9 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 six delicious ways to put your leftover turkey—dark and white meat, in all of their golden-brown glory—to work. If you find yourself compelled to roast a second bird upon reading, we can't be held responsible.
1 Cheesy Turkey Nachos
Pro tip: arranging nachos on a baking sheet lets you evenly pile goodies on over 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 get crazy and swap the avocado for guacamole. The recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, but use your leftover turkey instead.
2 Turkey and Cheese Pupusas
These pan-fried pockets, made from corn flour and stuffed with cheese, are the perfect use for any leftover turkey meat. Spiced with cumin for a warm, spiced flavor, pupusas are great on their own, but you can also 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 the turkey leftovers are gone.
3 Turkey and Scallion Dumplings
Here, finely-chopped leftover turkey meat gets mixed with scallions, ginger, and garlic. You'll smother this 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.
4 Creamy Corn and Leftover Turkey Soup
You'd be hard-pressed to find an easier recipe for leftover turkey than this five-ingredient, dreamy-creamy soup. All you have to do is stir broth in with canned creamed corn, celery, onion, fresh herbs, and shredded turkey. Ten minutes of hands-on time and you're done.
5 Mexican Black Bean and Rice Bowl
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), then load it up with black beans, fresh cherry tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, chipotle peppers, and all the Thanksgiving turkey.
6 Turkey Rosemary Bolognese
Get this sauce on the stove after all the guests are gone, and you'll have yourself a fully Italian dinner the next day. Because you'll have most of the base ingredients on hand from Thanksgiving prep, this bolognese will come together faster than the traditional Sunday sauce.
7 Green Chilaquiles
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.
8 Sweet Potato and Turkey Tagine
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.
9 Turkey Banh Mi
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.