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How to Use Leftover Turkey

After a festive turkey feast, many of us find ourselves pondering what to do with the leftovers. With about 46 million turkeys consumed each Thanksgiving in America, we’re all in this together!

Instead of letting that delicious turkey sit in your refrigerator, let’s reinvent it into something mouth-watering. From quick fixes to gourmet delights, this guide will show you the way. Onward to turkey transformation!

Fresh turkey sandwich with lettuce and cheese on wheat bread.

How to Reheat Leftover Turkey

Reheating turkey requires a delicate touch to retain its juicy tenderness. Whether you opt for the oven, microwave, or stovetop method, the key is to add a bit of moisture, like broth or water, and heat gently until the turkey reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

It’s essential to avoid overcooking or reheating multiple times, which can dry out the meat. For a comprehensive guide on the best methods and tips for reheating your turkey leftovers, be sure to check out our detailed post on how to reheat turkey.

Quick Leftover Turkey Ideas

When hunger strikes and you’ve got turkey leftovers, these swift and simple dishes will come to your rescue in no time.

1. Turkey Sandwich

Pile turkey slices with cranberry sauce, stuffing, and cheese between your favorite bread.

2. Turkey Salad

Dice the turkey and toss it with mixed greens, tomatoes, olives, and your favorite dressing.

3. Turkey Quesadillas

Spread turkey, cheese, and veggies between two tortillas and grill until golden.

4. Turkey Soup

Combine turkey pieces with vegetables, broth, and seasonings. Simmer to perfection.

5. Turkey Omelette

Whisk eggs, and add turkey bits, veggies, and cheese. Cook until fluffy and serve hot.

6. Turkey Panini

Press turkey slices, cranberry sauce, cheese, and some greens between two slices of bread and grill until crispy.

7. Turkey Pasta Salad

Mix cold pasta with turkey pieces, veggies, feta cheese, and a zesty vinaigrette for a refreshing meal.

Transformative Dishes with Leftover Turkey

Elevate your remaining turkey into gourmet masterpieces with these inventive and palate-pleasing recipes.

1. Turkey Curry

Transform your turkey into an aromatic curry by sautéing your favorite vegetables, and adding curry paste, coconut milk, and turkey pieces. Let it simmer until all the flavors come together.

2. Turkey Pot Pie

A hearty option is the turkey pot pie. Combine turkey chunks and mixed vegetables in a creamy sauce. Fill this mixture into a pie crust, cover with another crust, and bake until golden.

3. Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Layer a baking dish with cooked turkey meat and veggies in gravy. Top with mashed potatoes and bake until golden.

4. Turkey and Bean Chili

Cook turkey with beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Let it simmer until flavors meld together.

5. Turkey Tacos

For a zesty twist, try turkey tacos. Season shredded turkey with taco mix, heat it up, and serve in tortillas with your favorite toppings.

6. Turkey Risotto

Cook rice slowly in turkey broth, adding cooked turkey pieces, and sautéed mushrooms, and finish with Parmesan cheese.

7. Turkey Enchiladas

Roll turkey, cheese, and some salsa in tortillas. Place them in a baking dish, cover with enchilada sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbly.

8. Turkey Bolognese

Sauté onions and garlic, add crushed tomatoes and turkey bits, and let it simmer. Serve this hearty sauce over spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

Let the turkey cool to room temperature before storing.Don’t leave turkey outside for more than 2 hours.
Use airtight containers to keep fresh.Don’t store it in large chunks; break it down.
If freezing, turkey can last 2-3 months.Don’t keep turkey in the fridge for more than 3-4 days.
Always reheat leftovers to 165°F for safety.Don’t reheat turkey multiple times.


Leftover turkey is not just about sandwiches (though they are delicious); with a little imagination, you can transform leftovers into gourmet meals.

So next time you’re faced with leftover turkey, embrace the opportunity! The dishes you’ll create will not only tantalize taste buds but also make memories.

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