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.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.
turkey dinner nachos! genius.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. I have enjoyed all of your posts to make the most of this holiday.
Thanks Karen, Hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!
Turkey hot browns look fantastic! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Thanks Kathy, Have a great Thanksgiving!
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.
I’ll be looking forward to your leftover post! A turkey apple stew sounds yummy! Hope your having a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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!
Best wishes to you John and your family for a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have to remember the risotto with the turkey stock…possibly will be on my table this weekend!!
Kay aka Babygirl
I just love these leftover turkey ideas.. they are amazing. And I especially love that Fritattas.. just delicious.. Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving Babygirl!
I love left overs for the days I don’t feel like cooking. Usually I turn them in to a savoury pie 🙂 Happy thanks giving!
Oh yes, can’t forget the pie, that would be delicious as well. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Just A Smidgen
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…
Thanks, these are the ones I know my kids can make when I’m not around!! Easy and quick. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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 🙂
You are exactly right!! When my fridge is full of leftovers, I know I get a break!! Hope your enjoying a nice Thanksgiving!
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!
That’s right Charles, I thought I’d wrap it up the day before and really enjoy my own Thanksgiving!!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!
thank you…and same to you!
Have a lovely Thanksgiving!
And I wish the same for you and your family!
Those nachos look like insane goodness. Awesome!
My son sure thinks so!!
The kids would love the nachos. I would love the frittata!! Great ideas Linda. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and your family have a wonderful day today. 🙂
Thanks Kristy, Wishes to you and your family too for a wonderday Thanksgiving…and no cooking for you!!!
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.
Thank you Kelly! I hope you and your family have a beautiful day as well!
Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
Wow, Linda everything looks wonderful. Not that I’m surprised. Have a great Thanksgiving. Your table is such a wonderful place to be today, I’m sure.
Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
Oh and I second Kelly. Great job on the Thanksgiving posts!
Thank you, thank you! Now could you please stop by and carve my turkey???
Turkey Nachos, what a great idea! All of your dishes look wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Thanks so much!! Happy Thanksgiving to you!
You have a frittata fan here! Great ideas 🙂
wow you already have post thanksgiving dinner ideas up! love the turkey nacho idea! 😀 happy thanksgiving!
wow..sounds scrumptiously tasty..
first time here..love your space…
awesome posts with inviting cliks..
Am your happy follower now..;)
do stop by mine sometime..
Thank you, Linda, for all these wonderful and creative ideas! Happy Thanksgiving!
Food, Flowers, Herbs and Life!
All three dishes look wonderful! You are so creative! For our little Thanksgiving dinner for two last night I grilled two rib-eyes, fixed green beans and your mashed potatoes! Ritchey was in heaven! The potatoes were excellent!
These ideas look great! I love the idea of nachos, never would’ve thought of it. 🙂
Excellent ideas! Hope your Thanksgiving was great 🙂
We opted out of turkey this year and had chickens instead. I’m definitely making chicken nachos per your suggestion!
Geni - Sweet and Crumby
Turkey nachos?! You are a goddess! Hope your Thanksgiving was as amazing as your food is!
Great suggestions! I can’t wait to try them!
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! These are all great ideas! I love the turkey nachos, very creative. Though I am a huge breakfast fan and the fritatta’s look good too!