10 Ways to Use Your Leftover Turkey That Aren't Just A Sandwich

It seems like I end up hosting Thanksgiving every year, and I’m happy to do it (even when Aunt Ethel lectures me on the sin of serving jarred gravy). I usually buy extra Tupperware to send people home with some leftovers, but even then, I’m still left with mounds of turkey! This year, I’m going to get so creative with the leftovers that I’m going to sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump. Instead of his shrimp monologue, it’ll be “Turkey salad, turkey soup, turkey chili, turkey paninis, turkey Bolognese,“ and so on. So if you’re looking for new post-Thanksgiving recipes, let’s talk turkey!

1. BBQ Turkey Flatbread

Buy some premade pizza dough to make this pizza-esque dish as simple as humanly possible! With just four other ingredients, this Chef Tim recipe is my favorite yet!

2. Turkey Tortilla Soup

This super simple recipe calls for only salsa, chicken broth, turkey, zucchini and lime. If you have sour cream, shredded cheddar and a little avocado for toppings, all the better!

3. Turkey Chili

The last thing you want to do is reload at the grocery store. Good news: This chunky chili recipe is loaded with things you probably have in your pantry and refrigerator already. Tip: Substitute a pre-made taco seasoning for the spices.

4. Turkey Panini

A panini is basically just a grilled sandwich, so follow this recipe, but use whatever bread you have. It will still be delicious, fancy grilled cheese!

5. Turkey Pasta Salad

This yummy recipe by our own Chef Tim uses rigatoni noodles, a few delicious vegetables and herbs, vinaigrette, pine nuts, and bacon. Mmm, bacon. Perfect for lunch!

6. Turkey Bolognese

This easy recipe calls for jarred marinara sauce but adds some herbs and diced vegetables for your own homemade spin. Sauté the shredded turkey first, then add the marina, and simmer for a while to let the flavors blend. Serve atop spaghetti.

7. Turkey Waldorf Salad

After all that heavy food, a salad sounds pretty refreshing! And the bonus with this one is it uses all that extra produce you have from making your other recipes: apples, celery, grapes and walnuts!

8. Turkey, Brie, and Apple Butter Sandwich

First of all, I’m obsessed with Brie. And I haven’t had apple butter since I was a kid, but it is so delicious. Why don’t I have more apple butter in my life?

9. Cheddar Turkey Casserole

You can’t dispose of leftovers without making a casserole! This cheesy, buttery dish is both delicious and easy, using frozen mixed vegetables, a variety of spices, spiral noodles, butter and of course, cheese.

10. Turkey Frittata

For the morning after Thanksgiving, try this frittata, or even make breakfast for dinner. Eggs, potatoes, tomatoes and whatever other vegetables you have on hand would be great with this recipe, so make it work for you! If you’re willing to try the recipes above, then your days of freezing turkey to make a soup “someday” or feeling guilty because you’re throwing away unused poultry are over.


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