It happens every year.
You head to the grocery store on Tuesday, hunting the biggest turkey you can possibly fit in your oven (or turkey fryer).
And when Thursday rolls around and you sit down to a magnificent Thanksgiving feast with that beautiful bird at the center, you’re leased with your purchase. That is, until dinner’s done and you find yourself cramming a whole Tupperware set full of leftover meat, not to mention the stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.
The problem’s even more pressing if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving abord your RV this year, since you likely don’t have as much refrigerator space as usual.
When it comes to holiday leftovers, you’ve gotta use it or lose it. And, let’s be honest: post-Thanksgiving sandwiches are a wonderful invention, but after a couple of days of eating the same thing for every meal, even the most delectable treats get old.
But don’t worry! You don’t have to resign yourself to turkey on rye for the foreseeable future. We’ve found some amazing, creative, delicious leftover turkey recipes to please every palate.
Fresh Ideas for Leftover Turkey Recipes
Put down that bread knife. We’re thinking outside the sandwich this winter!
1. Turkey Frittata
Turkey for breakfast? You bet — and with this amazing-looking recipe by Yasmin Fahr at Serious Eats, you won’t be complaining about it. It’ll even use up some of your cranberry sauce leftovers if you take her (brilliant) advice and use it as a dipper.
Psst: The easiest way to make a frittata (and a number of other delicious dishes) is in a cast iron pan, so if you don’t already have one, you might consider making the investment. They can be found for less than $20, and if you season and treat it right, it’ll last you a lifetime.
2. Turkey Pizza
If the only meal you look forward to more than Thanksgiving is your biweekly pizza night, this is going to blow your mind. You can combine these amazing dinner rituals… by creating leftover turkey pizza! (Plus, if you’re looking for kid-friendly leftover turkey recipes, this idea is pretty unbeatable.)
Although you can obviously go with whatever toppings and sauces you like, we love this inventive barbecue turkey pizza recipe from White on Rice Couple. With fresh-grated gouda and a scratch-made crust, it’s as yummy as it is untraditional. (Psst: the featured photo is of this Christmas Turkey Pizza over at Taste.com.au.)
Whether you mix up your own or use pre-made, if you want to make sure your crust is nice and crispy, bake it up on a pizza stone. They’re available for $50 or less and can be used for WAY more than just pizza baking; many chefs swear by them for breads, cookies, and even roasting up vegetables. You can also use it on the grill, so it’s perfect for RVers!
Cooking Leftover Turkey Recipes
Leftover turkey soup and casserole are classic recipes, but that doesn’t mean they’re boring! Here are some of our favorites.
3. Turkey and Stuffing Bake
This leftover turkey stuffing casserole bake was created by Betty Crocker, and thus calls for her instant stuffing — but you can easily substitute in grandma’s homemade version. It’s the sour cream that really makes it!
4. Turkey Pho
There are so many leftover turkey soup recipes out there you could probably make a different one every Thanksgiving for the rest of your life, but if you’re ready to bring some new (and spicy!) flavors to the table this winter, we suggest this turkey pho by Lindsay at Pinch of Yum.
5. Slow Cooker Leftover Turkey Soup
If you’re looking for easy leftover cooked turkey recipes, it just doesn’t get any simpler than this turkey soup by Sageca at Genius Kitchen. Basically, all you have to do is throw everything in your Crock Pot, and you’ll be noshing on the perfect warming winter meal in hours. Sometimes, simple is best!
Creative Leftover Turkey Recipes
Sick of soup? Can’t take even one more casserole?
Never fear; we’ve got your back. Try these creative leftover turkey recipes on for size.
6. Turkey Nachos
Yes, you read that right. Talk about interesting leftover turkey recipes, right?
Best of all, this delicious leftover treat comes together with just a few ingredients. Actually, there are only three non-negotiable ingredients: nacho chips, turkey, and cheese. Everything else is up to you!
Of course, if you’re looking for a little inspiration, there’s plenty to be found in this recipe from Food Network, which brings in your leftover butternut squash and brussels sprouts as well as a dash of jalapenos. Yuuuum — total game-changer!
7. Turkey Spring Rolls
Yup, this is a thing… and a delicious-looking thing, we must say. Leave it to Ree Drummond, better known as The Pioneer Woman, to dream up something this delightful after hosting a full-on holiday meal!
The Pioneer Woman’s leftover turkey spring rolls are crunchy, snappy, and fresh — which makes them the perfect counterpoint to all that heavy, rich food you just downed yesterday. Best get rolling!
Freezable Leftover Turkey Recipes
Freezable recipes are a great way to take care of a hefty load of leftovers; you can make a big ol’ batch and parcel it out over a longer stretch of time. Because, although it seems unthinkable now, you might just get sick of turkey after a few days — no matter how creatively you prepare it. 🙂
8. Turkey and Potato Curry
Curry recipes for leftover turkey meat are fairly popular, but this one at BBC Good Food by Katy Greenwood looks particularly delectable. And with more than 20 grams of protein and less than 300 calories per serving, it’s a healthy way to repurpose that heavy Thanksgiving banquet.
9. Freezer-Friendly Turkey Tetrazzini
Want to make this classic leftover recipe even better? Try this easy recipe from Munchkin Mama over at Genius Kitchen, which makes a totally freezer-ready (and scrumptiously cheesy) tetrazzini casserole. (It calls for chicken, but leftover turkey works just as well!)
What are some good recipes for leftover turkey in your family’s Thanksgiving rotation? Let us know!
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