As the echoes of Thanksgiving dinner begin to fade, one culinary challenge remains: what to do with all that leftover turkey? Rather than resigning yourself to days of repetitive sandwiches, we invite you to embark on a culinary adventure with our collection of creative and Delicious leftover turkey recipes. These dishes are designed to breathe new life into your Thanksgiving turkey, turning mundane leftovers into exciting and flavorful meals that will have your taste buds dancing.

From hearty casseroles to elegant salads, our leftover turkey recipes offer a diverse range of options to suit every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for a comforting turkey pot pie or a zesty turkey and cranberry panini, our collection is here to inspire you with fresh ideas that will make your Thanksgiving leftovers a highlight of the holiday season. Say goodbye to the post-holiday meal rut and prepare to savor every last morsel of your Thanksgiving turkey with these irresistible recipes that transform the familiar into the extraordinary.

Don’t throw out the turkey bones

Don’t throw out those turkey bones! While the meat may be gone, the flavor-packed potential of those leftover turkey bones can be harnessed to create a rich and savory turkey stock or broth. Instead of discarding this valuable resource, you can simmer the bones with aromatic herbs, vegetables, and water to yield a golden elixir as the base for soups, stews, gravies, and so much more. It’s a sustainable and economical way to make the most of your Thanksgiving turkey, ensuring nothing goes to waste.

By repurposing those turkey bones into a homemade stock, you not only add depth and character to your leftover turkey recipes but also contribute to reducing food waste and maximizing the value of your Thanksgiving feast. So, before you toss those bones, consider the culinary possibilities that await in a pot of simmering turkey stock – a secret ingredient that can elevate your dishes to a whole new level of deliciousness.

turkey stock

Turkey Broth

Discover how simple it is to make Turkey Stock from your turkey's bones! All you'll need is a Turkey carcass that has been picked over, as well as some vegetables and herbs that you presumably already have on hand from the turkey.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, asian, international
Servings 12 servings
Calories 60 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large Pot
  • 1 slow cooker optional
  • 1 instant pot optional

Ingredients
  

  • 1 12-15 lb Turkey carcass
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 Garlic cloves smashed
  • 2 large carrots Scrubbed, peeled, and quartered
  • 4 Celery sticks quartered
  • 1 bunch Fresh parsley Dried parsley 1/2 tbsp
  • 3-4 springs Fresh rosemary 1/8 tsp dried
  • 5 sprigs thyme 1/2 tsp dried
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 16 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Place your turkey carcass into a stock pot that will hold 6 quarts, if you're using the giblets, turkey neck dripping or gravy add them here as well.
  • Add the onion, carrots, and garlic. Chop off the ends of the celery with the leaves and add those to the pot.
  • Add a bunch of parsley, half a bunch of sage, 3–4 sprigs of rosemary, and about 5 sprigs of thyme. If you're using dry, add that instead
  • Add 3 bay leaves and 8–10 peppercorns
  • Cover the turkey and vegetables with 4 quarts of water or as much water as you need to submerge your turkey
  • Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. After if it has come to a rapid boil, turn the burner down to just below medium, or wherever you can maintain a low simmer the liquid should be gently moving at all time at all time.
  • Simmer for about 2 to 4 hours, look below if you are wanting to do this in an instant pot or slow cooker.
  • Pour the stock into a colander to separate any meat, veggies and bones
  • Allow stock to cool before moving to an airtight container and placing in the fridge or freezer.
  • Stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Slow cooker instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a large crock pot. Cook on low for 10–12 hours. Pick up with the recipe in step 8, when you strain it through a colander.

Instant pot instructions

  • If you are going to do it in the instant pot, you can set it for 120 minutes at high pressure. My instant pot has a soup or stock setting and I set it and then adjust the time.
Keyword broth, soup, stew, stock, turkey

Storing Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

Storing leftover Thanksgiving turkey properly is essential to ensure its safety and maintain its quality. Here are some steps to follow for safe and effective turkey storage:

  • Cool It Down: After your Thanksgiving meal, allow the leftover turkey to cool down to room temperature for about 2 hours. This prevents the turkey from being stored while still hot, which can promote bacterial growth.
  • Separate the Meat: If you have a large amount of leftover turkey, consider separating the meat from the bones. This makes storage more efficient, and you can use the bones to make turkey stock.
  • Refrigeration: Place the leftover turkey in airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. Ensure that all the turkey is wrapped or stored separately to prevent cross-contamination with other foods. Refrigerate it within 2 hours of cooking.
  • Label and Date: Clearly label the containers with the date of storage so you can keep track of how long it has been stored.
  • Refrigerator Storage: Leftover turkey can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you plan to use it beyond that, consider freezing it.
  • Freezing: If you want to store leftover turkey for an extended period, it’s best to freeze it. Place the turkey in airtight containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Use a vacuum sealer for extra protection.
  • Portion Control: Consider portioning the turkey before freezing, so you can thaw only what you need without defrosting the entire batch.
  • Freezer Storage: Frozen turkey can be stored for several months and still be safe to eat. However, for the best quality, it’s recommended to consume it within 2-6 months.
  • Thawing: When you’re ready to use your frozen leftover turkey, transfer it to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly over a day or two. This ensures even and safe thawing.
  • Reheat Safely: When reheating leftover turkey, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (73.9°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.

By following these guidelines, you can safely store and enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers for an extended period without compromising on safety or flavor.

#1 Classic Turkey Sandwich

A classic turkey sandwich is a timeless favorite, perfect for using up Thanksgiving leftovers. Here’s a simple recipe for a delicious classic turkey sandwich:

leftover turkey sandwich
turkey sandwich

The Classic Turkey Sandwich

A classic turkey sandwich is a timeless favorite, perfect for using up Thanksgiving leftovers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 Slices of bread Sourdough or favorite bread
  • 4-6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Leftover stuffing
  • 1 cup Leftover cranberry sauce
  • 4 slices cheese Swiss or provolone
  • 4-8 slices Sliced roasted turkey

Instructions
 

  • Toast your bread by buttering them and adding them to the skillet for a few minutes.
  • From there, we put together all the fixings which included: mayo, leftover oven-roasted turkey breast, cranberry sauce, and stuffing
  • For each sandwich, add 1 tbsp mayo, 4 slices of sliced turkey meat, 1/4 cup cranberry sauce, and 1/4 cup stuffing. Layer as desired and enjoy.
Keyword leftovers, Roasted Turkey Breast, sandwich, turkey

#2 Leftover Turkey Shepherds Pie

Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious way to repurpose your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey leftovers. It’s a comforting and hearty dish that combines tender pieces of Turkey with vegetables and gravy, all topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown

turkey shepherds pie 2
turkey shepherds pie 2

How to Make Leftover Turkey Shepherds Pie

Transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into a comforting delight with our Leftover Turkey Shepherd's Pie recipe. A delicious blend of shredded turkey, savory vegetables, and creamy mashed potatoes awaits. Discover the perfect way to savor those holiday flavors
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 255 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp butter divided
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots Peeled and diced
  • ½ tsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1-1/2 cup Chicken broth
  • 1 cup Frozen peas
  • 2 cup Cooked turkey
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp Poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp parsley
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 3 cups Mashed potatoes or stuffing

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F
  • In a medium oven-safe skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat (or add canola oil). Add onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until tender (about 15–20 minutes). Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Add one more tablespoon butter or canola oil to cooked vegetables. Add flour and Broth until completely combined, cook and stir until broth is thickened.
  • Stir in peas and turkey until peas are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add thyme, sage, oregano and parsley.
  • Top with mashed potatoes and dab with remaining butter or brush with 1 tbsp canola oil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are heated through.

Notes

 
 
Keyword leftover, pie, turkey

#3 Turkey Pot Pie

Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious way to repurpose your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey leftovers. It’s a comforting and hearty dish that combines tender pieces of Turkey with vegetables and gravy, all topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown.

turkey pot pie
turkey pot pie

Turkey Pot Pie

Leftover Turkey Shepherd's Pie is a delicious way to repurpose your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey leftovers. It's a comforting and hearty dish that combines tender pieces of Turkey with vegetables and gravy, all topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course caseerole, comfort food, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • 1 9 inch pie pan

Ingredients
  

For the Filling

  • 2 cup Cooked turkey Diced or shredded
  • 2 cups Mixed vegetables
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • ½ cup celery chopped
  • ¼ cup butter
  • cup flour
  • 2 cups Turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme Or other herbs of your choice

For the Pie Crust

  • 2 Pre-made pie crusts One for the bottom and one for the top

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C)
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and celery and sauté until they become tender and translucent.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and lightly golden.
  • Gradually add the chicken or turkey broth and milk to the skillet, stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Cook until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
  • Add the diced turkey and mixed vegetables to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir everything together and let it simmer for a few more minutes to heat the turkey and vegetables.
  • Line a pie dish with one of the pre-made pie crusts, making sure it covers the bottom and sides of the dish.
  • Pour the turkey and vegetable filling into the pie crust.
  • Place the second pie crust on top of the filling. Seal the edges by crimping them with a fork, and cut a few small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
  • Place the pot pie in the preheated oven and bake for about 30–35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  • Remove the turkey pot pie from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Keyword Easy Weeknight Meal, Thanksgiving Leftovers, Turkey Pot Pie

# 4 Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas

Cranberry turkey quesadillas are a creative and delicious way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce. These quesadillas combine the savory flavor of turkey with the sweet and tangy taste of cranberry sauce, all melted together with cheese in a tortilla.

turkey quesadilla
turkey quesadilla

Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas

Cranberry turkey quesadillas are a creative and delicious way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce. These quesadillas combine the savory flavor of turkey with the sweet and tangy taste of cranberry sauce, all melted together with cheese in a tortilla.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large Tortillas
  • 2 cups Cooked turkeys
  • 1 cup Cranberry sauce Homemade or store-bought
  • 1-1/2 cups Shredded cheese Cheddar, mozzarella, or your choice
  • 2 tbsp Butter Or cooking oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • In a skillet or on a griddle, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter or heat some cooking oil over medium heat.
  • Place a tortilla in the skillet and spread a thin layer of cranberry sauce over half of the tortilla.
  • On top of the cranberry sauce, add a portion of shredded turkey.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded cheese over the turkey and cranberry sauce.
  • Fold the tortilla in half, covering the filling, creating a half-moon shape.
  • Cook the quesadilla for about 2–3 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the cooked quesadilla from the skillet and let it cool for a minute or two.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas and filling.
  • Slice each quesadilla into wedges and serve hot.
Keyword Cranberry Turkey Quesadillas, Leftover Turkey, Turkey and Cranberry

#5 Left Over Turkey Soup

Leftover turkey soup is a delicious way to use up the remnants of your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. Here’s a basic recipe for making leftover turkey soup, but feel free to customize it with your favorite ingredients

turkey soup

Left-Over Turkey Soup

Leftover turkey soup is a delicious way to use up the remnants of your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. Here's a basic recipe for making leftover turkey soup, but feel free to customize it with your favorite ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course leftovers, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Cooked turkey Shredded or diced
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 Celery stalks chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced
  • 8 cups Turkey or chicken stocks
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried sage
  • 1 cup Left over vegetables e.g., green beans, corn, peas
  • 1 cup Rice, pasta or barley optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or other herbs for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until they become tender, about 5–7 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic, thyme, and sage. Cook for an additional minute, or until fragrant.
  • Pour in the chicken or turkey broth and add the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15–20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Add the shredded or diced turkey meat to the pot and let it simmer for another 10–15 minutes, or until the turkey is heated through.
  • If you have any leftover vegetables, add them to the soup. You can also add cooked pasta or rice if you want to make the soup heartier.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that you may not need much salt if your broth is already salted.
  • Remove the bay leaves before serving.
  • Ladle the hot soup into bowls, garnish with fresh parsley or other herbs, and serve with crusty bread or crackers.
Keyword Leftover Turkey, soup

#6 Turkey Stuffing Casserole

Turkey stuffing casserole is a delicious and comforting dish that combines the flavors of Thanksgiving stuffing and turkey into one hearty meal.

turkey stuffing casserole
turkey stuffing casserole

Left-Over Turkey Casserole

Turkey stuffing casserole is a delicious and comforting dish that combines the flavors of Thanksgiving stuffing and turkey into one hearty meal.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, leftovers
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter divided
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1 cup carrot
  • 1 cup celery
  • ½ cup flour
  • 6 cups Chicken or turkey broth
  • 4-1/2 cups turkey shredded
  • 1 cup Frozen peas
  • ½ cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Fresh thyme chopped
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • 6-8 Cups Left over stuffing Or 2 boxes of stuffing
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F
  • In a Dutch oven, melt 1/2 cup of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. 
  • Gradually stir in 4 cups of the turkey or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the turkey, peas, cream, thyme, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Return to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes more. 
  • Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and pour in the Turkey mixture. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of butter in a large, microwave safe bowl. Cover and cook on high for 1 minute to melt. Stir in the stuffing mix or leftover chicken, remaining 2 cups of chicken broth, and the parsley. Let stand 2 minutes, or until the stuffing mix has absorbed the broth. 
  • Top the turkey mixture evenly with the stuffing mixture. Bake until golden brown on top and bubbly around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chopped parsley before serving.
Keyword Leftover Turkey, stuffing, turkey

You won’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to finish off that leftover turkey thanks to these easy recipes! They’re going to be so enjoyable.

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