What to Do With Holiday Turkey Leftovers

— Written By Sherrie Peeler and last updated by

This week, many Jacksonians will gather together with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. When the fun is done and everyone has had their fill, you may be left with more turkey than you anticipated.

My favorite after Thanksgiving meal is a turkey sandwich with mustard but there are only so many turkey sandwiches one can enjoy. So I found some interesting recipes you might enjoy preparing for your families with your left over turkey. Turkey is a versatile food and an excellent source of lean protein!

The following five recipes feature your leftover turkey creating five meals that won’t just say “leftovers” again. Or divide your turkey into useable portions according to your family size. Then place the turkey portions in a ziplock bag, label and freeze for later use. Please remember that all leftovers should be heated to 165 degrees.

Please give us a call at the Jackson County Extension Center with any questions at 828 586 4009.

Shepard’s Turkey Pie
Mashed potatoes top this delicious layered casserole that makes great comfort food. Turkey is featured in this classic dish. With lots of added vegetables, this dish is a well-rounded entrée that makes menu-planning easy.

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 onions (sliced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups turkey breast (chopped or chicken)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups low-sodium carrots (canned and drained)
2 cups low-sodium tomatoes (canned and drained)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (if you like)
6 potatoes (baked, peeled and mashed)

Directions
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic in one tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes.
Add the turkey. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to blend
Add the chicken broth, carrots, and tomatoes. If using rosemary, add that too. Cook over medium heat until thickened.
Oil casserole dish with remaining oil and pour in mixture.
Spread the potatoes over the top. Bake in oven at 375 degree F 20 to 30 minutes, or until browned.

Turkey Tostadas
Take a new spin on Taco Night with this entrée that is sure to please the whole family. Get kids involved by letting them spread the refried beans or sprinkle on the cheese!

Makes: 4 servings
Total Cost: $3.56
Serving Cost: $0.89

Ingredients
2 cups cooked turkey (cut into bite-size pieces, or 2 cups ground turkey, browned in a skillet and drained)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (chili)
1 1/2 cups water
4 corn tortillas
1/4 cup refried beans (low-fat or fat-free)
1/4 cup Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese (shredded, low-fat)
1/2 cup tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 cup lettuce (shredded)
2 tablespoons onion (chopped)
8 tablespoons taco sauce (1/2 cup)
plain yogurt (low-fat or fat-free optional)
guacamole (or mashed avocado optional)

Directions
Wash and prepare vegetables.
In a large skillet over medium heat, combine turkey, taco seasoning, and water.
Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place tortillas on a cooking sheet. Bake at 375° for 4-7 minutes or until tortillas are crispy.
Spread tortillas with a tablespoon of beans. Top with 1/4 meat mixture and cheese.
Return tortillas to oven to cook for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Top with tomatoes, lettuce, onions and taco sauce. Garnish with yogurt and guacamole, if desired.

Turkey Roast and Rice Soup
Make a hearty soup by adding lean, chopped turkey roast. You may also serve turkey roasts with steamed vegetables or side salad and potatoes or rice to make a complete meal.

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
5 ounces thawed turkey roast (about 1 cup, chopped)
4 celery stalks (chopped)
4 carrots (peeled and sliced)
1 onion (chopped)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups water
1 tablespoon margarine
1 cup rice (uncooked)
1 can low-sodium green beans (drained, about 15 ounces)

Directions
In a large pot over high heat, add the turkey roast, celery, carrots, onion, bouillon cube, black pepper, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
Cook rice according to package directions.
Add cooked rice and green beans into the soup and stir. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Turkey Potato Salad
Looking for something different? This easy dish can be served as a side, or on top of mixed greens for a tasty lunch.

Makes: 2 Servings
Total Cost: $1.12
Serving Cost: $0.56

Ingredients
6 ounces turkey, cooked and diced
1/4 cup celery, chopped1 cup potato (cooked, peeled, and diced)
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1/8 cup green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons salad dressing, mayonnaise-type
1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions
Mix turkey, celery, potato, onion, and green pepper.
Mix salad dressing, mustard and salt. Stir lightly into turkey mixture. Chill.

Eve’s Tasty Turkey Tetrazzini
Food group fantastic! One serving of this tasty dish provides 1/2 cup of vegetables, 1 1/2 ounces of grains, 2 ounces of protein, and 1/4 cup of dairy!

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine, spaghetti, macaroni, or other noodles
4 tablespoons light butter (unsalted)
2 cups Mushrooms, sliced (fresh or canned)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups skim milk
4 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup peas (frozen)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 °F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking dish.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender. (Check cooking time for pasta; remove pasta approximately 2 minutes early.)
While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and thyme. Stir and cook until mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes.Stir in flour until well blended. (Note: Start with ¹/3 cup flour and add more, if needed.)
While whisking, slowly add chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sauce is thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes.Add turkey, toasted almonds, frozen peas, and cooked pasta. Gently mix together. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown, 25-35 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Written By

Photo of Sherrie PeelerSherrie PeelerExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences (828) 586-4009 sherrie_peeler@ncsu.eduJackson County, North Carolina
Updated on Nov 29, 2016
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