Loving Those Leftovers: Turnaround Turkey

| August 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

Photo: Geoff Pauley

There is nothing like the smell of a warm turkey roasting in the oven, but because most turkeys are so large, you are often left with significant leftovers. Instead of letting all of that extra meat go to waste, plan ahead and try some of the recipes below to use up the remaining turkey meat. There is no reason to think up a totally new meal when you have such delicious leftovers on hand! Start with this recipe:


Basic Roasted Turkey

  • 6 or 7 kg turkey
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Remove turkey neck and giblets and set aside to make gravy later. Put turkey, breast side up, in a roasting pan and rub the outside with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper the turkey’s body. Place it on the lowest rack of your oven and roast for 3 hours, or until a meat thermometer registers at 80 C.


Now use the turkey you have left to try some of these easy meals:


Turkey-Noodle Casserole

This is great “make ahead” recipe that you can just throw in the oven for a quick, filling supper.

  • 1 (8 oz.) package egg noodles, uncooked
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green capsicum
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salts
  • 3 cups leftover turkey


Cook noodles according to package instructions and set aside. Sauté onion and green capsicum in butter until tender, then add flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk until thickened and bubbly. Stir in noodles, Parmesan cheese, salt, and turkey. Spoon mixture into a lightly-greased baking dish. Cover and chill for 8 hours. To bake, remove from refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes. Bake covered at 175 C for 45 minutes.


Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

A perfect meal for a chilly evening, this soup is a healthy, delicious way to use up your turkey leftovers.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups turkey broth
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ pound leftover turkey
  • 2 ½ cups cooked wild rice


Sauté onion, garlic, and carrots in butter in a large soup pot. Add basil, oregano, salt, pepper, bay leaf, broth, and turkey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 20 minutes. While it simmers, cook the wild rice. Add cooked rice to the soup and serve warm.


Turkey Salad

This is a perfect lunch idea that can be served on baguettes or over lettuce.

  • 4 cups leftover turkey
  • ½ cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 small apples, cored and diced
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced


In a salad bowl, combine the turkey, sunflower seeds, raisins, apples, mayonnaise, salt, and lemon juice. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.


Quick and Easy Turkey Nachos

Try this delicious recipe as an alternative to chicken or beef nachos, and tailor the ingredients to your own favorite flavors.

  • 1 large pack tortilla chips
  • 1 cup leftover turkey
  • ½ cup onion finely diced
  • ½ large sweet capsicum, finely diced
  • 2-3 small tomatoes, diced
  • 2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 200 C. Spread half of the chips in a large, greased baking dish and add half of the turkey, onion, capsicum, tomatoes, and cheese. Repeat this step until all ingredients have been used up. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until all cheese has melted.


Turkey a la King

This 15-minute recipe is best served over puff pastries, rice, or biscuits.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup leftover turkey
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté mushrooms in butter until tender. Stir in flour, chicken broth, cream, turkey, and peas, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.


While we are all probably guilty of sometimes letting leftovers sit idly in our refrigerators, cooked turkey is one of the easiest, most delicious ingredients to utilize for quick meals. You’ll obviously save money by using up what you already have on hand, and you won’t have to labor to cook more meat for a filling family dinner.


Did you try any of the recipes above? Share your reviews, thoughts, and suggestions with us here!

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Category: Frugal Living

Kelsey Bohler

About the Author (Author Profile)

Kelsey Bohler is a young wife and mother who loves to write and strives to pursue simple, intentional living. She and her family are currently living abroad and are learning firsthand what it means to stick with a budget and live frugally. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, writing music, playing the piano, and being a Mum to her precious daughter.

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