If you’ve ever cooked a turkey, you know that turkey leftovers are a given.
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The good thing is that having leftover turkey after a holiday dinner is a good thing. First of all, you can eat yummy leftovers for a few days, but also, you can freeze up this leftover turkey in zipped freezer bags. Then, you have cooked turkey ready to make easy weeknight dinners.
But have you spent a lot of time wondering what to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey?
Well, you’re not alone.
The holiday season brings with it a festive atmosphere and delicious feasts that often result in an abundance of leftovers. One of the most common dishes to have a surplus of is turkey, which is a staple in many holiday dinners. Transforming leftover turkey into creative and mouthwatering meals is not only a great way to minimize food waste, but also a fantastic opportunity to experiment with new recipes.
Reinventing turkey leftovers can be a delightful culinary adventure, allowing home cooks to explore various flavors and techniques that will undoubtedly impress family and friends. By incorporating diverse ingredients and seasonings, it becomes possible to create a variety of enticing dishes that are bound to satisfy any palate.
From comforting soups and sandwiches to scrumptious salads and casseroles, the possibilities for repurposing leftover turkey are truly endless.
After you make turkey salad, turkey sandwiches, turkey chili, and turkey tetrazzini, what are some more turkey leftover ideas?
Here’s another way to look at it. Leftover roast turkey is an absolute blessing.
There are tons of great leftover turkey recipes and we are all over them.
Here, we have compiled the 34 best leftover turkey recipes we could find. Enjoy!
There is nothing better than a delicious sandwich made with chicken salad.
Well, there is one thing that’s just as good. The same sandwich made with leftover turkey.
It seems like every family has their own favorite turkey salad or chicken salad recipe. However, this one is worth a try because it’s a bit unusual.
The secret to this turkey salad is the Dijon mustard and just a bit of sugar.
We like to add some dried cranberries and walnuts to our turkey salad. It’s a delicious fall treat!
It’s basically a given. Anytime we have leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken, a big old pot of dumplings is going to be simmering on the stove.
The fact is, anything you can do with cooked chicken, you can also do with turkey and turkey and dumplings is one of our favorite leftover turkey recipes. That includes turkey and dumplings.
These dumplings are delicious fluffy buttermilk dumplings that float to the top. They’re just that light.
This recipe has a secret ingredient: apple cider. The apple cider adds a touch of sweetness and incredible flavor.
If you don’t want to make dumplings, you can always use canned biscuits, but we encourage you to give these homemade dumplings a try.
To make this delicious turkey pot pie soup, you use your own homemade turkey stock.
If you don’t have the ingredients to make turkey broth, you can also use canned chicken broth. It’s just as delicious in this soup.
This hearty soup has all of the wonderful ingredients that you would find in a turkey pot pie, but it’s all made in a steaming pot of soup on your stovetop.
We recommend Yukon Gold potatoes for this soup, and the soup gets even more Thanksgiving flavor from the fresh sage.
We’ve covered nearly every other cuisine in this list of leftover turkey recipes, so let’s go ahead and do an Asian-inspired leftover turkey recipe.
These turkey eggrolls are stuffed full of delicious turkey and served with a decadent cranberry dipping sauce.
This recipe also calls for leftover mashed potatoes and leftover dressing, so it’s like a Thanksgiving dinner all wrapped up in a delicious egg roll wrapper.
The tangy cranberry sauce dip has orange zest and orange juice, so it has a delightful zing.
The golden-brown egg roll is super crispy and oh-so-satisfying.
A traditional shepherd’s pie casserole is usually made with lamb. However, the U.S. has created its own tradition by making this classic English casserole with ground beef.
When a shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef, it’s actually a cottage pie, but there’s no need to argue over semantics.
What we know is that shepherd’s pie (or cottage pie) is delicious no matter what type of meat you use.
How about using leftover turkey? It makes an utterly unique and perfectly cheesy shepherd’s pie.
You can make your mashed potatoes for this casserole from scratch or use instant potatoes. Either one makes this an excellent dish.
A hugely popular Russian recipe, stroganoff was made popular in the U.S. after World War II.
The traditional recipe usually has mushrooms and tender beef that’s served in a luscious creamy sour cream sauce.
Since turkey doesn’t have beef’s stronger flavor, this recipe calls for some savory turkey gravy and extra herbs like fresh thyme.
You can use any type of mushroom you like. Cremini or button mushrooms are perfect for turkey stroganoff.
Serve this amazing dish over egg noodles. You can also serve it with rice.
When you’re craving Mexican food and flavors, how about serving up nice steaming bowls of turkey tortilla soup?
This traditional Mexican soup is full of delicious veggies like corn, tomatoes, chiles, and beans. In other words, it has everything that makes Mexican food so amazing.
Serve this smoked turkey soup the traditional way with crumbled tortilla chips on top.
Also, feel free to sprinkle on some Jack cheese or shredded cheddar cheese to make this soup extra tasty.
Serve this soup with diced avocado and sour cream that you and your guests can spoon on top of the soup.
Everyone loves Tex-Mex food. With tons of cheesy goodness and plenty of spice, how can anyone resist?
Well, we’ve got an interesting twist for you: Thanksgiving quesadillas, which is a super easy leftover turkey recipe.
Quesadillas are famously easy to make. Basically, you take two large tortillas and add whatever ingredients you love. Bam! A delicious dinner or snack.
You can make quesadillas with nearly anything, so why not leftover turkey and leftover stuffing?
Just be sure to include plenty of delicious shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
Serve these yummy quesadillas with cranberry sauce and leftover gravy.
A leftover turkey casserole is nearly as timeless as Thanksgiving dinner itself.
When this turkey casserole is pulled from the oven, it’s comfort food at its finest.
The turkey is diced and mixed up with frozen peas, rotini pasta, cream of chicken soup, and cream of mushroom soup.
We love that you don’t have to pre-cook the rotini for this yummy casserole. It cooks along with everything else.
You can also customize this casserole with different creamed soups. For example, cream of celery soup is delicious.
Also, you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand.
One of the challenges of cooking a huge holiday meal is what to do with all of the delicious leftovers.
These crepes make use of both leftover turkey and leftover stuffing or dressing.
Even better, you can also use up your leftover mashed potatoes because mashed potatoes are used to make the crepe batter.
For the filling, you use your leftover turkey meat, leftover stuffing, and that wonderful homemade (or canned) cranberry sauce.
Top these delicious crepes with turkey drizzle and more cranberry sauce. The result is a meal fit for a king!
This recipe for turkey enchiladas is customizable because you can use leftover turkey to make it. However, you can also use ground turkey.
That’s a good thing because once you have these enchiladas once, you’re going to want to make them again.
The enchiladas are topped with an easy-to-make enchilada sauce and tons of melty cheese.
Perfectly seasoned with ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried oregano, these enchiladas will melt in your mouth.
When your enchiladas are done, serve them with cilantro, diced onions, and sour cream.
The Monte Cristo is a classic sandwich that is traditionally made with ham. However, this turkey version is giving ham a run for its money!
You can use any type of white bread you like, and gluten-free white bread will even work perfectly.
The recipe calls for Swiss cheese, and that’s what really makes a Monte Cristo sandwich special.
The recipe author includes an amazing recipe for a ginger-laced orange sauce that is made with cranberries. This sauce brings on the perfect balance between savory and sweet.
Goodness, this looks delicious, doesn’t it?
A list of the best leftover turkey recipes would be incomplete without leftover turkey and gravy.
Using leftover turkey to make a delicious turkey and gravy dish is an idea that we can all agree on.
For this recipe, you only need two ingredients. Yep, you read that right!
This turkey and gravy recipe uses your leftover turkey and a jar of turkey gravy that you buy at the store.
Your family will think you’ve been slaving over the stove for two days in a row to make this dish.
Serve this up with some veggies or a salad. Also, a baked potato, mashed potato, or rice make this a wonderful and memorable meal.
Biscuits and gravy are the ultimate comfort foods. If you’ve ever had this classic breakfast or dinner meal with sausage, you know just how comforting it is.
But we have something special in store for you. Try making your cream gravy with turkey instead of sausage.
It’s so delicious, you will want to make it all throughout the year, not just when you have Thanksgiving leftovers.
You can make homemade biscuits or use a canned or frozen biscuit. Either way, you’ve got a delicious meal that can be served at any time of the day.
It seems like you can make tasty tacos out of nearly anything, and we’re not even mad about it.
Who doesn’t love tacos, right?
All you need to make these perfect tacos is your leftover shredded turkey, some sauteed onion and jalapeno, and some cranberry sauce to make cranberry chutney.
These turkey tacos get their seasoning from chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Be sure to have all of the usual taco fixings on hand, including diced onions, cilantro, avocado (or guacamole), and sour cream. Some fresh salsa is nice to have, too.
You’ve probably had salmon patties, but did you know you can make equally yummy turkey patties with leftover turkey?
These patties are made with potatoes and they’re the perfect way to serve up the Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers.
To make these patties moist and creamy, the recipe calls for cream cheese. Also, the shredded cheddar cheese adds its own brand of goodness.
Season with garlic powder and onion powder, along with some sea salt and black pepper, for absolute perfection.
Serve these patties with a side salad or some steamed veggies.
17. Turkey Orzo Soup
When you’ve got a one-pot soup that’s ready in less than an hour, what’s not to love?
Also, this delicious turkey soup recipe uses orzo pasta, so the texture is amazing and this soup is hearty as well as savory.
You get plenty of veggies into your family with this steaming pot of soup, including carrots, celery, and onion.
The flavoring comes from the veggies, but a little bit of lemon juice adds a delightful and unexpected flavor to the soup.
Serve this soup with some fresh bread and your family will be delighted.
A timeless after-Thanksgiving dish, turkey tetrazzini is created with tender leftover turkey meat, mushrooms in a deliciously creamy sauce, and pasta.
For this recipe, you can use any type of pasta, but linguine is the traditional pasta used.
To make this turkey tetrazzini super creamy, use two cans of condensed cream of celery soup and sour cream.
This recipe is super dressed up when it comes to turkey tetrazzini because it has both Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Bread crumbs make the wonderful top crust that we have all grown up loving.
Quiche is a wonderful brunch food and if you have leftover turkey, you can use it to make your own masterpiece quiche recipe.
This recipe is for crustless quiche, so it’s lighter and has less fat and calories.
With plenty of broccoli, seasoned turkey, and cheese, a slice of this quiche has a whopping 20 grams of protein.
This recipe calls for ground turkey, but of course, you can use your leftover turkey to make it.
The quiche gets its delicate seasoning from Herbs de Provence, which is nice to have in your spice cabinet.
Leftover turkey chili is so delicious that you may find yourself tempted to roast a turkey in February just so you can have turkey leftovers to make this chili.
This recipe is full of wholesome goodness, including green bell pepper, canned crushed tomatoes, and kidney beans. Oh, and did we mention four garlic cloves?
The spices that send this pot of cooked turkey chili over the top are chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and black pepper.
Serve your steaming bowls of turkey chili with shredded cheese, diced avocado, diced red onions, sour cream, and cilantro.
Any time is a good time for pizza, right? Even on the day that you have tons of Thanksgiving leftovers.
After trying this pizza, you might want your local pizza shop to start making it for you all the time.
Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy for you to make at home with your cooked turkey, leftover stuffing, and leftover mashed potatoes.
Who knew a pizza like this could be so delicious?
For the pizza crust, you can use a frozen puff pastry sheet that you’ve thawed or another storebought pizza dough.
We love this recipe for leftover turkey burritos because it uses up the very best leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner.
The burrito is stuffed full of roasted turkey meat, mashed potatoes, and dressing.
These yummy leftovers are wrapped up in a soft flour tortilla and baked in the oven.
When you pull your burritos out of the oven, serve them up on plates and smother them with gravy.
Top these burritos off with cranberry sauce if you have any left. A dollop of sour cream on top works nicely, too.
It’s a given that after Thanksgiving or Christmas, turkey leftovers will be used to make tasty turkey sandwiches.
A turkey sandwich is as traditional as the roasted Thanksgiving turkey, after all.
One thing you can do to really make these sandwiches even tastier is to use soft brioche buns or other thick buns.
The great thing about this particular turkey sandwich recipe is that it also uses other Thanksgiving leftovers, such as gravy and cranberry sauce.
The fried eggs in this sandwich add a whole different dimension of goodness.
If you’re a chicken curry fan, you’re going to love this idea.
This easy leftover curry is super simple to make, but it’s packed with scrumptious ingredients and tons of flavor.
The spices in this curry will make you swoon. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and onion come together with garlic, onion, green pepper, and red pepper to make something that is like heaven on a plate.
This recipe calls for coconut milk, so the curry has an excellent coconut flavor as well. Serve this curry with plenty of fluffy wild rice.
This turkey cobb salad is a delicious seasonal salad option for busy families who are eating healthily.
The salad features not just roasted turkey, but also dried cranberries and butternut squash, making it a true seasonal treat.
You can serve this goodness over any greens you want, but it’s perfect with baby spinach greens.
Don’t skimp on the bacon. It’s what makes the cobb salad so tantalizing. Also, the boiled eggs should be hard-boiled.
For cheese, you can use creamy goat cheese, but crumbled blue cheese or feta works nicely, too.
A chowder is similar to a soup or stew but heartier. And hearty is exactly what you get with this savory turkey and potato chowder.
You can cook this turkey chowder in the slow cooker and have a quick and satisfying dinner on the table for a busy weeknight.
This chowder is full of wonderful veggies like carrots, onion, garlic, and whole kernel corn.
Also, some sweet red bell pepper gives the chowder a wonderful pop of color.
The recipe calls for heavy cream, but you can use fat-free half and half and you won’t notice the difference.
Do you love chicken nachos? If so, we have a treat for you.
We’ve got Taco Tuesday covered with our leftover turkey tacos, but we don’t want nachos to feel left out.
Nachos are so easy to make at home with shredded turkey or chicken and it’s surprising how few people make them.
We love our nachos baked in the oven on a sheet pan, and that’s exactly how you make the nachos in this recipe.
To make these nachos, all you need to do is layer your chips on the bottom of a cookie sheet. Then add your meat and cheese.
If you like beans with your nachos, drizzle refried beans over the chips before you add your meat and cheese.
When the nachos are finished baking, add all of the other yummy ingredients.
The perfect way to use up some leftover turkey is by making a comforting pot of leftover turkey soup. Just as chicken soup can make you feel better, so can turkey soup.
This hearty soup is packed full of leftover turkey, noodles, herbs, and veggies. Not only is it as filling as can be, but it’s also something everyone in your family will love.
Veggies include carrots, celery, peas, potatoes, and green beans. However, feel free to toss in some kale and spinach to get those greens into your family’s diet.
The spices used are fresh thyme, kosher salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
Want to make this turkey soup even heartier? Use whole-grain noodles.
Hash is traditionally made with corned beef, but the fact is, you can make hash with any leftover meat and enjoy a hearty meal.
This nutritious version of hash has potato, bell pepper, and onion, and it’s absolutely delicious.
To make this even healthier, use avocado oil to balance out the butter.
In terms of flavor, the four cloves of garlic make this dish perfect. Spices like sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, fresh thyme, and black pepper add to the wonderful flavors.
Serve your turkey hash with a side salad or baked sweet potato and you have a full meal.
Creamed turkey on toast is similar to good old-fashioned biscuits and gravy. This dish is pure comfort food and we are here for it.
When you have turkey leftovers, you can actually freeze some of your turkey meat up in freezer bags to use for future recipes.
Pulling a bag out of the freezer for a quick and easy meal is an idea we can get behind.
This recipe has plenty of veggies, including carrots, onion, celery, and peas.
The seasoning is dried thyme and dry mustard. To make this dish extra creamy, use half and half instead of milk. You can use the fat-free version, too.
Most people love a BLT. How about making this turkey sandwich, which is basically a BLT on steroids?
This sandwich gets its flavor from a surprising pop of Dijon mustard.
Unlike the traditional BLT, this turkey BLT has cheddar cheese, which, of course, is sublime.
If you have spring mix lettuce, it makes a lovely sandwich. However, you can use whatever lettuce you happen to have in your fridge.
To make your bacon super crispy and flat, bake it in the oven. You will love how oven-baked bacon comes out!
32. Turkey Pot Pie
Do you want a one-dish meal that is completely non-fussy and oh-so-delicious?
You will adore this easy pot pie made with leftover turkey. It’s similar to chicken pot pie, but you get to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers.
The garlic and onion flavor this pot pie beautifully, and the fresh thyme leaves make the dish so aromatic.
You can use puff pastry for the crust, so you don’t even have to make a pie crust from scratch.
This pot pie is loaded with healthy veggies, and they can all come from the freezer. With frozen corn kernels, frozen diced carrots, and frozen peas, dinner is easy as pie.
Empanadas are the perfect way to use up any leftovers, including leftover turkey.
These traditional hand pies are oven-baked and come out of the oven beautifully golden and hot.
The recipe author used Goya baking discs that are found in the freezer section of most supermarkets.
However, you can also use a pie crust if you can’t find the Goya baking discs. You can even make your own crust if you have a recipe that you think will work well.
For veggies, you can use frozen carrots and peas. It doesn’t get any easier than this.
OK, so technically, the recipe calls for leftover chicken. However, if you’re wondering what to do with leftover turkey, it’s seamless to use leftover turkey to make this tasty chipotle flatbread recipe.
The melty pepper-jack cheese is absolutely divine in this recipe and we can’t get enough of it.
What makes this flatbread recipe even more interesting is that it has ingredients we aren’t accustomed to seeing in pizza and flatbread. For example, the avocado and iceberg lettuce take on new life as a flatbread topping.
Serve this with a drizzle of chipotle ranch dressing and crispy bacon crumbles.
Watch the video below for even more ideas for what to make with leftover turkey.
Our 30+ BEST Leftover Turkey Recipes (+Leftover Turkey Salad)
- 4 cups shredded or diced cooked turkey
- 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Serve on bread or rolls.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.