47 Terrific Leftover Turkey Recipes for After Thanksgiving
November 27, 2020
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Turkey is a nutritional powerhouse, so you want to make sure to maximize your turkey leftovers. Banish the boring sandwiches with these healthy and note-worthy leftover turkey recipes from around the world!
These flavorful and creative recipes will break up the traditional sandwich idea and make you thankful for turkey all over again:
Fast and Easy
Note: Many of the recipes below call for turkey stock. You may substitute with your favorite organic chicken stock or bone broth, or simply take the bones (after the majority of the meat has been picked off), place in large stockpot, with carrots, onions and celery, and cover with water. Bring to a hearty simmer, and then turn down and do a slow simmer for 3–4 hours. Here is a tip, your stock will become cloudy if you cook it at a boil; simmer gently for the best results. Strain and use the turkey stock, as desired.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We recommend using natural sweeteners like raw honey, real maple syrup or organic coconut palm sugar to get the most nutrients out of these recipes. Also eliminate conventional cow’s milk products and instead use coconut milk, almond milk or organic grass-fed goat milk or cheese, replace table salt with sea salt, and replace canola and vegetable oil with coconut oil, olive oil or ghee.
Here are 47 amazing leftover turkey recipes.
1. Turkey Congee
Slow simmering brings out the nutrients from bones in this twist on turkey soup. Congee is comfort food throughout Asia, and while the stock may differ, the process is the same. Turkey broth, rice, and vegetables are sure to warm you, head to toe.
Photo: Turkey Congee/JeanettesHealthyLiving.com
2. Healing Turkey Vegetable Soup
So you had sandwiches, salads and casseroles to finish off your turkey, hopefully you have saved just a bit of turkey left on the bones, for this gut-healing recipe. The long cooking time is necessary, to extract the nutrients from the bones. Do in your slow cooker, and add water as needed.
3. Turkey Soba Noodle Soup
Cozying up with a bowl of soba noodle soup during the winter months is heaven. This healthy recipe uses the leftover bones and skin from your Thanksgiving turkey to make the stock, fresh vegetables, more turkey, and buckwheat soba noodles into a hearty bowl of soup.
Photo: Turkey Soba Noodle Bowl/JeanettesHealthyLiving.com
4. Coconut-Lime Turkey and Rice Soup
Try this twist on turkey soup! Lime juice, ginger, and coconut milk take leftover roasted turkey to the next level. Don’t skip the addition of fresh herbs on top as they really add to the health benefits, and really brighten the flavors.
Photo: Coconut-Lime Turkey and Rice Soup/Kalyn’s Kitchen
5. Fiesta Turkey Tortilla Soup
Heading south of the border, traditional tortilla soup gets a makeover with the turkey. This versatile recipe is great for leftover turkey, or leftover chicken. Black beans, corn, and salsa, turn your leftovers into an inspired Mexican inspired feast.
6. Turkey Soup with Lemon and Barley
We eat with our eyes first, and our nose second, and finally our taste buds. This soup is beautiful, and the aroma from the combination of herbs and spices will get your mouth watering, before the first bite.
Photo: Turkey Soup with Lemon and Barley/Elise, www.SimplyRecipes.com
7. Leftover Roast Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables
This recipe does call for leftover chicken, but is a great way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey! Roasting the vegetables prior to adding them to the soup creates intense flavor, bringing out the best in each of the vegetables. Supercharge your health with spinach by tossing in a couple of handles just before serving.
Photo: Leftover Roast Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables/Against All Grain
8. Sweet Potatoes, Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Soup
One recipe, three Thanksgiving leftovers! Clean out your fridge with this warming soup that transforms the turkey, and sweet potatoes into a warming soup. Replace the heavy cream with coconut or almond milk for a healthy alternative.
9. Crockpot Turkey Soup
Try this set-it-and-forget-it meal with my easy crockpot turkey soup. To use your turkey leftovers, just cook everything together first and add the cooked leftover turkey (about 2 cups) for the last half an hour.
10. Turkey and White Bean Chili
Hop across the pond with this British version of chili in this turkey leftovers recipe. Adjust the spice level with the amount of chilies and cayenne pepper to your taste. “Tins” is British for cans, and 500 grams is just over 2 cups.
I always recommend avoiding canned food, so you can substitute with by using frozen or cooked beans, too. Stir up a batch as directed, and enjoy.
11. Gluten-Free Tuscan Turkey and White Bean Soup
Stroll over to Italy for this fresh gluten-free soup to use up your leftover turkey. The beans and turkey boost the protein levels while the herbs and fresh vegetables add great nutrients, but also flavor and texture. This soup will not disappoint; it just might be the next best thing to having a bowl in Tuscany.
Photo: Gluten-Free Tuscan Turkey and White Bean Soup / Lee Hersh, Fit Foodie Finds
12. Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad
Bright, beautiful, and perfect as a salad, sandwich, or even on rice crackers for a crunchy and healthful snack. Walnuts, roasted leftover turkey, celery, cranberry sauce, and a splash of lemon come together with a vegan mayo.
13. Autumn Turkey & Apple Salads
Fresh and bright with the flavors of fall, this salad incorporates mixed greens, leftover turkey, apples, nuts, cranberries and cheese. Replace traditional cheddar with your favorite raw milk cheddar.
Photo: Autumn Turkey & Apple Salads/Photo courtesy of Brianne at Cupcakes & Kale Chips
14. Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta and Mint
This beautiful salad, spiced with traditional North African spices, carrots, and cheese would be the perfect way to spice up your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. Just toss in a cup or two of pulled turkey and enjoy the happy crunch and flavorful taste of harissa. Harissa is a mix of dried chilies, spices, garlic and lemon.
15. Southwest Turkey or Chicken Lettuce Cups
Crunch comes from the fresh lettuce, and flavors of the Southwest permeate the inside. Substitute leftover roasted turkey in this recipe, and be sure to use organic corn kernels to avoid GMOs.
Photo: Liz Della Croce, The Lemon Bowl
16. Jamie Oliver’s Asian-Inspired Turkey Salad
Off to Asia we go with cashews, mint, coriander, in this healthy turkey leftover recipe. The dressing is really where this recipe comes all together; sweetness, tartness, and just a tough of natural heat from the fresh ginger that is packed with vitamins from the clementine, lime, and pomegranate.
Substitute the soy sauce with coconut aminos, and this recipe will delight even the pickiest of eaters.
17. Curried Turkey Salad
We all love Thanksgiving dinner, but sometimes we need to mix up the flavor combinations, to breathe life into leftovers. This quick and easy recipe uses curry powder, apples, green onions, celery, pecans, and leftover turkey. Turmeric is what gives curry powder its distinctive color, and extra boost of turmeric’s health benefits.
18. Open Faced Turkey Cranberry Enchilada Melt
Cranberries, black beans, salsa, cheese, cranberry sauce and turkey will take you south of the border in this Mexican inspired leftover turkey recipe. Yum. Swap out traditional rolls for your favorite sprouted wheat or gluten free rolls, and be sure to use raw cheese and Greek yogurt which will provide a nice tang in this inventive sandwich.
Photo: Open Faced Turkey Cranberry Enchilada Melt/Running to the Kitchen
19. Rosemary Hummus Cranberry Turkey Wraps
Blend the flavors of two continents together in this wrap. Cranberries, native to North America, turkey, and hummus come together in a tangy, creamy, chewy delightful sandwich.
Use out hummus recipe, it is quick, easy, and healthy! Cranberry sauce echoes the flavor of pomegranate that some parts of the Middle East top hummus with. Substitute the tortillas with your favorite gluten-free or sprouted grain tortillas or wraps.
20. Turkey Cranberry Green Chile Sandwich
Think about your favorite childhood grilled cheese, and then try this recipe. Crunchy on the outside, and creamy deliciousness on the inside, with a touch of heat from the chilies and sweetness from the cranberry sauce results in simply bites of heaven. Use your favorite sprouted grain bread and raw or goat cheese as healthy substitutions.
Photo: Turkey Cranberry Green Chile Sandwich/Jennifer Yu of Use Real Butter
21. Open-Faced Turkey Sandwiches with Cranberry Chutney
Fresh spinach, leftover roasted turkey and cranberry sauce, topped with a slice of your favorite raw cheese, is a quick and delicious lunch. Replace the wheat bread for sprouted bread, and use a vegan mayo.
22. Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini
This quick sandwich is perfect when you want to break away from the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving, but still use up the turkey. The brightness of the pesto (homemade of course), tomatoes, and avocados add a lovely twist, while boosting nutrients.
Use sprouted wheat bread and raw cheese to fit within our Healing Foods Meal Plan. If you don’t have a panini maker, grill it up, like a grilled cheese.
Photo: Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini/Chung-Ah Rhee, Damn Delicious
23. Salvadoran Turkey Sandwich
This turkey leftover recipe calls for roasting the turkey; but leftover turkey will work fine. Watercress gives a bit of a spicy flavor, and the pumpkin seeds add protein.
24. Cuban Turkey Tea Sandwich
Simple, and delicious, this leftover turkey recipe calls for just 5 ingredients. Use your favorite sprouted grain roll or bun and leftover cranberry sauce as healthy substitutions and toast as directed. If you have a Panini machine, it will work well too.
Photo: Cuban Turkey Tea Sandwich (Elena Ruz)/Todd Coleman, Saveur
25. Barbecue Pulled Turkey Sandwiches
Journey down south to where barbecue sandwiches are at the heart of meals. If your fingers are sticky with sauce at the end of the meal, you are not doing it right! Replace traditional mayo with vegan mayo, and the bacon in the barbecue sauce for turkey bacon, and sweeten naturally with maple syrup. Enjoy on your favorite sprouted grain rolls.
26. Paleo Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich
Sweet potato cakes as buns? Yes! Eat the colors of the rainbow with this Paleo roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, and Brussels sprouts sandwich. Swap the pork bacon, for turkey bacon, and enjoy.
Photo: Paleo Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich/Stephanie Gaudreau, Stupid Easy Paleo
27. Loaded Turkey Stuffed-Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
This recipe calls for ground turkey, and sweet potatoes, but this time of year, this Paleo-friendly recipe just screams, use leftovers! Substitute leftover turkey and sweet potatoes, and prepare as directed!
28. Paleo Turkey Hash
Flavors reminiscent of Thanksgiving, this hash is great anytime of the day. Use up leftover turkey and winter squash or pumpkin, and enjoy! Throw in some leafy greens, and reap the benefits of this healthy Paleo turkey leftover recipe.
Photo: Paleo Turkey Hash/courtesy of http://elanaspantry.com
Fast and Easy
29. Turkey and Hummus Bistro Box
Perfect for lunches at your desk, or for your kids at school! Use up your leftover turkey, this time of year, or roasted chicken, anytime of the year. Combine with some fresh vegetables, hummus, and gluten free pita, and it is a balanced, beautiful meal.
Photo: Chicken and Hummus Bistro Box / Momables.com
30. Turkey, Kale and Cheese Quesadillas
This is a perfect turkey leftover recipe, when you have nearly picked the bones clean! Pull of remaining turkey and enjoy all the health benefits of kale in this quick and easy quesadilla. Use gluten-free tortillas and swap out traditional cheddar cheese for your favorite raw cheddar, and enjoy.
Photo: Turkey, Kale and Cheese Quesadillas/The Perfect Pantry
31. Halal Cart Style Turkey and Rice
A journey to the Middle East, would eventually take you to a restaurant that served up succulent chicken or turkey and rice. This recipe won’t disappoint.
Substitute the mayo for vegan mayo, the white sugar for your favorite natural sweetener, and apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar called for in the recipe. Enjoy the complexity of the flavors and textures in this inspired recipe to use up your leftover turkey.
Photo: Halal Cart Style Turkey and Rice/Steamy Kitchen
32. Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Leftover Turkey Pizza
You’ll rethink pizza, leftover turkey and sweet potato once you try these delectable little guys. Use gluten-free pizza dough, and enjoy. The nuts give a healthy crunch, and the figs echo the natural sweetness in the sweet potatoes.
33. Scalloped Turkey
Empty out your refrigerator with this warm and inviting turkey leftover recipe. Shredded turkey, stuffing, gravy, and milk, baked together makes wonderful evening dinner, with all the flavors of Thanksgiving. Swap out the Panko breadcrumbs for breadcrumbs made from sprouted wheat, and enjoy.
34. Gluten Free Turkey Tettrazini Casserole
A beautiful quick meal that uses supergrain pasta, quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, leftover turkey, and fresh vegetables. This lightened up version of the calorie-ridden version we all grew up with stars fresh vegetables, and gets a good dose of healthy pr