healthy living

How to use all that leftover Thanksgiving turkey

turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving leftoversThanksgiving is just about a week away, and if you’re a plan-ahead type like me, you’re already wondering what on earth you’re going to do with all that turkey that’s left over.

Even if you generously give away portions to your dinner guests, there’s still a good amount left for you and your family, and it can get awfully boring after a couple days. So, here are some of the best creative ways I’ve heard of for using up leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Should be enough to carry you through however much you have!

(As usual, I get most of my recipes from, so I’ve provided you with links to some great recipes for each of these ideas so you can actually put them into practice.) 🙂

  • Soup. One of the easiest ways to use up any type of leftover. Try Next Day Turkey Soup (also uses sweet potato!), Turkey Wild Rice Soup, or Italian Wedding Soup (substitute turkey for beef).
  • Salads. Another easy leftover haven, you can add turkey to everything from Caesar Salad to Pasta Salad. Or, use your imagination!
  • Shepherd’s pie. (Or turkey pot pie, depending on what your family calls it.) Find a yummy recipe here.
  • Casseroles. Like the pot pie, only more open to experimentation. Some great go-tos include Turkey Noodle Casserole and Turkey Potato Casserole.
  • Wraps and sandwiches. A great way to sneak some turkey into your kids’ lunchboxes to help get those leftovers out of the house. If you’re a wrap fan, try a standard Turkey Wrap or something more creative, like Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps. For sandwiches, try a Turkey Provolone Sandwich or even a Turkey Burger.
  • Turkey tacos/burritos. If your kids (and s.o.) are starting to get wise about your turkey sneakiness, take it a step further and really camouflage it by using it instead of chicken or beef in tacos. With all the spices, taco sauce, sour cream, and other toppings, they may notice the difference in texture, but the taste will still be all taco. (Recipes here and here.)
  • Pulled pork turkey sandwiches. Another way to make turkey taste less…turkeyish? Marinating it in BBQ sauce! Recipe here.
  • Turkey meatballs. Just as yummy as beef meatballs. See if anyone if notices the switch! Recipe here.
  • Omelets. Sorry, family, but you’re getting turkey in the morning, too, till the bird is gone! Try a Spring Omelet, Three Egg Omelet, or Yummy Veggie Omelet (with turkey, of course).
  • Turkey sushi. I know, this one’s a little on the ambitious side, but I had to include it because I love the idea. If anyone actually makes this, let me know how it turns out, because I’m curious! Try this easy sushi recipe and substitute turkey for crab meat.

What about you? How else do you creatively use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey?




photo credit: Kristen Taylor

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