Leftover turkey is inevitable during the holidays, but it means that leftover turkey recipes become a thing around here (YAY!!)! We create a feast at Thanksgiving, roasted turkey and of course stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn casserole and other favorites.
We always have a ton of leftovers to bring home, and turkey is one of our favorites because you can use leftover turkey in so many delicious recipes! I have compiled a list of my favorite leftover turkey recipes, so you can ensure that delicious turkey doesn’t go to waste. If you’re wondering what to do with leftover turkey, look no further! Whether you want to completely recreate a new recipe like turkey soup or keep it simple with a turkey stack, don’t waste a single piece of that delicious turkey!
The great thing about roasting turkey is that it’s cooked once and then you have easy prep for days (or months to come)! I personally try to use every bit of the turkey from the neck and backbone (that I remove when I make spatchcock turkey) to the bones after for making turkey broth for soup!
How to Store Leftover Turkey
According to The Food Network, there are a few ways to properly store your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.
Storing leftover turkey is totally dependant on what you intend to do with it. If you plan to use it to make turkey stock, you need to save the bones and remove the meat. Making leftover turkey stacks? Keep the turkey sliced or shred them. Turkey soup? I like to cube my leftover turkey. Think about the recipes you are hoping to make, and get the turkey prepared accordingly.
It is important to separate the meat and bones when you store turkey to keep the turkey fresh as long as possible. When reheating, make sure you only reheat what you’re eating, not a big portion at once.
Leftover turkey should be stored in an air tight container in the fridge, lasting 3-5 days. If you intend to use it later than this, store it in the freezer for up to a month.
Leftover Turkey Recipes
- Slow Cooker Turkey Soup (Cajun Bean)
- Turkey Noodle Soup
- Creamy Wild Rice Soup (substitute leftover turkey)
Turkey Soup: This delicious turkey soup is comfort food heaven. Carrots, onions, celery, and leftover turkey are simmered in a homemade turkey broth to create the ultimate winter soup. Serve it alongside some dinner rolls for an easy and mouth watering leftover turkey dinner.
Turkey Tetrazzini Soup
Turkey tetrazzini soup is a creamy, comforting soup made from your leftover turkey. It is filled with bacon, peas, pasta, turkey (of course), and a creamy chicken broth. I like to substitute the chicken broth for turkey and use up the leftover turkey bones from turkey dinner!
This turkey chowder is packed full of delicious leftover turkey pieces and has a beautifully smooth creamy base. You’ll also find other amazing classic chowder ingredients like potatoes, corn, chili peppers, and carrots. Don’t forget the bacon!
Turkey Salads and Sandwiches
Leftover turkey is of course great for meals like soups and casseroles but it makes for a great lunch too! We use it in place of chicken in our favorite Chicken Salad Sandwiches and add it to Dill Pickle Pasta Salad for a hearty meal! My absolute favorite way to enjoy leftover turkey is as a hot turkey sandwich!
Leftover Turkey Salad
For a great leftover turkey salad, combine:
- 2 cups leftover turkey
- 1 green onion
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 stalk celery
- 3 tablespoons add ins such as: chopped water chestnuts, dried cranberries or raisins, slivered almonds
Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad
Who said pasta salad was just a summer food? This delicious turkey cranberry pasta salad uses up your leftover turkey in a pasta salad packed full of dried cranberries, toasted almonds, celery, and pasta with a creamy poppyseed dressing. It’s the perfect lunch!
Turkey Bacon Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich
An amazing grilled cheese sandwich loaded with smoky bacon and creamy brie is pretty much the perfect bite! This easy Turkey Bacon Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich is great for lunch or a quick dinner served alongside a bowl of tomato soup!
Leftover Turkey Sandwiches
Layer your leftover turkey over bread and top it with hot gravy! This is one of my all time favorites to serve with Crispy Oven Fries! To take this meal to the next level, we make simplified Mashed Potato Cakes by combining 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes with 2 eggs and frying until crisp. Heat up any leftover stuffing and add stack it all up to make the best leftover sandwich (with or without bread) you’ve ever had!
Hot Turkey Sandwich
Hot Turkey Sandwich is one of our favorite parts of a turkey dinner! It’s easy to make and quick to get on the table! If you have leftover mashed potatoes or stuffing, heat them up and add them in as well!
If desired, replace the bread with leftover mashed potatoes. Combine 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes and 2 eggs. Form into 4 patties and fry in butter or olive oil until crisp on each side.
- 4 slices bread any kind
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 1/3 cup leftover gravy or canned or homemade gravy
- 10 oz leftover turkey or sliced deli turkey
- Heat gravy in a small saucepan until boiling.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add turkey slices. Cook until heated through, 3-5 minutes.
- Toast bread, spread with mayonnaise. Top with turkey slices and extra gravy.
Leftover Turkey Casserole Recipes
Casseroles are my favorite, easy to make ahead of time, low on dishes and belly warming for sure! Most Chicken Casserole recipes start with cooked chicken and it can almost always be substituted for cooked turkey (which is a big part of the reason I cook more turkey than I need).
These are some of my favorite casserole recipes. Any that say chicken can easily use turkey in its place:
- Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole with Turkey
- Turkey Stuffing Roll Ups
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole
- Salsa Chicken Casserole
Cheesy Turkey Zucchini Casserole
This easy casserole is the perfect weeknight solution when you’re all cooked out from Thanksgiving. Cheesy Turkey Zucchini Casserole features a delicious layer of cheese, zucchini, and leftover turkey. It is topped with a layer of stuffing (stovetop or leftover depending on what you have) and baked to golden perfection.
Turkey Broccoli Rice Casserole
This easy casserole is packed full of turkey, tender rice, colorful broccoli, and a creamy flavorful base. We love making turkey broccoli rice casserole on busy weeknights for the family. My daughter can’t get enough of this one!
Loaded Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole
Okay okay, this isn’t a turkey recipe. But use your leftover turkey! I love subbing turkey for chicken in this ooey gooey cheesy chicken noodle casserole. It is the ultimate comfort food, and perfect for busy weeknights. Casseroles for the win!
Turkey Tortilla Soup
This turkey tortilla soup is such a fun way to use up whatever leftover turkey you might have. It is packed full of fresh ingredients like peppers and jalapenos, and seasoned perfectly with cayenne, cumin, and chili powder. Serve it with some tortilla chips on top for the perfect crunch!