Turkey Leftovers


Now that Thanksgiving is a mere 5 days away, you have your menu all squared away, right? What about after the big event? What will you do with all of the turkey leftovers?

I am kind of funny about leftovers…I am okay with re-inventing the leftovers into a new dish, but eating the same exact meal 2 (or more)days in a row…I just can’t do it. So when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I prepare enough of the side dishes to last through the meal(not too many leftovers in the side dish department). I do plan for leftover turkey however, and with the turkey leftovers, I like to create brand new dishes, with completely different flavors than what we experienced at the Thanksgiving table.

Virginia This Morning (our local morning show),  asked me to share some of my turkey leftover ideas on their show, airing live,  the day before Thanksgiving at 9:00am. If you are local, set your Tevo, or tune in while you are at home baking pies.

Here’s what I will be sharing on the show:


Turkey Tortilla Soup

4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 3×1/2-inch strips

Corn oil for frying

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped white onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 14.5 ounce can peeled, chopped tomatoes

1 ½ cups tomato puree

2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

6 cups chicken stock

2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 14.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chopped cilantro

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 ripe avocado, diced

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a medium cast iron skillet, add enough corn oil to come up 1-inch in the side of the pan. Heat oil over medium heat; when hot, add the tortillas and cook, in batches if necessary, until they are crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels; set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat; when hot add the onion, cook about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, cooking an additional 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, chiles, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper and cook about 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock,turkey, black beans, and ¾ cup of the cilantro; lower the heat, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Add the lime juice, taste, and adjust seasonings.

Divide soup among bowls. Garnish with avocado, remaining cilantro, and tortilla strips

6 servings


Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry Panini

This is one of my favorite sandwiches. The combination of smooth creamy brie, savory turkey, and tart cranberries …grilled on a panini press, this sandwich is hard to beat.

8 1/2-inch-thick slices good crusty bread (I like to use rosemary bread from the bakery)

1/4 cup olive oil

8 ounces brie cheese, rind removed sliced into thin slices

1/2 cup of your favorite cranberry sauce

3/4 pound cooked turkey breast, sliced

Brush one side of each slice of bread  with olive oil. Place oiled side of bread down, and top with brie. Spoon cranberry sauce over brie, spreading evenly. Add turkey slices, and place remaining slice of bread, oiled side up on top of turkey.

Place sandwiches in a heated panini grill pan, and cook until bread is golden brown, and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Remove from grill and let cool a few minutes before slicing in half ( so all of that delicious cheese doesn’t run out!).

Makes 4 sandwiches

Turkey Pot Pie with Apples and Cheddar Biscuit Crust
I found this recipe over at Sippity Sup ( a blog I frequent, and love!) Greg was kind enough to let me share it with you.  —I like the fact that you can make the filling for the pot pie ahead of time (and even freeze if you wish), before finishing the dish in the oven. The cheddar biscuit crust is made with drop biscuits, which makes them a breeze to put together. You will find the recipe here.
So what will you be making with all of your turkey leftovers? Share your ideas with me here, and feel free to link your recipe in the comments field.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


23 thoughts on “Turkey Leftovers”

  1. Looks lovely! For many years we’ve been frying our turkeys. They’re incredible the day of … a little greasy the next day. If I have leftovers, I’d might make turkey with black beans and salsa verde, turkey and shrimp gumbo, or turkey, brie and cranberry empanadas. Oh, I hope I have leftovers!

  2. Awesome ideas– especially love the tortilla soup and the panini idea! I totally agree with scaling back on side dishes– green bean casserole is just not as appealing after sitting in the fridge for a few days 🙂

  3. Yummy dishes! I’m so there with the soup – made a dish with similar flavors myself! Great job. That sandwich does look tasty also.

  4. Congrats on being on FoodBuzz’s Top 9 — number one, to boot! I love the variety of recipes. I think it’s a great way to be inventive and resourceful, finding new ways of using leftovers!

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