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Leftover Turkey Recipes: 5 Delicious Ways to Make the Most of Your Festive Bird

By Elizabeth Martyn

Roast turkey is a great family favorite, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But after the feast, comes the question how to use the leftovers? Here are five ways to make the most of your festive bird.

  1. Leftover turkey sandwich recipes
    Use thick slices of turkey breast and add a little of the dark meat for flavor. Use different breads, like ciabatta rolls, baguettes, whole meal bread, or toasted white bread. Add other ingredients, such as:
    • salad leaves like lettuce or spinach
    • sliced avocado
    • cherry tomatoes or thinly sliced beetroot
    • wafer-thin cooked ham
    • crumbled crispy bacon
    • sliced hard-boiled egg
    • soft cheeses, like Brie or Camembert
    • mustard, cranberry sauce, leftover turkey stuffing, pickles, mayonnaise, sliced gherkins, or radishes.

  2. Leftover turkey salad recipes
    Use both white and dark meat. Cube or shred the leftover turkey.
    • Toss with toasted almonds, thin slices of fresh mango and soft salad leaves. Dress with a light vinaigrette.
    • Mix with cubed avocado, slivered yellow and red pepper, sweet corn and halved cherry tomatoes. Dress with olive oil, whisked with lime juice and chili.
    • Stir shredded turkey breast meat through cooled cooked thin rice noodles. Add shredded lettuce, matchstick slices of carrot and cucumber, and dress with a well-blended mixture of 2 parts light soy sauce to 1 part sweet chili sauce.

     

  3. Leftover turkey soup recipes
    • Add diced turkey to a basic vegetable soup recipe. Try it with celery and apple, in a chowder with sweet corn, or as part of a spicy oriental soup, with noodles and shredded leaves.
    • Liven up turkey soup with herbs and spices. Try thyme and oregano, ground coriander, smoked paprika.

     

  4. Leftover turkey and pasta recipes
    • Mix diced turkey into tomato and sweet pepper sauce and serve with rice or pasta.
    • Stir pesto through chopped leftover turkey for an instant pasta sauce.

     

  5. Leftover turkey curry recipes
    • Turkey makes a great curry. Soften a chopped onion, add cubed turkey and curry paste. Cook for a few minutes, add stock. Stir well, simmer until turkey is heated through. Serve with rice and naan bread.
    • Cook as above, but try red or green Thai curry paste, and use liquid made with creamed coconut grated into boiling water, or use canned coconut milk.

If you have more leftover turkey than you can use straight away, carve off slices on the same day that the turkey was cooked, interleave with cling wrap, overwrap with foil, pack in airtight plastic bags, and freeze. Keeps well in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Elizabeth Martyn is webmaster at http://healthy-eating-made-easy.com, where she provides information, tips and recipes on using seasonal, fresh ingredients to feed the family healthily and without hassle.

Visit the site for more leftover turkey recipes and ideas for great family meals.

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