What to do with leftover turkey
November 27, 2009 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Please share your best recipes for leftover turkey.

Most of the recipes that turn up online sound bland, or like a bad sequel to Thanksgiving dinner. Help me think of something new and interesting to do with the leftover bird. Bonus points if it is not a soup or pot pie.
posted by tr0ubley to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, after a few days of turkey sandwiches, I resume cooking my normal chicken-based meals (stir fry, enchiladas, whatever) substituting in turkey.
posted by rhapsodie at 8:06 PM on November 27, 2009

Alton Brown has a breakfast hash that's pretty good. The many flavors and the fat from the breakfast sausage help counter the blandness and the dryness of the leftover turkey, respectively.
posted by jedicus at 8:12 PM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I always always make hot turkey sammiches:

1 thick slice of bread, chopped turkey on top, gravy, then another slice on top.
A layer of stuffing on top of that. A layer of mashed potatoes on that. tons of gravy to cover.

Nuke it for 5-6 minutes and enjoy. I've had three of these in the last few days. It's my favorite meal(s) of the year.
posted by sanka at 8:13 PM on November 27, 2009

Use it in chili in place of any other protein.
posted by nestor_makhno at 8:17 PM on November 27, 2009

James Beard's turkey hash is delicious. The flavor is just different enough from Thanksgiving dinner to keep things interesting without requiring a lot of extra ingredients.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:20 PM on November 27, 2009

Mix gently - turkey, gravy, stuffing and potatoes in a bowl. Form into patties. Throw them in an iron skillet and brown them. Put them on a roll and enjoy.
posted by chambers at 8:20 PM on November 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I make sandwiches, pot pies/shepherd's pie, and rice, cooked with chicken broth, add in shredded turkey and cook some frozen corn to blend in with the rice and turkey.

The turkey sandwich is an art form. I like toasted sandwiches, myself. Spread cranberry sauce on one piece of toast. Place turkey on cranberry sauce. Then sharp chedder cheese. On the other piece of toast? Gravy. Delicious, gelatinous gravy. Mix in some oregano/italian seasoning, and go to town. Repeat until gravy has run out.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:22 PM on November 27, 2009

Wonderbread, slathered with butter, big old turkey slices in between. Post-Thanksgiving crack.
posted by olinerd at 8:33 PM on November 27, 2009

Turkey quesadillas with cheese and salsa would be delicious.
posted by kylej at 8:35 PM on November 27, 2009

I'm trying Turkey Tikka Masala tomorrow, although I'll be improvising the recipe. I'll post back if it doesn't suck.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:42 PM on November 27, 2009

Turkey Tacos!

Shred leftover turkey, dark meat if you have it. Hopefully you have some turkey fat (not too much!), and chop up an onion, tomato, a couple cloves of garlic, and a bell pepper, and brown in a pan. Add some water and stuff like chili powder, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, a little cayenne, salt and pepper, along with the turkey. Sometimes I use a can of chopped tomatoes, sometimes even a can of V8 juice. If you have it, glug some Cholula sauce in that sucker. Set it to low and let it all simmer and cook down and get tasty. If you have corn, parsley, cilantro (mmmmm~) or whatever else you like in tacos that might be a thanksgiving leftover ingredient, add it too.

I like crunchy shells but turkey tacos are especially good on flour tortillas, I think. Liberally top with stuff like shredded cabbage or cucumber strips or more tomato or cheese or sour cream, and definitely squeeze a lime on it. If you want to get *extreme*, you can put a bit of cranberry sauce on them, then they're a little fruity baja-style.
posted by Mizu at 8:50 PM on November 27, 2009

I make turkey gumbo, using Emeril's Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo recipe. I make the stock using the carcass first, and put the chopped turkey meat in at the end of cooking (or else it disintegrates into strings).
posted by cabingirl at 9:08 PM on November 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

I haven't made it, but this looks interesting: Cook's Country Rustic Turkey Tart with blue cheese, pears, cranberries and pecans.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:09 PM on November 27, 2009

Make a sandwich with toasted bread, spread with mayo or Miracle Whip, fill with scrambled eggs and turkey. Add Swiss if you like cheesy goodness. This is also really good on English Muffins.

I like making fettuccine and adding turkey to the Alfredo sauce. Homemade turkey Alfredo pizza sounds really tasty.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:12 PM on November 27, 2009

Not so much a recipe but in general I find dry leftover turkey is one helluvalot better lightly fried in butter. Then, as mentioned many times above, substitute for misc protein of your choice.
posted by mce at 9:32 PM on November 27, 2009

This is awful, and it's what I live for...

Chop the turkey. Heat some gravy in a pan, add turkey + chunks of leftover mashed potatoes & stuffing - bonus point if the stuffing has plenty of nuts, celery, and maybe raisins, and there is plenty of crispy skin included. Heat through - DO NOT OVER MIX - you want distinct chunks here, if you can manage it.


(Sure. I've added in the odd bits of left-over green bean casserole or roasted veggies. I've found this to be profoundly unacceptable. Turkey+gravy+mashed taters+stuffing. I think this combo is culinary heaven, and my starter this year was lobster roasted in moroccan spices, topped with seared foie gras and covered in port/fig reduction flavored with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate. Today, we loved our turkey lunch mash in PJ's just as much, if not more!)

Yes. I make extra stuffing, gravy, and mashed to ensure days of post-thanksgiving deliciousness.
posted by jbenben at 9:35 PM on November 27, 2009

Turkey tetrazini ... spaghetti noodles, cream sauce with parmesan and green onion, sauteed mushrooms, turkey, top with fresh bread crumbs and bake. Turkey cobb salad with leftover (as if!) deviled eggs, olives and miscellaneous bits from the relish trays. God knows after all that rich food a little leaf of lettuce or two won't be amiss. For that matter, turkey salad sandwiches would be rather nice tarted up with lots of mayo and chopped pickle.
posted by Allee Katze at 10:09 PM on November 27, 2009

I like enchiladas or mole with turkey in place of chicken.
posted by elmay at 10:24 PM on November 27, 2009

Always always always put cranberry relish in your turkey/stuffing sandwiches.

I make extra just for this.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:41 PM on November 27, 2009

I like using leftover turkey in Thai green curry with rice.
posted by creepygirl at 10:54 PM on November 27, 2009

I worked at a restaurant that made a smoked almond chicken salad sandwich/salad that was quite wonderful.

Mayonnaise+smoked almonds (crushed) + bird + celery, maybe a touch of shallot, lemon, and parsley.

Don't stop if there are sundried toms or roasted red pepper available;)

posted by jbenben at 11:43 PM on November 27, 2009

Turkey croquettes! Add shredded turkey to a bechamel sauce. The bechamel glues the turkey together so you can roll it in breadcrumbs, fry, and eat. My folks always made fried bananas to go alongside, but I imagine cranberry sauce would serve the purpose just as well.
posted by Monsters at 11:58 PM on November 27, 2009

One of the best soups I make substitutes turkey (and added turkey meat) as a variation for the "Chicken Soup with Forest Mushrooms" recipe from the Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook.

It's too long for me to type out, but you can read the whole recipe using the "search inside" function at Amazon (search for Chicken Soup with Forest Mushrooms; it appears on page 70). It's basically a cream soup with stock, various wild mushrooms, wild rice, onion, white wine and a little brandy/sherry. But read the recipe for the technique... it's unbelievably good. As I say, I make this with leftover turkey, and it's a show-stealer. (Also, for soup lovers, that recipe book is an excellent one to add to your collection.)
posted by taz at 12:22 AM on November 28, 2009

Turkey Eggs Benedict, a Turkey Cuban Panini, and Turkey Apple Salad Panini look like interesting options.
posted by katie at 6:29 AM on November 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding turkey curry; it is awesome. Some might even like it better than the traditional Thanksgiving meal itself.
posted by midatlanticwanderer at 8:54 AM on November 28, 2009

My friend makes this amazing creamy turkey soup with leftover turkey that is out of this world.
posted by radioamy at 11:55 AM on November 28, 2009

Turkey Korma* on rice with a side of Trader Joe's Naan .

*There are some very good jarred sauces out there if it looks too complicated.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:51 PM on November 28, 2009

I just made turkey noodle soup:

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 quart water
about a cup each of celery, onion, carrots -- diced
2 cups turkey; about half of it shredded (remove any skin)
salt, pepper, thyme, celery seed to taste
8 oz. wide egg noodle

Saute the veggies in a small amount of olive oil until onions are translucent, then add the broth, water, and spices; bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes. Add the noodles and turkey, bring to a boil again, and cook until noodles are done, about 10 more minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.
posted by axiom at 2:06 PM on November 28, 2009

Erm, cube the other half of the turkey.
posted by axiom at 2:07 PM on November 28, 2009

« Older Random slideshow?   |   Where's a good place to have sex in Chicago? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.