12 Great Recipes to Use Leftover Turkey

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Don’t want to just reheat your leftover turkey? Try one of these recipes!

12 Recipes Turkey Leftovers | Good Cheap Eats

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.

Salad with Chicken

Easy turkey strips for the freezer.

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Creamy Turkey Enchiladas | GoodCheapEats.com

Creamy Turkey Enchiladas

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Creamy Chicken Enchiladas | GoodCheapEats.com

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Chicken (or Turkey) and Chile Enchiladas | GoodCheapEats.com

Chicken and Chile Enchiladas

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Burritos for the Freezer | GoodCheapEats.com

Chicken, Bean, and Cheese Burritos for the Freezer

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Easy Chicken and Cheese Flautas | GoodCheapEats.com

Easy Chicken and Cheese Flautas

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Ginger-Sesame Turkey Salad | GoodCheapEats.com

Ginger-Sesame Turkey Salad

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Chicken Salad Wraps | GoodCheapEats.com

Chicken Salad Wraps

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Sweet and Sour Pulled Chicken Sandwiches | GoodCheapEats.com

Sweet and Sour Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

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.

12 Great Recipes for Turkey Leftovers | Turkey Pot Pie | GoodCheapEats.com

Turkey Pot Pie with Easy Biscuit Topping

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.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Chicken Chili with White Beans | GoodCheapEats.com

Chicken Chili with White Beans

This chili redolent with spices and bursting with chicken and white beans comes together quickly in 30 minutes or less.

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Good Cheap Eats

Chicken Fried Rice

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!

12 Great Recipes for Leftover Turkey | Good Cheap Eats

Make stock with the turkey bones.

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.

What’s your favorite recipe to use up leftover turkey?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Charlotte says

    Turkey and dumplings! I’m waiting tables all day Thu, so we cooked our turkey yesterday… enchiladas tonight and dumplings tomorrow, and turkey wraps for my husbands lunch this week… oh, and bbq nachos with turkey are also good. (We just chop up the meat and warm it up in bbq sauce in a skillet).

  2. I agree completely about stocking up on turkeys now. Each November, I buy as many as my budget allows and my freezer can hold. Leftover Thanksgiving is my favorite, too, until I run out of all the side dishes. I make broth, enchiladas, pot pies, soups, stews, freezer burritos, and sandwiches. We love leftover turkey. Easy and frugal. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. Your enchilada recipes are some of my favorites. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Jessica!

    • Thanks, Heather! I’m glad you like the enchiladas. They are some of my favorites, too.

  3. janet says

    Some of our favorites include Thanksgiving soup made with leftover turkey and mash potatoes; Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches; and turkey tetrazinni.

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