How to make recipes for leftover turkey: easy meals, soups and more

leftover turkey recipes

Image via: Pexels

Step by step instructions for how to make recipes for leftover turkey: an easy bake, warming casserole, 3 tasty soups, plus delicious salads and snacks.

Find more food guides, tips and advice

What to do with leftover turkey

Don’t throw away the leftover turkey! Most people don’t want to cook much the day after Christmas or Thanksgiving. I’m with you! Here are some great, delicious recipes for leftover turkey that you can make with minimal effort. 

We have an abundance of leftover turkey ideas that are easy to make and delicious to eat! These leftover turkey recipes will make you wish you had more turkey left over!

Wild rice and leftover turkey cheesy bake

leftover turkey recipes

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 6 ounces (or 3/4 cup) mixture of long grain and wild rice, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces of mushroom slices, drained
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked turkey, diced
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese, grated (you can also use mozzarella or any grated cheese)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • sweet or smoked paprika to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare the rice according to the instructions in the package.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  4. Add the chopped onions and celery to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently.
  5. Add sliced mushrooms and garlic; Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add diced turkey and mix; Remove from the stove.
  7. Transfer the mushroom mixture, cooked rice and 1/2 cup grated cheese into a 2-litre dish; stir and store.
  8. In a bowl, mix milk, cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, pepper and nutmeg. Stir until everything is fully incorporated.
  9. Place the milk mixture on the baking tray and mix until everything is completely mixed.
  10. Put the remaining cheese over it.
  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  12. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  13. Serve.

Creamy leftover turkey with walnuts as salad or wrap

leftover turkey recipes

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 2 Cups Leftover cooked turkey, chopped
  • 2 Stems chopped celery
  • 1 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 Cup chopped roasted walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup sugar-free dried cranberries
  • 1/3 Cup Avocado oil mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 wraps if you want to use in wraps
  1. In a large bowl, mix turkey, celery, lemon juice, sage, walnuts and blueberries. Stir to combine.
  2. Add mayonnaise and stir until well covered. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Use as side dish or spread the mixture on wraps and roll well. Halve each roll and serve.

Leftover turkey casserole with fluffy potato topping

leftover turkey recipes

Ingredients for 10

  • 3 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup half and half cream or desired consistency
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter to coat
  • 4 cups turkey, chopped in 1/2″ cube
  • 4 cups filling
  • 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups sauce
  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water over a medium heat. Cook for 20-25 min. or until the fork is tender. Drain and return to the pan to dry for 1-2 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, grease a 9 × 13-inch pan and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Chop the potatoes and add butter, parmesan, half the cream and eggs. Mash to smooth and loose. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Layer the filling on top, followed by the turkey and sauce. Top with mashed potatoes. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. or until it is fully heated. Serve immediately with cranberry sauce and additional sauce, if desired.

Leftover turkey and bacon pinwheels with cream cheese

leftover turkey recipes

Ingredients for 12 -18 pinwheels (depending on thickness)

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 12 slices of smoked turkey (approx. 3 oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon bacon crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  1. Place the cream cheese between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Roll it until it is about 1/4 inches thick. 
  2. Remove the top of the plastic film. Place the turkey slices on the cream cheese.
  3. Cover with a new piece of plastic film and turn everything over to the other side. Remove the piece of plastic that is now on top. 
  4. Sprinkle the spices over the cream cheese. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.
  5. Roll up so that the turkey is on the outside. Store roll in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 
  6. Cut into 12 pinwheel pieces and serve on low-carbohydrate biscuits or cucumber slices. If careful enough, you can cut into more than 12 thinner slices as an alternative!

Use leftover turkey for soup

Soup with leftover turkey is nutritious but easily created to also be delicious — and often light in calories and fats.

Storing and freezing the soup

If you store the homemade turkey soup recipe in an airtight container, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. This is wonderful right after the holidays, when everyone is busy going from one place to another. You can heat it up quickly and enjoy a homemade meal between stops. Turkey leftover soup is also excellent for food planning!

You can freeze most leftover turkey soup. Simply pour it into a freezer bag and fill it 2/3 full. Do not overfill it as the soup would expand when freezing and break the bag. It will handle 2-3 months in the freezer. If you want this as a quick lunch, you can pour the soup into individual bags instead of a large gallon.

Leftover turkey noodle soup recipe 1 (see main photo)

This is a wonderfully tasty soup as a classic, and can also be adapted easily. For example, for a Thai version, simply add chopped chillies and coriander at the end, and serve with a wedge of lemon or lime (see our main photo).

Ingredients for 8 people

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs of leftover turkey, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 packet egg noodles or noodles of your choice – the calorie-free Konjace noodles work well, but you should add them last as they are already ‘cooked’.
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  1. Heat oil. Add the turkey and lightly brown.
  2. Add chicken broth and water.
  3. Add all dry ingredients.
  4. Bring to the boil and season.
  5. Add noodles.
  6. Bring to slow simmer; add vegetables.
  7. Cook until the pasta is soft (12-15 minutes).
  8. Serve with hot crusty bread!

Creamy leftover turkey noodle soup with turkey stock

Ingredients for 8 to 12

  • 1 remaining turkey carcass yields more than 3 litres of broth
  • 3 cups cooked turkey cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 large sliced carrots or 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 3 small sliced celery sticks or 1 1/2 cups of sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon chicken-based chicken broth also works
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adapts to taste
  • 2 cups half and half cream
  • 8-10 ounces of egg noodles
  1. TO MAKE THE STOCK: Place the turkey carcass in a large saucepan (at least 8 litres) and cover it completely with water. Bring the water to the boil and then reduce the heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the cover from the broth in the pot. I find it easier to put a large sieve over a second large pot. I’m not trying to save the rest of the meat from the shell because I really don’t care what it tastes like after so long cooking. If you don’t notice the change, use this meat for the soup. Set the broth aside to cool. For this soup you need 3 liters (or 12 cups) of the broth. I always store and freeze the extra broth for future soups and other recipes.
  2. In a large saucepan (at least 8 litres) fry the celery, carrots and onion in the butter almost tenderly. Vegetables absorb most of the butter at this time. 
  3. Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle flour over the vegetables. Stir to mix and let the vegetables absorb the flour.
  4.  Gradually add 4 cups of the reserved broth. Bring this mixture to the boil and cook, stirring constantly, for about two minutes or until thick.
  5. Add the extra 8 cups of broth, broth, salt, pepper and turkey cubes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  6. While the soup is cooking, cook the egg noodles, drain and set aside. (I prefer to cook them separately because I can determine more precisely how soft they will be.)
  7. After 30 minutes, add the cooked pasta and cream. Heat it over low heat, just to make sure everything is hot. Enjoy!

Fast leftover turkey soup recipe with cauliflower rice

You can use frozen cauliflower rice purchased in the store or make your own. To make your own cauliflower rice, all you need to do is cut a cauliflower head into pieces. Then place them in a food processor or blender for a few seconds until they look like rice. Once you have the desired texture, you can use it for each of your cauliflower rice dishes and this leftover turkey soup.

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 16 ounces cauliflower rice
  • 1 litre chicken or turkey broth
  • 4 cups grated dark cooked turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 cup thick cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon
  1. Use a large saucepan and melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots. Cook until tender.
  2. Add the cauliflower rice to the onion mixture. Lower the heat and cover with a lid.
  3. After steaming the cauliflower for about 5 minutes, add the broth, turkey and spices.
  4. Bring the soup to the boil for 5 minutes, then add the bacon crumbs and cream. Add more spices if desired.
  5. Put the soup in bowls and enjoy hot!

genevieve dumas new Genevieve Dumas is a design, fashion, food and style writer who has worked on major magazines and mastheads in the United States and Europe.