The holiday season isn’t just about giving gifts, time with loved ones, and painstakingly prepared feasts. It’s also about finding ways to finish your leftovers. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with fixing yourself an epic turkey sandwich, but if you’re looking for more creative leftover turkey ideas, keep reading to discover our favourite post-festivity dishes.
Leftover Turkey Soup
There’s nothing quite like a hearty soup to get you through those chilly winter evenings. This recipe from Julia Frey at Vikalinka is a great way to add new life to dry leftover turkey, loaded with wintry vegetables and pearl couscous. It doesn’t take much more than half an hour, and if you don’t have pearl couscous (also known as giant couscous or Israeli couscous), you can substitute a small pasta like orzo or macaroni.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion or 2 shallots, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic
4 sprigs thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
1.5 litre (6 cups) turkey or chicken stock
75g (1/2 cup) pearl couscous
250g/2 cups cooked turkey
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Preheat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan and sauté the chopped onion, celery, carrots, and the whole garlic clove with the thyme leaves for 5 minutes. Add the stock, cooked turkey, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Add the giant couscous and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat until the couscous is tender. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Or for a more decadent alternative, try this recipe for cream of turkey soup with potato and leek, courtesy of Adina at Where Is My Spoon.
Leftover Turkey Pot Pie
The Spruce Eats offers a turkey pot pie recipe that’s so good nobody will guess that you were simply using up your leftovers. It only takes 70 minutes if you make the pie crust from scratch. The version below assumes you have one pre-made.
4 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dried leaf sage
1/4 tsp dried leaf thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 cups turkey gravy, homemade or store-bought
1/3 cup turkey or chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 cups cooked turkey, diced
2–2 1/2 cups peas and carrots
Salt to taste
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
- Grease a pie or casserole dish.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and stir until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender.
- Add the 4 tablespoons of flour, the sage, thyme, and pepper. Stir until everything is well mixed with the flour.
- Stir in the gravy and stock until thickened.
- Add the cream, turkey, and vegetables. Heat through and add salt if needed.
- Remove from the heat and spoon into the prepared pie or casserole dish and place in the refrigerator to cool.
- Now pre-heat your oven to 375°F / 190°C.
- Once the pie filling has cooled, spoon it into your pie crust, then cover with the pie top. Crimp around the edge as desired.
- Whisk together the egg white and water and brush over the crust.
- Cut vent holes in the crust with a very sharp knife and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch drips.
- Bake until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is bubbly (approximately 50 to 60 minutes).
Leftover Turkey Casserole
One of our favourite ways to use leftover Turkey is with this versatile Thanksgiving leftover casserole. We’ll skip the ingredients list for this one as there’s no need to be exact. You just need lots of leftover turkey (of course), cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes (normal or sweet), stuffing, gravy, and whatever vegetables you didn’t finish (green beans, corn, carrots, brussels sprouts, whatever).
- Butter a 13x9 inch baking dish.
- Coat the bottom of the baking fish with cranberry sauce.
- Cover with a layer of turkey. (Sliced, chopped, shredded – it doesn’t matter.)
- Top with a generous layer of leftover mashed potatoes.
- Pour over any leftover gravy you have. (If you don’t have much left, save it for step 7.)
- Layer on any vegetables you have leftover.
- Finish with a layer of stuffing. Cover the entire surface with stuffing then drizzle on leftover turkey broth or gravy. This will keep the stuffing moist.
- Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 40 minutes or until everything is heated through (internal temperature of 165°F / 75°C).
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
Here’s another delectable leftover turkey soup. This one’s with noodles and comes courtesy of Meggan Hill at Culinary Hill.
- tbsp olive oil or butter
- onion, finely chopped
- carrot, peeled and chopped
- stalk celery, chopped
- cups chicken or turkey broth
- cups leftover turkey, chopped or shredded
- tbsp minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
- bay leaf
- oz wide egg noodles
- and freshly ground black pepper
- fresh parsley for garnish
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in broth, turkey, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).
- Stir in noodles and cook until tender (about 5 minutes longer). Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley.