What To Do With Turkey Day Leftovers?

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Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, I hope it was filled with many blessings and happy tummies. This time of year always has me thinking about family, friends, and happy gatherings around the table. The kitchen is always the best place to be in my opinion, creating and cooking up new ideas. I love to get inspiration from other bloggers and learn from other families, especially during the Holidays when tradition seems to be on everybody’s mind.

Turkey day has come and gone this year, but if your house is anything like ours you have plenty more turkey and sides in the fridge as leftovers. We are now on day three of using those turkey scraps as part of our meals, but what happens when we get tired of eating the same meal over and over again? We ended up brining and smoking two large turkeys this year, so you better believe we have PLENTY of leftovers to go around for a few days. I am rounding up a few of my favorite recipes to make when we have leftover turkey scraps. You can really use these recipes with any type of poultry, but leftover turkey makes it feel more like the holidays. Even when the turkey is a bit dry, these recipes will make up for all the juices that are lost during the cooking process. Turkey is a great source of lean protein, something we should incorporate into our diets more than just once a year.



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Just like a traditional chicken salad, you can use scraps of the turkey meat (dark or white meat) and toss it into your favorite chicken salad recipe. Turkey pairs well with cranberries, try using some dried or fresh cranberries into the mix. Other ideas to toss together include celery, pecans, walnuts, apple slices, and or grapes. Turkey salad is great for when your schedule is busy and your lunch is on-the-go, just grab some whole wheat crackers or sourdough bread and enjoy!

Here is a great Turkey Salad recipe from My Fearless Kitchen





When creativity runs dry, that doesn’t mean your salad has to as well. This amazing ‘Cranberry Harvest Turkey Salad’ from Dinner Then Dessert is drool worthy and so easy to quickly throw together. I pair my spinach salad with fresh granny smith apple slices, pomegranate seeds, shaved parmesan cheese, almonds, and a cilantro lime dressing. The possibilities are endless with salads.




This is one recipe that can really get your creative juices flowing. I’ve seen pesto, avocado, cranberry sauce, pomegranate seeds, mushrooms, and even leftover gravy added to a melty turkey panini. Choose your own ingredients or check out this simple recipe from The Hopeless Housewife, Turkey, Pesto and Cranberry Melt . Personally, I think the best cheese for a melty panini sandwich is Havarti or Gruyere, but you can always choose a more traditional cheese such as Cheddar, Swiss, or Jack.




The turkey pot pie recipes come flooding in after Thanksgiving dinner, and I can’t blame them because it’s such a good use for all those turkey scraps! This is an awesome recipe because it uses cheddar biscuits instead of making an individual pie. Check out Just a Taste’s recipe Leftover Turkey Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust here for a full pot pie experience. Pot Pie’s can be loaded with heavy calories, so make sure to bulk it up with plenty of veggies such as carrots, peas, celery, mushrooms, and onions.




This Easy 30-minute Turkey Noodle Soup recipe from Averie Cooks is such a good recipe to keep in the kitchen archives. It’s simple and easy to throw together, but loaded with good nutrition that we all need after a few slices of pie and whipped cream. Because of it’s simplicity, this has my #1 vote for after the Thanksgiving madness. Make sure to cook up plenty and store it in the freezer for later when all the turkey scraps are gone.




I’ve got to hand it to Serious Eats for creating the Leftover Turkey ‘Carnitas’ because this is the last thing my mind jumps to when I have leftover turkey in the fridge. However, this recipe is going to be a new favorite go-to because of the simplicity and redirection of taste. After a few days of eating turkey, cranberries, and sweet potatoes, my taste buds need a detour from Thanksgiving. This recipe is a wonderful way to use up those turkey leftovers without having to taste Thanksgiving over and over again. Not to mention, who doesn’t love tacos when they look this good!


Let me know if you and your family have another favorite turkey scrap recipe,

I would love to know about it! 


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