Don’t want to just reheat your leftover turkey? Try one of these recipes!
Even though I’m not in charge of cooking a turkey on Thursday, I fully intend to buy a few turkey breasts to stash in the freezer. I love having an abundance of meat to use in recipes after the holidays are over. Even though I do love eating Thanksgiving Day leftovers for days on end, it’s good to have a new and different way to enjoy it.
Plus, if you stock up on turkeys or turkey pieces on sale prices, you can enjoy the meat in a multitude of ways, all the while saving money. Double win, eh?
Here are some of my favorite ways to use leftover turkey from a holiday dinner:
Freeze turkey meat for later.
Flash freeze slices of turkey to use later in soups, salads, and sandwiches. This tutorial explains how to do this.
Give leftover turkey a Mexican twist.
A couple of years ago during a pantry challenge, I had a craving for enchiladas. We had cheese, corn tortillas, and chicken, but no sauce. I decided to make my own creamy sauce, adding a different type of enchilada to our repertoire. These creamy enchiladas are a great way to use leftover turkey.
These creamy enchiladas are full of flavor and texture, with a little punch from the chipotle, pepper Jack cheese, and salsa verde, a tangy creaminess from the cream cheese, corn tortillas to give the dish body, and chicken to give it some heart. You’ll love how easily these come together.
This recipe for Chicken and Chile Enchiladas makes two big pans of homemade chicken enchiladas. No crowd? Stash one pan in the freezer for later.
Burrito making is a simple affair. You need large tortillas, a filling (like beans, chicken, and cheese), and a ziptop freezer bag if you plan to freeze them.
You can freeze these flautas on a lined tray prior to baking or cool baked ones and freeze those. Either way, you’ve got convenience at your fingertips.
Make salad or sandwiches with turkey.
This salad, which you can make with turkey or chicken, is full of sesame, ginger, and soy. It’s delicious served in lettuce or cabbage leaves for a low-carb option. My kids liked it wrapped up in tortillas. You could also serve it on a salad or in a roll.
Chicken salad, chock full of veggies and nuts, is served in cabbage leaves instead of bread, making it low-carb, yet filling meal. It’s also perfect to serve for family or guests who are going gluten-free.
This recipe for sweet and sour pulled chicken sandwiches was originally designed for the slow cooker. To adapt for already cooked turkey, heat up the sauce ingredients to dissolve the sugar, add the shredded or sliced turkey, and reheat.
Mix leftover turkey into casseroles, chili, etc.
This turkey pot pie is the perfect meal to repurpose leftovers from a large turkey or chicken dinner. If you’ve already got vegetables, meat, and gravy, all you need to do is whir up the crust in the food processor and slide this baby in the oven.
This chili redolent with spices and bursting with chicken and white beans comes together quickly in 30 minutes or less.
This fried rice is great to use up leftover cooked meats and any cold, cooked rice you have on hand. It has to be cold rice, otherwise it won’t work. The ultimate beauty of this recipe is that it comes together in less than 30 minutes.
BONUS! Don’t let the turkey bones go to waste!
Making a homemade stock is one of the most economical things you can do. Essentially, you’re getting all the flavor you possibly can from something you might otherwise chuck. Stock is also one of the easiest culinary feats you can pull off. And yet, the resulting turkey or chicken stock adds rich flavor to soups, stews, sauces, and rice dishes.