What to do with that leftover turkey


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Here are some ideas of what to do with that leftover turkey.

Caroline Wilson, Staff Writer

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On Thanksgiving, a large roasted turkey may seem like the perfect way to celebrate the holiday. But along with this tradition comes another: looking into the fridge the day after and desperately trying to find a way to use said turkey. Never fear, though, here are 5 interesting ways to remix those leftovers.

The day-after sandwich is a classic use of sliced holiday turkey; below are two recipes that change up the formula.

Turkey-Basil Chicken Salad Sandwich

In this recipe, a simple chicken salad substitutes chicken for turkey and adds basil and lemon to give the sandwich a lighter flavor. 

  • 1 ½ cups chopped cooked turkey
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cumin, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Bread of your choice
  • 1 juiced lemon

Instructions: Copycat Chicken Salad Chick Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

Turkey Club Sandwich Kebab

Like a normal turkey club… on a stick!

  • Sliced turkey
  • Cooked bacon
  • Colby Jack, cut into squares
  • Sliced bread, cut into squares
  • Sliced avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Lettuce

Instructions: Lunch Kebabs

Below are three more dishes to create a heavier meal.

Turkey Soup

This recipe utilizes scraps from the turkey to make a hardy broth.

  • Cooked turkey
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried sage leaves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • ½ cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 medium stalks of celery, sliced (1 cup)
  • 3 cups cut-up cooked turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves if desired

Instructions: Homemade Turkey Soup

Turkey Pho

This recipe fully reimagines the use of turkey to create a refreshingly unique meal.

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Make the turkey pho
  • 1-quart homemade turkey stock 
  • 1 bunch of green onions (green top parts only) chopped
  • 1/3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with the side of the knife
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 pound leftover turkey breast, shredded
  • 1 bunch (approx. 2 oz.) cellophane/bean thread noodles
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped- for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions (white parts only), minced- for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 dash of Sriracha chili sauce to taste
  • Lettuce

Instructions: Turkey Pho

Turkey Pot Pie

This is a classic, comforting meal that can be proportioned to any amount of leftovers.

  • 2 cups peas and carrots mix
  • 2 cups chopped green beans
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup diced onion
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • 1 ⅓ cups milk
  • 4 cups cubed leftover cooked turkey
  • 2 (14.1 ounces) packages of pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie

Instructions: Dad’s Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Whether any of these recipes are replicated, or it’s Thanksgiving leftover dinner for a week, have a wonderful break!