30 Leftover Turkey Recipes

November 29, 2013 - Written by Diana

by Deborah Ng

Probably now you’re shopping and chopping in anticipation of Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day feast. 20 minutes after you set the food out to the table all your guest will be sipping wine or falling asleep on the couch while your table is left a shambles of turkey carcasses and large half-filled food bowls. You know you made too much food. In fact you probably did it on purpose because we all know the leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving dinner. So what are you going to do with all that leftover turkey?  Here are a 30 leftover turkey recipes to help you use it all up.



Leftover Turkey

30 Leftover Turkey Recipes

  1. Turkey Rice Bake
  2.  Turkey a la King
  3. Turkey Strata
  4. Turkey Pot Pie
  5. Leftover Turkey Sammich
  6. Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole
  7. Hot Turkey Salad
  8. Turkey Wing and Red Lentil Soup
  9. Turkey Cranberry Wreath
  10. Turkey & Stuffin’ Soup
  11. Turkey Cottage Pie
  12. Hot Turkey Casserole
  13. 12 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes
  14. Turkey Pumpkin Panini or Turkey Pumpkin Wrap
  15. Tex-Mex Turkey Chili
  16. Turkey Tetrazzini
  17. Turkey Mushroom Wild Rice Soup
  18. Turkey Stuffing Hash For Breakfast
  19. Barbecue Turkey Sandwiches
  20. Biscuit Topped Turkey Pot Pie
  21. Thanksgiving Chili Rellenos With Chipotle Cranberry Sauce
  22. Hot Turkey and Cheddar Casserole
  23. Lespinasse Turkey Croquettes
  24. Smoked Turkey Jerky
  25. Turkey Ham Vegetable Hash
  26. Turkey Salad in Mango Chutney Mayo
  27. Thanksgiving Leftover Wontons with Cranberry Salsa
  28. Barbecue Turkey Loaf
  29. Hearty Turkey Vegetable Soup
  30. Turkey Tortilla Roll Ups
  31. Turkey Soup

Deb’s post about the leftover celebration that I like, so I’m linking here.

Updated Post – Originally posted by Deborah Ng in Nov 2008.  Updated by Diana Hayes November 2013

Citrusy Tequila Turkey

November 26, 2013 - Written by Diana



Thanksgiving is the big kahuna of family meals so when you invite your family or your in-laws to your Thanksgiving dinner, it had better be good.  I remember going to my sister-in-law’s and how they tormented her about whether her turkey would be dry.  I felt so bad for her, but she was used to it, growing up with 5 brothers who show no mercy.  In our family the women were the forced to be reckoned with, so the dynamic was more of encouragement.  Either way, it’s nerve wracking to try and come up with a dinner that everyone will be tasting, so I’m sharing an interesting twist on turkey using one of my favorite ingredients – Tequila.  This is a sweet citrusy turkey with a little tequila kick for your Thanksgiving Dinner. I hope your Thanksgiving dinner brings you a great family meal whether or not you have a Citrusy Tequila Turkey.  Feel free to pare down the ingredient amounts based on using a smaller turkey, since this recipe is for a huge one.


Tequila Turkey


Preheat over to 325 degrees F

Wash turkey well and pat dry then set turkey in roasting bag next set into roasting pan. Stuff cavity of the turkey with 1 lemon quartered, 1 orange quartered, 2 granny smith apples quartered, and 1 white onion quartered. Add Fresh sage and thyme bundle.Pour 1 cup of honey over the top of turkey, add salt and pepper to taste, and 2 teaspoons of garlic salt to the top of turkey. Cut 2 sticks of butter into half inch pieces and place around the bottom of the turkey in the bag. Inject one cup of Maestro DOBEL tequila into the turkey. Pour one cup of Maestro DOBEL tequila over the turkey in the roasting bag.

Place turkey in a roasting pan and bake for 5 hours

Easy Gravy-Strain the juices that have accumulated in the bag, skim off any fat, pour the turkey drippings into pan, add cup of flour and salt and pepper to taste. Stir on med. Heat until all the flour is mixed well.


Turkey Roasting

November 15, 2013 - Written by Diana

Delicious Moist Turkey

Turkey is one of the easiest things to cook, the main problem is taking it out on time so that it stays moist and tender.  To that end, pay attention to roasting times and pop up thermometers.  Get a meat thermometer and make sure you check the temp with that after the pop up – pops to be sure.  Follow these suggestions for a wonderful tasting roasted turkey for your Thanksgiving (or even not Thanksgiving) bird.

Suggested temp 325 degrees.

8 – 12 lbs  3 1/2 – 4 hours
12 – 16lbs 4 – 4 1/2 hours
16 – 20 lbs 4 1/2 – 5 hours
20 – 24 lbs 5 – 6 hours
Subtract a half hour if it is unstuffed.



Another method of cooking a turkey is deep frying.  However, any type cooking directions that includes keeping a fire extinguisher nearby makes me shake my head.  I’ve heard it’s really good that way though and very moist.

For Big Green Egg lovers, here are directions to cooking a turkey on the BGE.

Of course, if you wait too long and you’re too tired, or you have to work, or you just don’t want to spend all day cooking or working on a turkey.. there’s always the supermarket pre-ordered, pre-cooked ready for pick up.



This is an updated repost from 2008.




Turkey Stuffing Hash for Breakfast – Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe

November 25, 2011 - Written by Diana

This is a really easy recipe for breakfast if you have leftover lovers like we have in our home.  The ingredients aren’t important, what’s important here is how you layer it in order to get the crispy bottom.

Saute in oil a little bit of onion.

Drop in turkey pieces that you pulled apart – sprinkle it around the pan.  The idea is to build up your hash so there’s a little bit on all sides of the pan.  Heat each layer before adding the next.  The plan is to get a crispy bottom.  If you put too many ingredients in at once you will end up steaming instead of crisping.

Sprinkle stuffing around on top of the turkey.  The layers shouldn’t be too thick, or you will end up with a soggy middle.

I use my hands for this part (well for most parts) and pull the cold mashed potatoes out in little tiny balls and sprinkle all around the pan.

Stir a little, and if it needs vegetable spray to keep it from sticking spray a little on.

When it’s just about ready, crack your eggs out on top spread out over the whole pan and cover.  I wanted runny yolks, so we didn’t broil, we covered.

Sprinkle cheese lightly around the edges of the eggs and recover until the eggs are perfect and serve.

Tasty good, its fun to identify what’s in the little bites, with the crispy bottom and the runny egg top.  I had figs in my stuffing, they were a sweet treat.

Yum!  What are you doing with your leftovers?  Straight up, or change up?


Nothing Says Christmas Like….StarWars Cookies?

December 24, 2010 - Written by Deb Ng

So Mr. Ng and I are browsing the cookie cutters at Williams Sonoma a couple of weeks ago, and what to my wandering eye should appear, but a box of Star Wars cookie cutters:

We have a standard set of holiday cookie cutters at home. You know, the usual Christmas trees, snowmen and bells and stuff. However, as a geek, this called to me. Plus The Boy is just winding down from a major (and I mean major) StarWars phase.

I’m not an impulsive girl and there’s no way I’d spend $20 for 4 cookie cutters, but these called for me. They even called to Mr. Ng whose wallet is sealed tighter than the Declaration of Independence. So, we left William Sonoma with a box of overpriced cookie cutters.

The Boy loved them and last Saturday we got down to business.

The cookie cutters have lots of nooks and crannies, but thankfully they have those press things on the back to make dough removal easier. However, we did find it easier to dust the cookie cutters with flour a bit. (They’re a bit of a pain to wash, though.)

Oh, wait. You should have a recipe in case you want to play the home game:

Deb’s Sugar Cookies:


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups softened butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

The Nitty Gritty:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar . Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the everything else. Chill for a couple of hours. (I usually leave it overnight which makes for a very impatient 8 year old).
  2. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough and cut with your favorite cookie cutters. Place about an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes.
Now, where was I.

Oh yes, StarWars cookies….

So this recipe makes a lot of cookies and by the time we cut the second dozen The Boy was over it so I was on my own for the rest of the day.
Cut, the cookies looked like this:
And baked, they look like this:
Now, these taste well enough on their own, but we all know Christmas cookies must be decorated.
Warning: What you see here may be disturbing. I’m not an artist, I didn’t have the right colors, and well, I go outside the lines sometime. But The Boy and The Friend thinks they eat just fine:
And lest you think I have no Christmas spirit at all, I did make the other kind too:

Christmas Dinner With A Little Spirit

December 22, 2010 - Written by Diana

Here are some recipes from Sidney Frank importing.  Add some spirit to your dishes with Jagermeister, Michael Collins Irish Whiskey Blend, and Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur.

Jägermeister Roasted Turkey with Fresh Herbs

Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the onion, carrot, celery, herbs in the turkey and season inside and outside the poultry. Truss the turkey or tie the legs with kitchen string. Place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter over the breast. In a small pan over low heat, melt the remaining butter; stir in the lemon zest, ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of Jägermeister.
Roast the turkey, basting with Jägermeister butter mixture every 20 minutes, until pan drippings have accumulated, then baste with the drippings. After 1½ hours, add the chopped carrots, onion to the pan and continue to roast, basting every 30 minutes. If the breast begins to over brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Roast until the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh away from the bone registers 175˚F, 2½ -3 hours total.
Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.
Skim off the fat and juices of the pan, leaving the vegetables. Set the pan over medium heat and scrape up any brown bits. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock and stir for 3 minutes. Add the corn starch mixture and the remaining chicken stock; stir until thickened. Pour Jägermeister into the pan and simmer for 1 minute. Strain the Jägermeister Gravy.
Snip the string, carve the turkey and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve with Jägermeister gravy.
Serve 12, without leftover.

Michael Collins Gorgonzola Stuffed Figs

Mix balsamic vinegar, Michael Collins Blend, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.  Brush each fig with mixture.  Press ½ teaspoon of the Gorgonzola into one end of each fig.
Arrange basil leaves on a serving platter.  Place figs on top of leaves and drizzle remaining Michael Collins balsamic vinegar mixture over figs.
Makes 24 pieces.

Vanilla Bean & Honey Crème brûleé (infused with Lavender)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the cream and milk in a medium saucepan and add the lavender and vanilla seeds (including the pod). Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the lavender and stems steep for about 15 minutes or until the milk has a lavender flavor. (For a stronger flavor, allow to steep longer.)
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Add Bärenjäger and whisk into the lavender-cream mixture. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and skim off any foam. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Pour the mixture into 6 ramekins or crème brûleé dishes. Set the ramekins in a baking dish and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until set. (Test for doneness by jiggling the ramekins.) Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow the ramekins to cool in the water bath for 5 minutes. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Before serving, sprinkle the tops with a thin layer of sugar and caramelize with a small torch or under a broiler set on high.
Garnish each crème brûleé with lavender blossoms.

Tasting Notes –

Jägermeister – The liqueur is based on a secret recipe, combining 56 different natural ingredients, including select herbs, blossoms, roots and fruits from every corner of the globe

Bärenjäger- Made in Germany, this 70 proof vodka-based honey liqueur is made with premium quality honey from the Mexican province of Yucatan. Each 750ml bottle contains 225 grams of natural honey and a mixture of botanicals resulting in a subtly sweet, spicy and herb edged taste profile. (This a very sweet vodka, like mead, it’s almost over sweet – but I think it is great as an ingredient in a mixed drink or in a dessert.)

Michael Collins Irish Whiskey Blend: A refined blend of malt Irish whiskey and grain Irish whiskey, Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey is  double distilled for proper balance of purity and character, and then matured in bourbon seasoned casks from four to twelve years. Aromas of honey, citrus and malt give way to a delicate balance of these flavors with a fresh oak finish.

Southern Apple Pecan Dressing

November 13, 2010 - Written by Diana

The time has come to start the Thanksgiving dinner recipes.  Dressing or Stuffing what’s the difference.  Where I came from, everything was called stuffing, here in Ohio, mostly it’s called dressing so I always thought it was a regional thing.  Whatever – you can also call it stuffing if you stuff it, and dressing if you don’t.  Usually I don’t stuff the turkey, I bake the stuffing (or dressing) and serve it as a side dish – because I like it that way.  I love apples and pecans in my dressing (stuffing) and sometimes I throw in some raisins.  Here’s a recipe developed by the Deen Brothers.  Oven dried bread means cube it and toast it on low until the bread is dry enough to use for stuffing.

Southern Apple Pecan Dressing

Recipe created by Jamie and Bobby Deen on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation

Servings – 8
PreHeat – 350°
Prep Time – 20 min
Cooking Time – 1 hr
Total Time – 1 hr 20 min
Difficulty – Easy



In an extra large mixing bowl, toss together white bread and crackers. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in celery, onion,apples, sage and poultry seasoning. Cook until onion is translucent. Pour vegetable mixture over bread mixture. Add stock, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Stir in Nuts. Pour mixture in a prepared 9×13 baking pan.

Bake until golden on the top and cooked through with a slight jiggle (45-60 minutes).

Tell us, are you a stuffing, or dressing person?  What kind do you like best?

No Healthy Halloween Treats Here

October 26, 2010 - Written by Deb Ng

Ok, I’m going to come out and say it. There are plenty of people searching this blog for “healthy Halloween treats.” While this is admirable, let me just state for the record that working hard to have a healthy Halloween sort of defeats the purpose of trick or treating and Halloween parties. Seriously.

Last year my son’s second grade teacher was a health nut. For the class Halloween party she decided that kids eat unhealthy enough and that she would give them all yogurt and fruit for the Halloween party. First of all? It’s not up to my son’s teacher to determine that everything we feed our kids is unhealthy and therefore she must step in to save us all. And Second? The kids thought the party sucked. Exact words were, “yogurt? This party sucks.”

So if you’ve come here looking for healthy Halloween treats and you’re looking for something made with carrot sticks or applesauce, move along. There’s absolutely nothing to see here.

Halloween is the one day of the year we allow our children to indulge and that one day won’t kill them. As for the candy that is leftover after Halloween? It’s up to each and every parent to police their kids’ caloric intake. If you allow them to inhale candy at an alarming rate, well, yeah, you’re going to have some issues. If you set limits and allow, say one piece each day, or only candy on weekends, your kids will learn better habits.

For goodness sakes, let’s not suck all the fun out of life. There’s already a movement to stop having cupcakes for classroom birthday parties, do we need to do away with Halloween treats as well?

Call me a bad mom but on Halloween my son will be trick or treating at every house within a two mile radius. He will come home with a huge bag filled with candy and we will let him have two to three pieces of said candy. And he will have fun, darnit, because he isn’t allowed candy every day. The candy he collects will last the entire year and some of it will be donated to kids who can’t go trick or treating.  In any event, I am allowing him this indulgence.

A few years ago I might have written up a post listing all sorts of healthy alternatives, but why bother when I’m not doing it myself?

Healthy Halloween? Not this year. Not my house.

Mediterranean Easter Recipes

April 3, 2010 - Written by Diana

Easter is upon upon us.  Since Greek Orthodox Easter falls on the same day as Western Easter, Phaidon Press the publisher of some of the best Mediterrranean cookbooks suggests that we prepare our Easter Dinner in a Meditteranean style.  I’m all for that, since Roast Leg of Lamb is my favorite thing to make.  I already picked up my lamb from Blues Creek Farm Meats in the North Market.  I’ve never tried a Navy Bean Garnish, but it sounds intriguing. I once tried some apricots and prunes with my lamb, but that didn’t go over well and most was scraped away, mostly by the men.  Beans are a manly dish, so it might have a better chance. The Easter Pie and Easter Bread both sound tempting, I may try them out also.  If you try out these recipes or have tried them before let us know what you think in the comments.


Roast Leg of Spring Lamb (from From 1080 Recipes)

Pierna de Cordero Pascual Asada

1 leg of lamb, 3 ¼ -4 ½ pounds

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup lard or 3-4 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Navy bean garnish (see recipe below)


Serves 6-8

Rub the lamb all over with garlic, spread the lard or brush the oil all over it, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 450⁰F. Put the lamb into a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350⁰F. Roast, basting occasionally, until the lamb is cooked to your liking, allowing about 15-20 minutes per pound. About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, brush the vinegar all over the lamb. When the meat is cooked, turn off the oven but leave the lamb to rest in it for about 5 minutes. Remove the leg from the roasting pan and carve, collecting all the juices from the carving, and cook over medium heat, stirring and scraping up any bits from the base of the pan. Garnish the lamb with the navy bean garnish and serve immediately, offering the sauce separately.

Navy Bean Garnish

Judais Blancas de Adorno

1 ¾ cups dried navy beans, soaked for 3 hours in cold water and drained

1 bay leaf

1 small onion, halved

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


Serves 6

Put the beans into a pan and pour in water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat, and drain. Return the beans to the pan, pour in fresh cold water to cover, add the bay leaf and onion halves, and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Add 1 cup cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes more. Do this twice more at 30-minute intervals, then simmer for another 30 minutes (making a total cooking time of about 2 ½ hours). Drain the beans in a large colander. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the beans. Season to taste with salt and sprinkle with the parsley. Do not let the beans brown or they will become hard. These beans go well with roast leg of lamb.


Easter Pie (From The Silver Spoon)

Serves 12

Butter, for greasing

1 pound 5 ounces Swiss chard

10 eggs

1 ½ cups ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, freshly grated

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Scant 1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram

14 ounces puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Olive oil, for brushing

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400⁰F. Grease a large pie dish with butter. Cook the chard in salted, boiling water for 10 minutes until tender, then drain and chop. Beat together four of the eggs. Push the ricotta through a strainer into a bowl, add the beaten eggs, parmesan, bread crumbs and cream and season. Stir in the chard and marjoram. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface into two thin sheets. Line the prepared dish with a sheet of dough, letting the edges overhang, and brush with olive oil. Place the second sheet on top and pour in half the chard mixture. Make six small hollows in the chard mixture, and break an egg into each. Season, cover with the remaining chard mixture and smooth the surface with a damp knife. Roll out the remaining dough into two thin sheets. Place one on the filling and brush with oil, then top with the second and crimp carefully around the sides to steal. Prick the surface with a fork. Bake for about 1 hour. Easter pie may be served hot or cold.


Easter Bread with Chocolate and Almonds (From Vefa’s Kitchen)

Easter is the most important traditional feast in Greece. On Easter Sunday, the fires are lit early for the spit-roasting of the Easter lamb, which is often a community affair. After the long fast, all types of food can be eaten during the week after Easter, even on Wednesday and Friday. Special breads, pies, desserts, and dishes with young goat and lamb all form part of the festivities.

4 cups strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

1 ½ tablespoons rapid-rise yeast

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons superfine sugar

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

4 tablespoons lukewarm water

5 tablespoons lukewarm milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

5 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for brushing

1 egg yolk

Slivered almonds for sprinkling

For the filling

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup blanched almonds, roasted

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Sift together the flour, yeast, and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the sugar, orange zest, lukewarm water, lukewarm milk, and eggs and gradually incorporate the dry ingredients, kneading to a soft dough. Gradually pour in the melted butter and gently knead into the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 -2 hours, until doubled in volume. Brush a cookie sheet with melted butter. Divide the dough in half and roll out each piece into 12 x16-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle widthwise into 3 strips. Brush each strip with beaten egg and divide the roasted almonds and chocolate chips among them, sprinkling them evenly. Roll into long ropes and pinch the edges to seal. Lay 3 ropes next to each other and braid them, pressing the ends to seal. Lay 3 ropes next to each other and braid them, pressing the ends to seal. Repeat with the remaining 3 ropes. Put the braids on the prepared cookie sheet and cover with buttered plastic wrap. Let rise for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400⁰F. Beat the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water in a bowl, brush the tops of the loaves with the mixture, and sprinkle with the silvered almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes , until golden. Let cool and store covered.

Makes 2 loaves

Preparation time 3 hours (including rising)

Cooking time 20-25 minutes

Turkey, Chard and Red Jasmine Rice

November 28, 2009 - Written by Diana

Turkey leftovers on Friday are always great.  You shouldn’t want to do a huge preparation, just a little relaxing cooking for the day after Thanksgiving meal. I have this lovely chard colored red, yellow and green growing in my garden.  No dyes involved in case like my kids you were wondering.  We planted this in the raised beds earlier this past summer, but since Chard loves cool weather it is thriving and growing enthusiastically.  Isn’t this just gorgeous?

Swiss Chard

I also had some Ruby Red Jasmine Rice to try out, which I thought would look awesome with  my chard.

Ruby Red Jasmine Rice

I pulled off the chard stems, chopped them and steamed them in the rice cooker along with the rice.  My rice cooker has a steam tray that sits up from the rice.

Steamed Chard Stems

In a pan on the stove, I put in a couple of tablespoons of oil and sautéed, onions and garlic.  When it just starting to soften, I put the chopped up chard leaves on top and covered. It looks like a lot of chard, but it cooks down like spinach.  You need a lot of leaves to make a nice amount on your plate.

Sauteeing chard

When the chard was cooked down and was almost ready, I added turkey that I pulled apart, and about a cup of turkey gel from the leftover drippings.

Sauteed Chard and Turkey Gorgeous. Throw in salt, pepper and some of your favorite spices.


I served the Turkey and Chard with turkey stock over the Red Jasmine Rice and Chard stems.

Sauteed Chard and Turkey over Jasmine Rice



I’m entering this in the 5 Star Makeover for Thanksgiving leftovers.