These fuss-free LEFTOVER TURKEY RECIPES will transform your usual post-thanksgiving turkey sandwiches into hearty meals. I can assure you that the delicious turkey you have won’t definitely go to waste. Now you have full meals to last for even weeks to come!
This year’s Thanksgiving may not look like it used to, but there are still some of us who intentionally want a whole turkey just so we can have meals to last for weeks.
I’m not saying that it’s me, but well yeah, it could be me, too.😅 And so I’ve compiled a list of ways to enjoy all those turkey leftovers.
Caution though, these leftover recipes are just as good as the turkey itself. So buckle up!
How to Store Leftover Turkey?
Before you think of freezing your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, make sure to decide how you intend to use it.
- If you want to make your very own stock, remove the meat first, then save the bone. Then store them properly.
- If you intend to use it on sandwiches or stews, either slice or shred them before placing them in an airtight container and into the fridge or freezer.
- And if you’re all set to making them into soups or as salads add-ons, then cube them in portions before storing.
PRO TIP: Make sure to remove any stuffing in the turkey and store them separately. For the meat turkey, you can slice and portion them and wrap them in aluminum foil. Then place them in plastic freezer bags or in an airtight container.
How Long is Leftover Turkey Good For?
When stored properly, leftover turkey could last in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. And when reheating, just take out a portion of your turkey and use it as intended. Don’t reheat a bigger portion and put them back in the freezer.
What To Do with Leftover Turkey?
Did you make this Smoked Turkey or Roast Turkey Breast? Well, the best thing after Thanksgiving is that you can make a week(s) worth of meals out of your leftover turkey. Here are just some of my favorite ways to use it.
1. Chicken Lasagna
There are just so many ways to enjoy leftover turkey. And one of my favorites (actually, my son’s favorite) is swapping chicken with leftover turkey for this rich, saucy, cheesy Chicken Lasagna. Layered lasagna noodles filled with mushrooms, spinach, and a rich three-cheese sauce, this white lasagna will never disappoint.
2. Chicken Enchiladas
Another rich and cheesy way to enjoy leftover Thanksgiving turkey. The blast of color and flavor from this Chicken Enchiladas casserole will have you giving thanks for leftovers. This comes with a Homemade Enchilada Sauce, too!
3. Fiesta Chicken Casserole
In less than 10minutes, you can have this easy and loaded Fiesta Chicken Casserole in the oven. A turkey version of this casserole dish brimming with Southwestern flavors, corn, beans, cheese, and pasta, is sure to please the entire family and keep them digging for more.
4. Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy turkey pasta salad (using leftover turkey) has a healthy ring to it. It’s so satisfying, oh-so-easy, and packed with great flavors. It may be past summer already, but you can always serve this fantastic dish as a side or a complete meal on its own!
5. Brunswick Stew
My go-to stew right after Thanksgiving! This one-pot Brunswick stew has both meat and vegetables on it in a flavorful BBQ-based sauce that is just very comforting especially on cold nights! And if you have leftover cornbread, go ahead and serve it with this.
6. Quiche Lorraine
I love a good quiche for a weekend breakfast or brunch. And this Quiche Lorraine here is my go-to weekend breakfast recipe using cubed leftover turkey. Simply swap the bacon with turkey (or go for both coz why not!) for that added bite in every slice of this queen of all savory tarts!
7. Hoppin John
Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve (a tradition in the South) to serve this filling dish. I can assure you that this savory, smokey, a bit spicy, wholesome black-eyed pea stew is perfect any time of the year. So skip the carbs and go for this protein-packed easy dinner.
8. Ham and Bean Soup
This one isn’t just good with your leftover holiday ham, but also with leftover turkey. A rich and very comforting soup that also features beans, carrots, and celery for that warm hug in a bowl meal. And it freezes well, too!
9. Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
This is one of our readers’ post-thanksgiving favorite recipes! It’s rich, creamy, thick, and just enticingly good! So instead of using chicken, simply swap it with turkey and you’re in for a wonderful treat. And it doesn’t require any cream to bring out all of its flavors. Pair it with this crusty No Knead Bread for a soul-satisfying meal!
10. Red Beans and Rice
Smoky, spicy, and overly comforting beans and rice combo, what’s not to love? This Southern classic with delightfully complex yet satisfying flavors is a must-have on a weekly rotation. It takes soulful food to the next level (using your Thanksgiving turkey)!
11. Southern Mustard Greens
Want some green on your dinner table? Go whip up this slowly-braised Southern Mustard Greens packed not just with turkey, but also with bacon, and chicken. An easy soulful meal that has tons of flavor!
12. Stuffed Green Bell Peppers
Instead of ground beef, feel free to swap it with finely diced cooked turkey and you’re all set. Now that’s a guilt-free healthy post-thanksgiving meal you can whip up in no time!
How do you usually use your leftover turkey? Do you have a favorite one? Feel free to share your recipe in the comment for everyone to see!
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