Do you have turkey left-overs from the big meal today? Instead of the usual ways to do leftovers try some of these ideas. First, plan to use the leftover turkey you have refrigerated within three to four days. If it is going to be longer, freeze the leftovers in freezer bags for later use. Remember when reheating leftovers we should always reheat to 165°F.
Below are some ideas and short recipes for using your leftover turkey meat:
• Turkey Stir-Fry – Cut up the turkey into small strips. Stir fry vegetables (fresh or frozen) your choice, until just tender and add the turkey pieces. Heat until 165°F or very hot. You can add herbs, low-sodium soy sauce, Teriyaki, or Asian stir-fry sauce for flavor. (Quick meal in 15 minutes.)
• Turkey Tacos – Cut up the turkey meat and reheat adding taco seasonings. Serve with beans, tomatoes, salsa, lettuce, lite shredded cheese and/or sour cream.
• Turkey Quesadillas – Cut up turkey meat and add to lite cheese on a tortilla. Heat until very hot and tortilla is lightly brown.
• Turkey Fried Rice – Cook a scrambled egg. Add cut up turkey, scrambled egg, frozen peas, cut up carrots and onions to leftover rice. Heat to 165° F and then add low-sodium soy sauce.
• White Turkey Chili is delicious. It has beans and a southwestern flavor. Try this recipe or other recipes for leftover turkey at University of Nebraska Extension website.
• Pizza – Start with a flatbread or a pizza crust. Add some tomato or pesto sauce, cut-up turkey and lots of chopped up vegetables. Top with some low-fat cheese and pop in the oven until the cheese melts about 15 to 20 minutes.
• Turkey Chow Mein has been a favorite with my family. Cut up the leftover turkey and add to Chow Mein vegetables. Heat until 165°F. Serve over hot cooked brown rice.
Have leftover mashed potatoes and turkey? Turn it into this Turkey Mashed Potato Soup.
Turkey leftovers can be delicious and nutritious. Leftovers can also make a fast and speedy dinner. If you are hunting for more healthy recipes try the USDA’s “What’s Cooking” website.
Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County
Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Wood County.
Henneman, A. Recipes for Turning Turkey Leftovers into Planned-Overs
Henneman, A. “Soup”er Soups from Turkey Leftovers, handout available online at
Tufts University, (2015). Make your leftovers healthier the second time around, Health & Nutrition Letter, November 2015, 33 (9) 1-3
United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), (2015). What Cooking! Website at http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/