Turning Turkey Leftovers into Tasty Dishes

Thanksgiving parties are often celebrated with large amounts of food and drinks. Most people tend to cook more than they could eat, which results to plenty of leftovers for the dogs. Most leftovers come from turkey dishes, one of the most popular dishes during Thanksgiving.

Some home cooks are not keen on giving the leftovers of the expensive roast turkey to the dogs. Instead, they get creative and try to recreate them into new dishes. Here are some recipes that use turkey leftovers to make meals interesting.

Turkey a la King

turkey a la king


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1cup cooked turkey, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it is golden brown.
  2. Add in the mushrooms and saute them until tender.
  3. The flour should be added and stirred until the mixture turns smooth.
  4. Pour the chicken broth and whisk well. Cook the mixture until it thickens.
  5. The turkey, cream and peas should be added by then. Stir the mixture well.
  6. Continue cooking over low heat.
  7. When the mixture is thick enough, put in pepper and salt to taste.

Turkey Posole

turkey posole


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, about 15 ounces, rinsed and drained
  • 2 yellow onions, cubed
  • 2 cans white hominy, drained
  • 2 fresh poblano chili peppers, seeded and cut into ½ inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 quarts turkey broth
  • 2 tablespoons oregano, dried
  • 4 cups cooked turkey, cubed
  • Water
  • 1 can chopped green chili peppers, about 4 ounces
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Pour oil in a large Dutch oven and heat it over medium heat.
  2. Inside, add onions and poblano chilies. Cook them in the oil until they are soft.
  3. Garlic should be added  and cooked for 1-2 minutes. Do not forget to stir well.
  4. Sprinkle the mixture with cumin, oregano and chili powder.
  5. After stirring, the cooked turkey, canned green chili peppers, turkey broth, hominy and cannellini beans should be added.
  6. Pour enough water to submerge everything in the pot.  Salt and pepper should be added as well.
  7. Increase the heat of the oven until the mixture boils. Decrease the heat and let it simmer.
  8. For an hour, stir the contents to combine the flavors well.


Turkey Carcass Soup

turkey carcass soup


  • 1 turkey carcass, picked over
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 ½ cups leftover stuffing
  • 2 ½ quarts chicken broth
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • Garlic salt
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups regular long-grain white rice, uncooked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 package frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning


  1. Prepare a large deep pot. In the pot, carefully placed the turkey carcass along with the stuffing.
  2. Add the poultry seasoning, sage, chicken broth, bay leaves, celery and onion.
  3. If you would like to cover, add water as necessary.
  4. Turn the heat of the pot over medium-high heat and boil the contents.
  5. After boiling, turn the heat to medium.
  6. An hour is needed to let the contents simmer. Skim the foam that has accumulated.
  7. Retrieve the carcass from the pot and pick the meat. Discard the bones and skin.
  8. Put the carcass meat into the pot again for cooking.
  9. To add taste, sprinkle salt and pepper in the pot.
  10. Add the rice and stir well.
  11.  Boil the contents over medium-high heat.
  12. Heat should be gradually decreased to a medium. Simmering should take about 15 minutes at maximum.
  13. While the contents continue to simmer, add in the peas.
  14. Wait for 10 minutes or until the rice is soft.
  15. Taste the soup using a clean spoon. Add more salt and pepper as desired.

Aside from the delicious meals that families enjoy, saving turkey leftovers will mean a big difference in the family budget. Maximizing leftovers will truly give spice to your meals as well as save you the time and effort in cooking new ones.

Linda Rosario is a food enthusiast from Chef Needs “The Kitchen that Every Restaurant Needs”. Linda also loves arts and crafts and works as a pre-school teacher.

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