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What to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey?

Updated on November 20, 2008
"White Turkey" by levi_sz (
"White Turkey" by levi_sz (

The turkey turned out beautifully.  The meal was delicious.  The family was well behaved and social.  Everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  But now everyone's gone home, and you are faced with the age old question:  What do I do with all this turkey?

People always fret about what to do with the leftover turkey, but, really, the possibilities are endless.  Turkey can be substituted quite easily into any chicken dish--even Chicken Helper.  The problem is that most people only cook with turkey once a year, so they are intimidated by it.  So here are a few ideas to get you started on ridding yourself of leftover turkey.


For a nice sandwich before everyone gets fed up with Thanksgiving leftovers, try layering a little turkey, cranberry sauce and maybe some stuffing on bread spread with cream cheese.

Another sandwich option is to combine some turkey, walnuts and celery in a food processor.  Then mix in some mayonnaise to moisten and a dash of curry powder.  It makes a zesty sandwich spread that wont remind people of Thanksgiving dinner.


Turkey pot pies are a nice use of leftover turkey.  Buy or make yourself a pie crust.  Fill it with turkey, some mixed vegetables (I usually use frozen vegetables), potatoes and cream of chicken soup (or leftover gravy).  Top your pot pie with pie crust, and bake it at 325 until golden brown and bubbly.  Since the turkey is already cooked it usually does not take long.

Turkey enchiladas make a great dinner that tastes nothing like Thanksgiving dinner.  Shred your turkey and mix it with enchilada sauce and cream of chicken soup.  Spread the mixture in a tortilla, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and roll closed.  Place the rolled tortilla in a baking dish.  Sprinkle the tops of the tortillas with a little more mozzarella and bake at 325 until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are slightly browned.

Spanish rice is another possibility, which can also be paired with the enchiladas.  Start with a box of Spanish rice (or the Mexican flavor Chicken Helper).  As it is cooking mix in your shredded turkey, black beans, stewed tomatoes and corn.  It makes a very hearty meal, which, because of it's Spanish flavor, is often a welcome relief after the more typically American meals.

These are just a few ideas, but hopefully they will get you through most of your turkey leftovers.  Good luck.


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    • Miss G profile image

      Miss G 9 years ago

      These are all great ideas. I love love love Spanish rice. & I always love the turkey leftovers- making them into sandwhiches is the best. I can't wait for it to be thanksgiving already, it's one of my favorite holidays.

      If I don't talk to you before than Happy thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    • profile image

      Nayberry 9 years ago

      Great ideas! Here's another. Replace the chicken in Chicken Spaghetti with pulled turkey. Give an old family favorite a new take. As for left over Halloween candy, ever hear of a candy pizza? Makes a great treat for the kids while they are out of school for the holidays.

    • Joy M profile image

      Joy M 9 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      I usually try to give away my Halloween candy to whoever will take it. Because if I don't I usually end up eat more than the kids. I have a terrible sweet tooth. :)

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 9 years ago from Washington, USA


      Iam still having the leftover candy from halloween which I guess I can distribute during Thanksgiving & Christmas.

    • profile image

      Eddie Perkins 9 years ago

      Good information,

      Myself, I can eat cold or hot turkey for a long time after Thanksgiving and love it.

      But you have some great suggestions here for variety.

      Thank you very much. ~ eddie

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 9 years ago

      thank you for answering my request. Looks like some delicious ideas!

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      Great ideas!! Another idea is Turkey Soup or even Turkey Chowder. Thank you!!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 9 years ago from Texas

      Delicious ideas! :)