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Turkey leftovers: A lot more than just sandwiches

Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing, vintage clothes, old movies and cooking, especially dinners and desserts. Jennifer loves writing so much that whenever she has a spare moment, she spends it writing fiction or ad...

Leftover turkey as an unexpected dinner

Turkey sandwiches are delicious for a day or two or three after Thanksgiving. But instead of the same old cold bird, why not whip up something a little different and just as tasty as the big event?

Thanksgiving leftover pot pie

Next week is Thanksgiving. Can you believe it's here already? It's time to pull out those roasting pans, all your fine china, crystal and silver and get ready for a feast that will probably last three or four days. Why three or four days? Because of all the leftovers.

So now the question becomes what to do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers. Sure, you could recreate the Thanksgiving feast you had the night before, but you just had that meal. There's always a scrumptious sandwich, but that's better for lunch or a late night snack. So why not take that extra turkey and turn it into a dinner no one would expect. No matter what your favorite cuisine, turkey can easily be added to it. You could go Italian, American or even Chinese. Whatever your desire, there's a way to turn America's favorite feast into your favorite day-after dinner.

Turkey pot pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 2 cups cooked turkey meat, chopped
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, peas and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened, about two minutes.
  3. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Stir in the turkey meat, cream of chicken soup and cream of celery soup. Transfer turkey mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.
  4. Unfold the pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush the egg over the edges of the pastry and place the pastry over the turkey mixture in the baking dish. Fold over the edges on all sides, pressing firmly to form a rim. Brush with the egg mixture and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot. Serve immediately.

Moo Shu turkey

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 green onions, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 bag cole slaw mix
  • 2 cups shredded leftover turkey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (plus extra for serving) hoisin sauce
  • 8 flour tortillas, warmed

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ginger and cole slaw and cook for two minutes or until cabbage is slightly wilted. Stir in the turkey, soy sauce and hoisin sauce and cook until turkey is warmed, two to three minutes.
  2. Spread additional hoisin sauce on each tortilla and top with the turkey mixture. Roll up and eat.

Turkey tetrazzini

From Ladies' Home Journal

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces egg noodles
  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 12 ounces cooked turkey, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cans chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of cheese, three tablespoons of butter and 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt and set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat one tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and remaining salt and cook, covered for about three minutes. Uncover, cook and stir for another three minutes. Stir in the turkey and peas and set aside.
  5. Whisk the remaining butter, chicken stock and flour in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for four to five minutes, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the remaining Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, mix together the noodles, sauce and turkey mixture. Sprinkle the top with the bread crumb mixture. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.

More Thanksgiving leftover ideas

Food safety tips for Thanksgiving leftovers
Creative uses for Thanksgiving leftovers
Making the most of Thanksgiving leftovers

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