3 Easy Leftover Turkey Ideas

As soon as the whirlwind of cooking and feasting is over, what do you do with the leftovers?  I actually love to have leftovers, especially at Thanksgiving.  I always have an abundance of food prepared, being able to send some home with my guests and having enough for a few leftover meals to carry us over for a few days.  Especially since immediately following Thanksgiving, I’m gearing up for the Christmas holidays.  No black Friday shopping for me as I’m busy putting away my fall decorations and bringing on Christmas!

So, while I’m focusing on the decorating part of the holidays, I’m thrilled to have a frig full of leftovers to create my three favorite and very easy leftover dishes; Nachos, Open Faced ‘Bruschettas’ (Sandwich) and Frittatas.  These three quick recipes really work well with any leftovers.  There are no real recipes to follow.  It will all depend on the amount of servings, follow a basic method and have on hand a few pantry items such as your favorite quality tortilla chips, bread, and organic eggs.

In addition, don’t throw out that turkey carcass!  Immediately after the Thanksgiving meal, remove all the meat from the carcass to store safely.  That evening or the next day, drop the carcass, carrots, celery and onion in a large stockpot.  Add enough water to cover and simmer away for about 2-3 hours, strain and you have homemade turkey stock!

Turkey Nachos:  Great football game food!  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Evenly layer the chips on a wide shallow baking pan.  Lightly top with leftovers of your choice: turkey, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, cranberry sauce, etc.  Top with another layer of chips and leftovers.  Sprinkle some cheese on top.  Heat in oven for about 15-18 minutes or until cheese is melted.  I like to drizzle warmed gravy on top, srirachi sauce, sour cream and chopped fresh sage or cilantro.

Open Faced ‘Bruschettas’ (Hot Browns!):  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grill or toast thick slices of bread, about ½  to 1 inch thick.  I like Costco’s Rosemary Olive Oil bread.  Whenever I’m there I purchase a loaf or two, immediately slice and freeze (to avoid all temptation).   Place the grilled bread on a baking sheet and top with leftover chopped turkey, stuffing, veggies, finishing with potatoes and a drizzle of gravy.  Heat until warmed through, about 15-18 minutes.  Serve warm with additional gravy.  Best eaten with fork and knife!!

Fritattas:  Following along with my Fun with Frittatas post, heat a large skillet with olive oil, toss in about 2 1/2 cups of leftovers and heat.  Beat together 4-5 eggs (or mix of whole eggs/egg whites) with 1/4 cup of milk.  Pour the egg mixture over the turkey and veggies and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes to set the bottom.  Sprinkle on 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and place under the broiler to complete cooking, approximately 5 minutes or until the top has set and the cheese is lightly browned.  Serve hot or room temperature.

48 thoughts on “3 Easy Leftover Turkey Ideas

  1. You beat me to it, Linda. I wrote a Thanksgiving leftovers post for today. The nachos sound great — we often make turkey tacos, but not for a few days: we have a hierarchy of leftovers. First up, turkey-apple stew. Next turkey and noodles.

  2. I love stock made from a turkey that’s been stuffed. The stock has so much more flavor and makes a very good risotto.Your turkey nachos are such a great idea, especially incorporating the stuffing leftovers. Major yum! A memorable Thanksgiving for you and yours, Linda!

  3. Those nachos sound so decadent:) My kind of comfort food. I always forget left-over recipes so I shall have to remember yours:) I’m just imagining biting into your bruschetta and having the gravy all nice and creamy…

  4. I think in big occassions I almost enjoy the leftovers more than the “main event” – at least at that point you can put your feet up, relax and enjoy knowing you have enough food to see you through the next few days! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂

  5. Haha, you sure get in their early – isn’t Thanksgiving today? … you’re already plotting how to most efficiently use the leftovers! I like your style – it pays to be prepared 🙂 Leftover bird is the bane of my life at Christmas time – I usually stick it in a sandwich, but I love the frittata idea!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving Linda!! What a wonderful selection of ways to use leftover turkey… I just loved your holiday series… so creative, fun and inspiring. Have a beautiful day – hugs.

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