After a big holiday meal, you might want to save some leftover turkey. Cooked turkey is versatile and can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer for several days. You can turn leftover turkey into a variety of delicious recipes. If you don’t know what to make with your leftover turkey, you can try some best recipes. The best recipes for leftover turkey include soup, casseroles, pot pies, chili, and turkey pasta. You can even make turkey pasta if you don’t have enough turkey.
The best leftover turkey recipes are simple to prepare and can be stored for a few months. To freeze leftover turkey, divide it into quart-size containers first, and each bag should be labeled with the date and contents. After that, store it in the freezer or thaw it in the refrigerator. You can also use leftover turkey in soups, casseroles, and sandwiches to reheat it.
What do you Understand by Leftover?
Leftovers are surplus foods that remain unfinished at the end of a meal and are stored in containers to be eaten later. Bones and other inedible remains are considered waste, not leftovers. Leftovers can be saved or thrown away depending on the situation, the amount of food, and the type of food. The use of leftovers is determined by the meal’s location, the diner’s preferences, and the local culture.
Leftovers from home meals are frequently consumed later. The privacy of the environment and the convenience of airtight containers and refrigeration make this possible. People can eat leftovers straight from the refrigerator, reheat them, or incorporate them into a new dish.
Best Recipes for Leftover Turkey
Here are some of the best leftover turkey recipes:
Turkey & Potato Chowder
Leftover turkey potato chowder is a creamy, savory, and filling soup full of lean protein. It’s the ideal way to turn holiday leftovers into something new and delicious in under 30 minutes, and it’s made with leftover turkey and mashed potatoes. This thick, filling, and flavorful turkey potato soup are made with only a few basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand in your pantry and refrigerator. What’s the best part? They won’t be able to tell they’re eating leftovers! That’s how good it is.
Turkey Tetrazzini with Spinach
Comforting, creamy, and cheesy leftover turkey tetrazzini with spinach is a simple, easy, and delicious recipe. Cooked turkey and spaghetti are tossed in a creamy spinach and mushroom sauce, then baked until golden brown with mozzarella cheese on top. This family-favorite casserole pasta dinner is ideal for busy weeknights. Plus, you can make this freezer-friendly meal ahead of time to make things even easier.
Leftover Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
Leftover turkey stuffed peppers are a filling, wholesome, and healthy dinner that comes together quickly and easily. Roasted turkey, vegetables, herbs, and cheese are stuffed into colorful bell peppers. They’re a great way to get your veggies in a while, putting any leftover turkey from a holiday meal to good use, and it’s a real crowd-pleaser.
Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce
After Thanksgiving, the focus shifts to the leftovers! There are only so many traditional turkey dinners you can eat in a week. Make this delicious and festive Thanksgiving turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce and your leftover Thanksgiving turkey. This is drool-worthy deliciousness.
Creamy Turkey Gnocchi Soup
The ultimate comfort food, creamy turkey gnocchi soup, is creamy, rich, savory, and delicious. It’s full of turkey, gnocchi, spinach, and vegetables in a thick, creamy broth that’s well-seasoned and flavorful. This creamy turkey gnocchi soup has complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy vegetables. Plus, this hearty soup is ready in just 25 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights when you’re short on time and energy and want a recipe that everyone will enjoy. This is one you must try!
Leftover Turkey Fried Rice
Leftover turkey fried rice, made with lean and delicious cooked turkey, light and fluffy rice, perfectly scrambled eggs, colorful vegetables, and traditional Asian seasonings, is perfect for your healthy meal planning menu. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to prepare in one skillet. Hello, new favorite quick weeknight meal!
Turkey Wild Rice Soup
Nourishing and filling The most comforting way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving dinner or any turkey dinner is to make a one-pot leftover turkey wild rice soup. Cooked turkey, wild rice, mushrooms, and vegetables make this a healthy and filling meal. It’s incredibly delicious and only takes 10 minutes to prepare.
Buffalo Turkey Wraps
Flavorful, spicy, and delicious buffalo turkey wraps are quick and easy to make. Crisp lettuce, lean turkey strips slathered in a creamy homemade buffalo sauce, and cheddar cheese are stuffed into these tortilla wraps. Assemble and wrap them for a quick and healthy lunch to keep you full until dinner in just minutes. It’s much faster, tastier, and healthier than grabbing a sandwich from the deli.
Coconut Turkey Curry
It’s a creamy, rich, and flavorful coconut turkey curry. When you have leftover turkey from a holiday party, this delicious curry is the perfect recipe to make. Using cooked turkey is a lifesaver when you’re short on time, and this quick and easy dinner is ready in just 30 minutes! This quick and easy recipe can be prepared in one skillet or pot. Make a large batch because the leftovers are even better! Serve with Garlic Naan or Steamed Rice.
Creamy Turkey Orzo Soup
Warm and comforting, creamy turkey orzo soup is hearty, filling, and flavorful. This hearty one-pot meal of leftover turkey, orzo pasta, vegetables, and spinach is pure comfort food in a bowl. It has all of the characteristics of a traditional noodle soup, but it’s much creamier. It’s a family favorite and takes only 30 minutes to prepare on a weeknight.
How Long is Leftover Turkey Good in the Fridge?
Dr. Abigail Snyder, an assistant professor in Cornell University’s food science department, explains that any leftover turkey will degrade in quality over time. Cooked turkey can be kept in the freezer almost indefinitely because microbial growth stops when the food is frozen, but “other slower changes in quality, such as freezer burn, can eventually render leftovers unacceptable,” she says, adding that this isn’t a safety issue because the turkey is still safe to eat. Still, the quality of the meat would make us not want to eat it.
Turkey does not last as long when kept in the refrigerator. According to Dr. Snyder, there is no set number of days leftover turkey can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator. She recommends using the USDA FoodKeeper app for the best quality, which states that refrigerated, cooked turkey should be consumed within four days and frozen turkey leftovers should be consumed within six months.
How to Store Leftover Turkey?
Here is the process of storing leftover turkey:
- Cover the cooked meat loosely with foil as it cools to avoid any airborne bacteria landing on it.
- Once it has cooled, wrap it completely or cut it up and store it in a food storage container before putting it in the fridge.
- Do not store it under or next to uncooked meat as the juices could contaminate it.
Make sure to practice good food hygiene every time you use some by washing your hands before handling it and chopping on a clean board that hasn’t come into contact with raw meat. Always re-wrap the turkey before putting it back in the fridge, and don’t leave it out too long between uses.
How to Tell if Turkey is Good?
You’ve got some turkey in the fridge that you’d like to freeze, so it lasts as long as possible. Before you do anything else, you must first determine whether or not the turkey is edible.
The smell and texture of the turkey are the best indicators of whether it is still edible. According to StillTasty.com, if the turkey has a sour odor and a slimy texture, it’s probably past its prime — regardless of the package’s expiration date. So, if you give your turkey a sniff and something doesn’t smell right, toss it and choose something else to cook for dinner or freeze instead.
How to Properly Defrost Raw Turkey?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are a few different safe methods for defrosting turkey (or any meat) according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). What you do will most likely be determined by your appliances and the amount of time you have. The first is defrosting the refrigerator. Place the meat in the refrigerator and allow it to defrost slowly. However, keep in mind that the key word here is slowly. According to the USDA, even ground turkey takes 24 hours to thaw fully. The larger the piece of meat, the longer it will take to prepare.
Cold water thawing is the second, more attentive method. According to the USDA, your meat must be in a leakproof package or plastic bag that you will submerge in cold tap water for 30 minutes, changing the water every 30 minutes to ensure it continues to thaw. This, like fridge thawing, will take some time. “Assume about 30 minutes per pound,” according to the USDA.
The third method, which is the quickest, is to defrost the meat in the microwave. The FDA recommends cooking the food right after it has been thawed, just like the cold water method. However, as Woman’s Day Senior Food Editor Catherine Lo points out, the edges and wings of a whole turkey will begin to cook before it is fully defrosted, which, while safe, isn’t ideal.
Tip for Reheating of Turkey
You can do many things with your leftover turkey to avoid wasting it. It can be sliced and eaten cold on sandwiches the first day or two after cooking. You’ll probably want to reheat it before eating it later. When reheating the turkey, make sure it’s hot all the way through before eating. If you use it to make a curry or other hot dish, remember that reheated curry should not be reheated again, so only make what you need and don’t be tempted to save the leftovers – only reheat the meat once.
It’s probably best to buy a whole turkey if you’re serving a small dinner or a small crowd. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a few days after cooking, and you can freeze your turkey for up to two months if you need to keep it longer. So, no matter what your guests want, you’ll be able to find delicious and healthy leftover turkey recipes. Enjoy! There’s always room in the fridge for leftovers.
You can make delicious stuffing or potatoes with the leftover turkey for your holiday celebration. For stuffing, try using cornbread. Instead of using store-bought stuffing, you can make your gravy and stuffing. Your family will enjoy a delicious and versatile meal made from the leftover turkey! The best part is that it doesn’t have to be difficult to put together. When seasoning, use flaky sea salt.