and mixed together. Line up several or all of the following ingredients in rows over the top of the greens:  1 cup cooked turkey breast diced, 1 cup of sliced smoked ham cut into ½ inch strips, 6 strips of bacon chopped, 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 cups of tomatoes chopped, 1 avocado diced, ½ cup blue cheese. When ready to serve drizzle the salad with a vinaigrette.

Turkey Mini-Cobb Salad: There is no need to include all of the ingredients, and there is no need to always line them up in neat rows. Just think of cubes of roasted turkey as the main ingredient on the bed of greens, joined by a few other ingredients that you like, and drizzled with any dressing that you enjoy.

Turkey Pasta Salad: Mix cubed cooked turkey with cooked and cooled pasta. Any pasta can be used - perhaps macaroni, rotini, or rotelle. Add broccoli florets or other chopped vegetables. Other ingredients can include sweet onion, celery, dried cranberries, or raisins. Top this with a vinaigrette or other salad dressing.

Mexican Inspired - Leftover Turkey Recipes

Turkeys originated in the  Americas, so it isn’t surprising that there are many Mexican recipes that work so well with turkey.

Turkey Taco: Fill a Taco shell or other type of tortilla with lettuce, shredded cooked turkey, tomato, onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, and top with a hot sauce. Of course you can fill it with anything you like. This is a very versatile and popular dish.

Turkey Quesadillas: flour or corn tortilla with shredded cheese and shredded turkey. Heat the tortilla, spread the turkey on top and sprinkle on the cheese. Continue to heat until the cheese is melted. Add other ingredients you like such as refried beans, guacamole, vegetables, and onions. Fold it in half and serve hot.

Turkey Burritos: flour tortilla steamed to soften and wrapped around turkey, rice, refried beans, lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc.

Turkey Chimichangas: similar to a burrito, but folded into a packet after being filled with turkey rice, and cheese. The packet is then deep fried. Chimichangas are often served with salsa, extra cheese and sour cream.

Turkey Nachos: tortilla chips heated (this even works in a microwave) with turkey, cheese, sliced jalapeno peppers.

Turkey Enchilada: Pour ½ cup of enchilada sauce in a 9x13 in. casserole dish. Dip corn tortilla in enchilada sauce to coat both sides. Put filling in the center of the tortilla, roll up enchilada and place it in the casserole dish. The enchilada filling can consist of shredded or chopped turkey, onion, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, peppers, beans, cilantro and a portion of the enchilada sauce. Make as many enchiladas as desired and line them up next to each other in the casserole dish. Cover with more enchilada sauce and Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F or 180 C.

More Dishes

Turkey a la King (8 servings)

3 1/2 lbs. cooked turkey pieces, light and dark meat, cut into 2 inch strips

2 cups white sauce made by making a roux of 4 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and adding 2 cups of hot cream (whisk to incorporate cream for a smooth sauce)

1 cup turkey stock

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 green pepper, sliced into thin strips

1 pimiento, cut into small pieces

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup dry Sherry (optional)

salt, pepper,and paprika to taste

2 egg yolks

Make white sauce in a cooking pan as described above, add turkey stock and continue whisking to blend. Set aside and keep warm. Saute green pepper and mushrooms in butter until soft and add them to the white sauce blend. Stir in wine, if using it. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. When ready to serve, add the turkey pieces. Next, beat egg yolks with a little water, pour some sauce over the yolks, then add the egg yolk mixture to the pan. Cook for one minute longer. Serve over toast or in Patty Shells.

Turkey Hash (4 servings)

2 cups turkey diced

1/2 cup cubed potatoes

1 cup turkey gravy or other sauce

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Just heat the turkey and potatoes in the sauce and garnish with the parsley.

St. Stephen's Day Pie

Here is an Irish dish made to use up leftovers, in this case turkey dinner leftovers. St. Stephen's Day is the day after Christmas. This dish uses up the leftover turkey and ham. It is similar to a cottage pie aka shepard's pie but it is made with turkey and ham. Just make turkey hash as above but add a cup of leftover diced ham, and a cup of onions, chopped and sauteed. Put the mixture either in one large baking dish or several individual baking dishes, cover with mashed potatoes, coat with melted butter, and place in the oven until the potatoes are browned.

Turkey Chili

Just use any chili recipe and add cubed cooked turkey near the end of the cooking process. Do not boil the chili after the turkey is added.

Turkey Rissoles

Mix 2 cups cooked turkey (chopped very fine) and 1 cup of breadcrumbs, and 1 tablespoon of onion (chopped fine.) Season mixture with salt, pepper, and herbs, such as sage, to taste. Add turkey stock, or turkey gravy and one beaten egg to moisten the mixture, then form it into small cakes or a loaf. Put the cake or loaf into a shallow pan and moisten the top with gravy. Bake in a 350 F or 180 C. oven for 30 minutes until it is warmed throughout and begins to brown. Serve with gravy or a tomato sauce.

Do Over Dinner

If you have all of the other leftovers, enjoy the meal a second time. There is no reason not to celebrate with a re-heated mini version of the traditional holiday meal - later that day or the following day.



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