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How To Reheat Turkey

Who doesn’t love a good turkey dinner? But let’s be honest, most of us tend to overestimate how much turkey we need and end up with leftovers.

That’s not a problem, because turkey leftovers can be delicious! However, reheating them without drying out the meat can be a challenge.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to reheat your turkey to perfection.

Thanksgiving plate with turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

To reheat turkey and maintain its juiciness, use the oven method at 325°F (165°C) for 20-30 minutes with added broth. Alternatively, the microwave, stovetop, or air fryer can be used for quicker reheating, ensuring moisture is reintroduced to prevent dryness.

How To Perfectly Reheat Your Turkey

We’ve all experienced it: biting into a reheated slice of meat only to be met with dryness and disappointment.

This is especially heart-wrenching when it comes to your festive Thanksgiving turkey, which was once the juicy centerpiece of your meal.

To avoid this travesty and ensure your turkey remains the treat you remember, the method of reheating is crucial.

Retaining Moisture

Turkey, especially its breast meat, is notoriously lean. This means it has a tendency to lose moisture rapidly.

When reheating, it’s essential to lock in that moisture to ensure your leftover turkey remains as succulent as it was on day one.

Preserving Flavor

Think back to when your turkey was first roasted: seasoned meticulously and cooked to absolute perfection.

The last thing you’d want is for the reheating process to rob it of its inherent flavor. Let’s delve into how you can maintain that delectable taste even days after the initial feast.

Methods Of Reheating Turkey

Each method has its perks. Choose based on the quantity you’re reheating and the tools at your disposal.


The oven is your best bet when dealing with larger quantities or when you aim to preserve the turkey’s roasted taste. Here are the steps to reheating turkey in the oven.

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Slice your turkey if you haven’t already.
  3. Lay your turkey slices or pieces evenly in an ovenproof dish.
  4. Drizzle or brush on a bit of chicken or turkey broth. This helps in retaining moisture.
  5. Tightly cover the dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil to trap steam.
  6. Reheat for about 20-30 minutes, adjusting the time based on quantity and thickness.


If you’re short on time or reheating a plate for one, the microwave can be super handy but it should be done carefully as it leaves you with dried-out turkey.

  1. Arrange turkey slices on a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Moisten with a few tablespoons of water or broth to prevent drying.
  3. Cover with a microwave-safe lid, ensuring there’s a small vent for steam.
  4. Use medium power to avoid overcooking and check every 30 seconds.


If you’re thinking of turning your turkey leftovers into a rich soup or stew, this method is golden.

  1. Place turkey pieces in a pot or large skillet.
  2. Pour in a good amount of broth or water.
  3. Gently heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until it’s thoroughly warmed.

Air Fryer

The air fryer’s rapid air circulation can work wonders in bringing your turkey slices back to their juicy best, and it adds a crispiness that many people love.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Lightly brush turkey slices with some oil or spray to prevent them from drying out. You can also sprinkle them with a little water or broth.
  3. Place turkey slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Ensure they’re not overlapping for even reheating.
  4. Reheat for 3-5 minutes. Check the texture and internal temperature. If necessary, you can add an additional 1-2 minutes, but be cautious not to overheat.
  5. Once done, let the turkey rest for a minute before serving.

You might also be interested in how to reheat pork chops or fried chicken. Learn how with our comprehensive guide.

MethodBest ForProsCons
OvenLarge quantitiesEven heating, retains original flavorTakes longer, uses more energy
MicrowaveIndividual servingsQuick, very convenientUneven heating, can overcook easily
StovetopMaking soups and stewsInfuses flavor, very aromaticNeeds constant attention, slightly longer
Air FryerCrisp reheatingQuick, adds crispiness, even reheatingLimited quantity at a time

For more tips about reviving Thanksgiving leftovers check out my posts on how to reheat mashed potatoes and how to thicken gravy

Tips For Reheating Turkey

Success is in the details! Here are additional pointers to elevate your reheating game.

Keep It Moist

Avoid a dry-out disaster by always introducing a liquid, whether it’s broth, water, or even gravy when reheating.

Don’t Rush

Quick and high heat is a surefire way to get tough, dry turkey. Always opt for slower, gentler heating.

Check Temperature

Safety first! A food thermometer can be your best ally. Ensure the turkey’s internal temperature hits at least 165°F (74°C) before serving. For more safety tips for reheating your leftovers check out the FDA guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Reheat Turkey

Retaining moisture is key. Whether using an oven, microwave, stovetop, or air fryer, always add some liquid (like broth or water) to keep the turkey juicy.

Reheated turkey should achieve an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to consume.

Yes! When reheating turkey in the microwave, always introduce some moisture (like water or broth) and use medium power, checking every 30 seconds to prevent overcooking.


Leftover turkey deserves as much love as its initial debut on the dinner table. With the right reheating techniques, you can ensure every bite remains just as good if not more so, the second time around.

Enjoy your meal, and here’s to many more delicious turkey leftovers!

Thanksgiving plate with turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

How To Reheat Turkey

Perfectly reheated turkey retains its original juiciness and flavor. This guide offers various methods to ensure your leftovers are just as delicious the next day.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American


  • Leftover Turkey



  • Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
  • Place turkey in an ovenproof dish.
  • Add broth for moisture and cover with foil.
  • Reheat for 20-30 minutes and serve right away.


  • Lay turkey on a microwave-safe dish.
  • Add a splash of water or broth.
  • Cover with a microwave lid and vent.
  • Heat on medium power, checking every 30 seconds until heated through.


  • Dice up your turkey to the desired size.
  • Place turkey in a pot or skillet.
  • Add ample broth or water.
  • Heat on medium, stirring occasionally until it comes to a slow boil.
  • Add in vegetables and noodles of your choice and continue to cook on a simmer.

Air Fryer

  • Preheat to 350°F (175°C).
  • Brush the turkey with oil or broth.
  • Arrange in a single layer on the air fryer basket.
  • Reheat for 3-5 minutes until the turkey reaches 165°F.
Keyword How To Reheat Turkey
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