18 Delicious Leftover Turkey Recipes You Can Make in Under an Hour

We're going cold turkey on the sad sandwiches. Give your bird the attention it deserves with one of these flavor-packed dishes.



The only thing almost as delicious as a Thanksgiving turkey? Leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Nope, we're not talking about cold sandwiches with a shmear of gloppy gravy: We mean real-deal recipes that honor your beautifully roasted bird. Here you'll find 18 delicious ways to put your leftover turkey—dark and white meat, in all of its golden-brown glory—to work. If you find yourself compelled to roast a second bird upon reading, we can't be held responsible.

01 of 18

Turkey Lasagna Rolls

Turkey Lasagna Rolls

Get all the flavors of Thanksgiving in one pasta dish! Plus, you get to utilize more of your leftovers while wrapping up this beautiful baked pasta creation.

02 of 18

Enchiladas en Salsa Verde

October 2020 Recipes: Chicken Enchiladas in Salsa Verde
Caitlin Bensel

Swap out shredded chicken for shredded turkey (just use forks in deboned turkey breast or thigh meat) for a quick weeknight dinner that makes the most of your turkey and adds fresh flavor.

03 of 18

Creamy Turkey and Mushroom Pasta

creamy chicken and mushroom pasta
Caitlin Bensel

Egg noodles are so comforting, and pair excellently with shredded turkey. You can also slice or cube turkey for this pasta dish if you prefer the texture, and add some fresh herbs like parsley on top to really elevate it.

04 of 18

Quick and Easy Turkey Pot Pie


Cara Cormack

It’s kind of amazing how quickly this comfort food dinner comes together when you have leftover turkey ready to go. Pre-made puff pastry is the trick, and you may even sneak some leftover veg in there too.

05 of 18

Turkey Satay Lettuce Wraps

Caitlin Bensel

No cooking is even required for this turkey leftover recipe, which creates noodle-filled lettuce wraps to be assembled as you enjoy them. You barely need any utensils either! This is the ideal solution when you’re over-cooking dinner and doing dishes

06 of 18

Turkey Curry in a Hurry

Quick Dinner Ideas: Chicken Curry in a Hurry
John Kernick

This hack for quick chicken curry works with pre-made turkey as well, simmering the leftover turkey meat in a creamy sauce. Serve with rice, naan, or even a baked potato.

07 of 18

Warm Roast Turkey Salad

Warm Roast Chicken Salad
Greg DuPree

If you’re craving a lighter meal, this is the turkey leftover recipe of your dreams. Juicy white meat slices top a sophisticated radicchio salad with homemade creamy vinaigrette.

08 of 18

Baby Kale and Turkey Caesar

Baby Kale and Chicken Caesar Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

Add some seasonality to your basic Caesar salad with this tweak. Baby kale adds dark, leafy greens for color and nutrients, and highlights the mild flavor of turkey breast well. Toast some leftover stuffing to make croutons if you’re getting very industrious.

09 of 18

Salad With Turkey and Crispy Farro

Salad with Chicken and Farro
Jennifer Causey

This arugula-based salad can be made with pretty much any lettuce and is a quick lunch or dinner to eat in your kitchen or on the go. The crispy farro is so good, you’ll want to put it on everything this season.

10 of 18

Cheesy Turkey Nachos

Chicken Nachos
Greg DuPree

Pro tip: Arrange nachos on a baking sheet to evenly pile the goodies atop the chips in a single layer, which means every chip is gloriously topped with meat, cheese, salsa, avocado and, well, more cheese. Make it a bigger meal by adding black beans, or go crazy and swap the avocado for guacamole. This recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, but use your leftover turkey instead.

11 of 18

Turkey and Cheese Pupusas

Turkey Pupusas
Brie Passano

These pan-fried pockets, made from corn flour and stuffed with cheese, are perfect for using leftover turkey meat. Spiced with cumin for a warm, spiced flavor; pupusas are great on their own, or serve them with a crisp slaw for a complete meal. Once you master the technique of stuffing and shaping these Salvadoran treats into a patty, you'll want to keep making them long after turkey leftovers are gone.

12 of 18

Turkey and Scallion Dumplings

Turkey and Scallion Dumplings
Brie Passano

Here, finely-chopped leftover turkey meat combines with scallions, ginger, and garlic. Next, smother that mix in tamari, sesame oil, and rice vinegar for the perfect day-after-Thanksgiving dumpling. This recipe comes together quickly and, if you have little helpers around in the kitchen (or out-of-town guests), it's the perfect project to do together.

13 of 18

Turkey-Barley Vegetable Soup

Turkey-Barley Vegetable Soup

What's better than a warm, hearty bowl of soup on a crisp fall day? This recipe calls for ½-pound ground turkey, but diced or shredded leftover turkey works just as well. And the addition of fresh baby spinach (or chopped frozen, if that's all you have) at the end, just before serving, preserves its bright color and fresh flavor.

14 of 18

Rice Bowl With Chipotle Black Beans

Mexican Black Bean and Rice Bowl
Gentl & Hyers

The only thing missing from this delicious (and healthy) black bean and rice bowl? A generous portion of shredded leftover turkey breast or leg meat. Simply start with a base of cooked rice (for extra protein and fiber, use brown), and then load it up with black beans, fresh cherry tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, chipotle peppers, and all the Thanksgiving turkey.

15 of 18

Turkey Rosemary Bolognese

Dish of turkey bolognese displayed on a table
Rich, slow-simmered bolognese is the epitome of a cozy winter dinner. This version makes use of leftover turkey, but opt for ground beef for a more traditional version. A splash of red wine is added to the sauce; serve the rest of the bottle with dinner. Get the Recipe:Turkey Rosemary Bolognese. Brie Passano

Get this sauce on the stove after all the guests are gone, and you'll have yourself a fully Italian dinner the next day. You'll have most of the base ingredients on hand from Thanksgiving prep, so this Bolognese will come together faster than the traditional Sunday sauce.

16 of 18

Green Chilaquiles

Green Turkey Chilaquiles
Brie Passano

Complete with homemade oven-baked tortilla chips and a green enchilada sauce, this recipe for chilaquiles is about to become your new go-to for leftovers. The sauce adds moisture back to the turkey meat, and thinly sliced radishes bring all the fresh crunch. Enjoy for breakfast with fried eggs on top.

17 of 18

Sweet Potato and Turkey Tagine

Turkey, Olive and Apricot Tagine
Brie Passano

Yep, we just gave leftover turkey meat the tagine treatment. The warmth and fragrance of ginger, turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon make this stew so satisfying. Serve with couscous or rice to soak up all of the flavor.

18 of 18

Turkey Banh Mi

Turkey Banh Mi
Brie Passano

Here, the beloved banh mi gets stuffed with leftover turkey meat for a tasty twist on the Vietnamese sandwich. Crusty bread, pickled veggies, fresh herbs, and creamy mayo make for a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich you'll want to make again and again.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles