Leftover Turkey Recipes: Transform Your Holiday Extras

A person cutting a turkey on a plate.

The holidays have passed, and your fridge is still bursting with leftover turkey. Don’t worry! These leftover turkey recipes will transform that abundant bird into dishes that will make you wish it were Thanksgiving every month.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

When it comes to holiday feasts, turkey is often the star of the show. But what do you do when the party’s over, and you’re left with more turkey than you know how to handle? 

Enter these delicious leftover turkey recipes!

They transform your post-holiday meal into everything from comforting casseroles to hearty soups and beyond, helping you ensure that no morsel goes to waste. So, roll up your sleeves and let these leftover turkey ideas inspire culinary masterpieces that could even eclipse the original holiday dinner!

A Pinterest pin for leftover turkey recipes.


In This Article

A jar of turkey stock sitting on a white surface.
Photo Credit: The Forked Spoon.

How to Make Turkey Stock

Turkey is more than a grand holiday centerpiece or the succulent slices of breast meat that grace our plates. There’s a hidden treasure in those leftovers — the bones, carcass, neck, and giblets — waiting to be transformed into a nourishing turkey stock.

Making your own stock is not only a sustainable practice, using every part of the bird, but it’s also a healthful choice. Homemade turkey stock is rich in minerals and alpha-gal friendly collagen. It’s known for supporting gut health and boosting the immune system as it provides a deeply flavorful base for soups, stews, and sauces, far surpassing any store-bought version in both taste and nutritional value. For a detailed guide on crafting this liquid gold, check out this comprehensive recipe. 


How to Store Leftover Turkey

Properly storing leftover turkey is crucial to maintaining its freshness and ensuring that it’s safe to use in one of these tasty leftover turkey recipes. First, don’t let the turkey sit out at room temperature for more than two hours after cooking. Slice or shred the meat off the bones to expedite cooling and make storage easier. Place the turkey in airtight containers or heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap to help it retain its moisture and prevent the meat from drying out. Leftover turkey can be safely stored in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Can you Freeze Leftover Turkey?

If you don’t plan to use the leftover turkey meat within three to four days, freezing it is a great option. Frozen turkey can last for two to six months. Remember to label the containers with the date, so you know how long it’s been stored. When you’re ready to use the frozen turkey, thaw it in the refrigerator — not at room temperature — to keep it safe from bacterial growth. 

NOTE: Because the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that most people with alpha-gal can tolerate “moderate, lean dairy,” some of the recipes below may include butter, cheese, or another dairy product. If you are an alpha gal who avoids dairy, please make a dairy-free substitution. From vegan butter to plant milk cheeses, Miyoko’s is one of my favorite brands. And, even if you can tolerate dairy, I recommend that alpha gals stick with vegetarian cheese.

20 Tasty Recipes for Leftover Turkey

These scrumptious leftover turkey recipes will help you transform your post-holiday ingredients into something extraordinary. Which recipe are you anxious to try first?

Turkey mole in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
Photo Credit: Mama Maggie's Kitchen.

1. Turkey Mole

This easy turkey mole recipe is a delightful twist on a classic Mexican dish, combining tender turkey with a rich, flavorful mole sauce made from spices, chocolate, and peanut butter. It’s a unique and delicious way to use leftover turkey.

Related Article: The Truth About Alpha-Gal and Chocolate: Is It Safe to Eat?

Turkey salad on a croissant.
Photo Credit: Love from the Oven.

2. Turkey Salad Sandwiches

A refreshing recipe perfect for a light meal, this spread features a simple mix of chopped turkey, mayonnaise, celery, and seasonings, served on your choice of bread or rolls. It’s a great way to repurpose leftover turkey into a tasty lunch option.

Two stuffed butternut squash on a plate.
Photo Credit: Fearless Dining.

3. Turkey Leftovers Stuffed Butternut Squash

A creative and healthy way to use turkey leftovers, this dish combines roasted butternut squash filled with a savory mixture of turkey, spinach, and cheese, making it a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Related Article: Is Cheese Vegetarian?

A turkey muffin on a white plate.
Photo Credit: Go Healthy with Bea.

4. Savory Turkey Muffins

These muffins are made with ground turkey, vegetables, and seasonings baked into a muffin. They’re perfect for a quick snack or a light meal, especially for those following a Paleo diet.

A breakfast sandwich on a plate next to a cup of coffee.
Photo Credit: Two Cloves Kitchen.

5. Turkey, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

Go beyond boring leftover turkey sandwiches by combining savory turkey, creamy scrambled eggs, and melty cheese on a toasted English muffin. It’s a hearty and delicious start to the day.

Turkey nachos in a baking dish.
Photo Credit: Gypsy Plate.

6. Turkey Nachos

This is a fun and easy dish, perfect for a casual meal or party snack. This recipe layers crispy tortilla chips with shredded turkey, cheese, and your choice of toppings, creating a delightful twist on traditional nachos.

A fork is holding a bite of turkey noodle casserole on a white plate.
Photo Credit: Wondermom Wannabe.

7. Turkey Noodle Casserole

A comforting and hearty dish that combines cooked turkey, egg noodles, vegetables, and a creamy sauce, topped with cheese and baked until bubbly. It’s a great way to make a satisfying meal from leftover turkey.

A woman taking a turkey casserole out of the oven.
Photo Credit: Muy Bueno Blog.

8. Leftover Turkey Casserole

This casserole is a clever and tasty way to transform Thanksgiving leftovers. It layers succulent turkey with leftover stuffing and tangy cranberry sauce, all topped with a velvety gravy and melted mozzarella cheese, creating a comforting dish that encapsulates the essence of holiday flavors.

A bowl of turkey soup with carrots and sprigs of rosemary.
Photo Credit: Wondermom Wannabe.

9. Instant Pot Turkey Soup

This Instant Pot turkey soup is a lifesaver for a quick and nourishing meal. It’s a hearty blend of leftover turkey meat, a medley of vegetables, and aromatic seasonings, simmered to perfection in a rich broth. It’s the ideal comfort food for a chilly evening or a cozy weeknight dinner.

A bowl of turkey tortellini soup with greens and bread.
Photo Credit: Mangia with Michele.

10. Leftover Turkey Tortellini Soup

Dive into the heartwarming goodness of a bowl of soup with this filling turkey tortellini recipe that combines tender turkey pieces, cheese-filled tortellini, and a variety of vegetables, all swimming in a savory broth. It’s a perfect pick-me-up on a cold day.

Sage Advice: If you’re an alpha gal who avoids dairy, here’s where to buy vegan tortellini.

A turkey pie in a cast iron skillet on a table.
Photo Credit: Chicken Fried Chicken.

11. Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

This recipe takes the classic pot pie to new heights, featuring a flaky, buttery crust enveloping a rich filling of leftover turkey, colorful vegetables, and a creamy, herb-infused sauce. It’s a delightful way to repurpose leftover turkey into a comforting and satisfying meal.

Turkey and rice soup in a blue pot.
Photo Credit: The Slow Roasted Italian.

12. Turkey Rice Soup

Simple, yet profoundly comforting, this turkey rice soup is a wholesome blend of tender turkey chunks, fluffy rice, and fresh vegetables, all simmered in a flavorful broth. It’s a soothing meal that’s perfect for a light lunch or a comforting dinner.

A bowl of leftover turkey soup with vegetables and herbs.
Photo Credit: Mommy Evolution.

13. Spicy White Bean and Leftover Turkey Soup

Add a little spice to your mealtime with this zesty turkey soup. It combines shredded turkey with creamy white beans, a variety of vegetables, and a kick of spices, creating a comforting soup that packs a flavorful punch.

Related Article: Best Beans for Protein

A person picking up a turkey slider from a plate.
Photo Credit: Mommy Evolution.

14. Turkey Sliders with Cranberry

These adorable sliders are a hit for any gathering or a quick, satisfying meal. Juicy turkey and a dollop of leftover cranberry sauce are nestled between soft buns, making each bite a delightful mix of flavors and textures.

A bowl of turkey pumpkin curry soup with rice.
Photo Credit: Mommy Evolution.

15. Turkey Pumpkin Soup with Rice

Embrace the flavors of fall with this turkey pumpkin soup. It’s a unique combination of rich pumpkin, hearty rice, and tender turkey pieces, all brought together in a savory broth. This soup is both nourishing and a feast for the taste buds.

A cast iron skillet of turkey pot pie topped with cheddar biscuits.
Photo Credit: A Little and a Lot.

16. Turkey and Cheddar Biscuits

This biscuit topped turkey pot pie is a filling dish. Each bite includes the taste of flaky biscuit filled with the savory goodness of turkey and the melt-in-your-mouth richness of cheddar cheese. It’s comfort food at its best!

A bowl of turkey congee.
Photo Credit: Sift and Simmer.

17. Instant Pot Turkey Congee

This turkey congee is a comforting, easy-to-make dish, perfect for those seeking something soothing and nutritious. The rice porridge, enriched with the flavors of turkey, is a gentle and satisfying meal, ideal for any time of the day.

Turkey fried rice with peas and carrots.
Photo Credit: Christina's Cucina.

18. Leftover Turkey Fried Rice

Transform your leftover turkey into an exciting meal with this fried rice recipe. This quick and easy dish combines savory turkey, fluffy rice, and a mix of seasoned vegetables. It’s a great way to bring new life to your holiday leftovers.

Turkey enchiladas with sour cream and olives on a plate.
Photo Credit: What a Girl Eats.

19. Turkey Enchiladas

These turkey enchiladas are a cheesy, savory delight. Rolled tortillas are stuffed with juicy turkey, smothered in rich enchilada sauce, and then topped with melted cheese. It’s a comforting, crowd-pleasing dish that’s perfect for a family dinner.

Cranberry turkey spring rolls with cranberry sauce on a plate.
Photo Credit: Cake 'n Knife.

20. Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffed Egg Rolls

Get creative with your leftovers with these Thanksgiving stuffed egg rolls. They’re an ingenious way to repurpose traditional Thanksgiving fare, wrapping up leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, and other holiday favorites in a crispy egg roll wrapper for a fun and tasty snack or appetizer.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Use Leftover Turkey?

I’ve shared some of my favorite ways to jazz up leftover turkey, but now I want to hear from you. Do you have a secret ingredient that takes your turkey leftovers from “meh” to “wow”? Maybe you have a favorite family recipe? Or perhaps you’ve invented a quirky but delicious turkey dish that your friends can’t stop talking about? Share your tips and other recommendations in the comments section below.

Thank you for sharing!

1 thought on “Leftover Turkey Recipes: Transform Your Holiday Extras”

  1. Awesome guide! As a newbie and aspiring cook, I really learned a lot. I’ll definitely apply this guide for the turkey that I’m gonna be making this Christmas 🙂

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