Here are my Top 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 or wrap 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 drained sauerkraut and a spread of thousand island dressing. Butter, 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 Randall Northern beans. Add 1 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup finely chopped onion, a regular size jar of your favorite salsa, 3 cups chopped turkey, 1 tablespoon of chicken stock base (it is a moist product, not granulated. Can also use 2 bouillon cubes) 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, thinly sliced purple onion, feta cheese, dried cherries, mandarin oranges, and sliced almonds. Serve with poppyseed or vinaigrette dressing (raspberry, cranberry, etc….)
#4. Turkey Divan. Combine 3 cups leftover turkey with one bag frozen whole broccoli florets (NOT chopped broccoli) and place in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. In a bowl mix 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup real mayo, 1 cup extra 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. Serves 6.
#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 cup 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 chopped, cooked 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.