Leftover Turkey’s Top Ten

Here are ten quick and easy ideas for leftover turkey!

# 10. Chop it up and use it to make turkey quesadillas. Sprinkle turkey, sharp cheddar cheese and chopped green chillies on a flour tortilla. Spray a pan with cooking spray, place tortilla on pan and top with another one. Grill and flip until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa for dip.

#9. Make turkey salad by tossing a few cups chopped turkey with diced celery, halved grapes and a little drained pineapple tidbits. Blend in some light mayo and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a Romain lettuce leave or in a croissant and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

#8. Use thinly sliced turkey breast meat to make a Turkey Reuben. Place turkey between two slices of rye or pumpernickel & rye swirl bread. Add a Swiss cheese slice or two, a little sauerkraut and a spread of thousand island dressing. Grill and flip until lightly browned.

#7. Make a Barbecued Turkey Pizza. Use your favorite crust recipe (or those simple refrigerated, roll-out crusts). Spread with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce (the BEST!!) and sprinkle on a mixture of mozzarella and sharp cheddar cheese. Top with diced turkey breast, thinly sliced purple onion,  and either mild, diced green chillies or jalapenos (for the brave!) Bake as normal until crust is done as cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

#6. White Chili. In a large crock pot, dump a large jar (48 ounces) of Great Northern beans. Add 2- 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes (undrained), 3/4 cup finely chopped onion, one 4-ounce can mild diced green chilis, 3 cups chopped turkey, 2 teaspoons of chicken stock paste,  a teaspoon of garlic powder (or 2 T. fresh, minced garlic) and 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, crushed corn chips and sour cream on top.

#5.  Michigan Dried Cherry- Turkey Salad. (Don’t worry about looking for Michigan cherries. Most of the ones you see already come from my great state!) Toss leftover turkey chunks with torn Romain lettuce with thinly sliced purple onion, feta cheese, dried cherries, mandarin oranges and sliced almonds. Serve with a vinaigrette dressing (raspberry, cranberry, etc….)

#4. Turkey Divan. Combine 3 cups leftover turkey with one bag frozen broccoli florets (NOT chopped broccoli) and place in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. In a bowl mix 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup mayo, 1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese, 1 T. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 t. pepper and 1/4 t. garlic powder. Pour over the top of chicken mixture. Sprinkle with another 1 1/2 cups cheese. Seal with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and cook 5 more minutes. Serve plain or over rice, noodles or baked potatoes.

#3. Turkey-Wild Rice Soup. In a large stock pot over medium heat, saute 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot and 1/2 cup minced celery in a stick of butter. Stir in 3/4 flour. Gradually add 6 cups chicken stock until mixture comes to a boil (turn up temp if needed but watch closely). Reduce heat to medium-low. Prepare one 6 ounce box long grain and wild rice as directed on package. Add to soup along with 2 cups diced turkey. Then add 3 T cooking sherry (optional). YUM!!

#2. Turkey-Spinach Tortellini Soup. (Trust me moms, kids will eat spinach when disguised in this yummy soup!) In a large kettle, saute 1 chopped onion in a T. olive oil. Add 2 cups turkey, 1 t. dried, minced garlic, 8 cups chicken stock or broth, a 10 ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, 14 ounces petite, diced tomatoes (or puree if you want to hide the chunks from finicky kids), 1 T. dried basil, 1 t. oregano and 1/2 t. salt (can omit). Simmer 20 minutes. Then add one package refrigerated, cheese-stuffed tortellini and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

And finally, the # 1. quick and easy idea for leftover turkey….(Drum roll please……..) If you are simply too tired to cook right now, use freezer bags to freeze the turkey in the cup-portioned size mentioned in one of the above recipes. Label it so on the side of the bag with a Sharpie marker (i.e. 3 cups turkey for White Chili.) Freeze. Pull out on a day you have much more energy.

Similar Posts


  1. THANK YOU!!!! I am challenged in this area and I can’t wait to use our leftovers this year. We usually have 20 people for Thanksgiving, so I bought the biggest turkey I could find. Instead of our usual 20, we only have 9 this year, so I’m sure to have plenty of leftover turkey. I’m copying all of your ideas and letting my family vote on what we’ll do with the leftovers :)

    Happy Thanksgiving Karen!

  2. Thanks for the warm and fuzzy post!! haha
    Love turkey leftovers, the quesadillas are a great idea! I will be trying that!!

    Happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *