Leftover Turkey Recipes - How to Use the Whole Turkey Carcass after Thanksgiving or for Cheap Meals All Year Round
Don't Throw Out the Turkey Carcass!
What to do with leftover turkey
You've made your turkey, you've had your big meal, and now you're left with quite a bit of turkey, still. What do you do with it? Well, you can do a whole lot with the turkey that is left.
From plain ole turkey sandwiches to casseroles to turkey soup, there are plenty of recipes to utilize the rest of that turkey.
Don't let that leftover turkey go to waste. You don't even need to throw out the carcass until you have cooked the heck out of it to make soup. And believe me, it makes lots and lots of soup.
We're going to be frugal and get everything we can out of that big bird! You may be surprised at how many meals one turkey can yield.
Turkey sandwich, anyone?
After enjoying a few rounds of piping hot turkey from the oven, carved up and served with steamy stuffing and all the fixings, I'm ready for a tasty cold turkey sandwich the next day. After consuming all that food in one day, my tastebuds--and stomach--are ready for something simple and refreshing.
I like to have turkey sandwiches a few times with leftover turkey before moving on to something else. Enjoy slices of turkey on white or wheat bread, along with your favorite condiments.
I prefer the following:
- yellow or brown mustard
- sliced onion--yellow, white, or purple will do
- sliced dill pickles
Those items are the basics. Sometimes I add lettuce and perhaps a couple slices of tomatoes. Whatever I add, I am sure to enjoy my post-Thanksgiving meal turkey sandwich.
When I mention using turkey in salads, I mean two different types of salads--vegetable and egg salads. Recently, after cooking a turkey, I used leftover turkey in my garden salad. After I put in all the vegetables I wanted, I added chopped turkey and cheese. Oh--and I can't forget the salad dressing. Croutons are a nice touch, too.
You can also use leftover chopped turkey in egg salad recipes. Instead of ham or chicken, use turkey. Mix with chopped hard-boiled eggs, mayo, a squirt of mustard, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Choose your salad. Enjoy some turkey in it for added protein and flavor!
You can also use leftover turkey to make a casserole. If you don't want a casserole right away, freeze the leftover meat to use for later. Use turkey instead of chicken--or perhaps ham--in any of your favorite casseroles.
Try a broccoli casserole with rice and cheese besides the turkey.
Turkey is pretty versatile!
Turkey SoupClick thumbnail to view full-size
Make Broth for Later Recipes
Even if there isn't enough meat on the bone (turkey or chicken carcass, or even beef roast or ham bone) to have left for a meaty soup, there is always enough flavoring left to make broth. Just boil the carcass or bones for a while. Then pick off whatever meat is left, if there is any. Or just take the flavorful broth that you have created if you boil the carcass or bones for a while to use for future recipes. Pick out or drain out the bones and skin, and freeze the flavorful broth in small freezable one cup containers to use in future recipes. When a recipe calls for a cup of meat or vegetable broth, just pull one of the frozen containers out of the freezer. Voila! You have a flavorful broth. Plus, you've saved money on buying high-sodium broths.
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Don't throw out the carcass! Make turkey and rice soup!
Are you one of those people who cringes when someone throws out the turkey (or chicken) carcass after Thanksgiving or another big meal involving poultry? Oh, I sure am. I can't stand it to see food wasted. A turkey or chicken carcass, or any kind of ham or beef bone, can make a whole lot more food for the family. Soup can be made. Just add ingredients. Or even broth can be made and frozen to use for later recipes.
After you think you've used all the turkey you can and are ready to throw away that carcass, DON'T! You'll be amazed at the amount of food left on a seemingly meatless carcass.
First, there are multiple servings of soup to be made with those turkey bones. Actually, you will be surprised by how much turkey will fall off those bones when you boil the heck out of it. So that's what you're going to do. Tear that carcass apart to make it fit in a large pot. Cover it with water and boil it. Boil it until the meat starts falling off the bones. it will after an hour or more. An hour and a half is about right, maybe less. The last time I did this, I let it go two hours. Everything just fell apart--which is good! You will probably have to add water along the way as it will boil down.
When it's done, let the pot and its contents cool. Then, skim off the fat that settles on the top. It will take you a little time to separate the meat from the skin and turkey bones. Keep the meat; throw out the skin and bones. Use a slotted spoon to pull out and sort any leftover turkey debris from the broth.
Add a cup of uncooked rice into your pot of turkey broth. Opt for noodles if you wish. I've tried both and love both. Add in sliced carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the turkey meat back in. Let it all simmer together. You will have one huge pot of turkey soup. Who knew how much it would make? And to think that you were going to throw out that carcass!
If you don't have a large family to eat all of this, freeze it in plastic containers. I freeze it in individual servings. It makes about 8 to 10 individual servings. Not bad, huh?
The turkey definitely gives a lot of food for the price--if you practice frugal cooking!
Homemade Turkey & Rice Soup
|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||27|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 3 g||5%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Unsaturated fat 1 g|
|Carbohydrates 9 g||3%|
|Sugar 1 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 8 g||16%|
|Cholesterol 25 mg||8%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Thrifty Nutritious Turkey
Besides being low in calories, one bowl of turkey and rice soup offers up approximately 36% of your day's need or Vitamin A. See SparkRecipes for more information on the vitamins and minerals in turkey and rice soup.
Now, don't you feel good about being thrifty and frugal and using the entire turkey? I guess it's time to throw out those clean bones now. It's not a good idea to give turkey bones to the family dog, as they can splinter and harm your pet. I guess you could throw them in the compost bin, but it might take a while for them to decompose. I think it's probably okay to toss out the remains at this point.
It is truly amazing the number of meals a turkey will make. Whether you're one person or many, you can use up a whole turkey in a variety of ways, using the freezer to save anything that you can't eat right away. Consider cooking a turkey more than just once or twice a year. Turkey--it's not just for Thanksgiving anymore!
5 More Delicious Leftover Turkey Ideas
© 2012 Victoria Lynn