Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude with family, friends, and most importantly, food.
But once the guests have left and the table has been cleared, many homes may be faced with large quantities of turkey and several side dishes still needing to be eaten.
Fortunately, there are numerous delicious recipes out there to use up your turkey leftovers, from the infamous Friends sandwich to fantastic spring rolls.
1. Turkey Quesadilla
Tierraal Diggins’ recipe is for an amazing Mexican take for any leftover turkey.
Start with tortillas, Thanksgiving turkey, shredded cheese, in addition to the seasonings, salt, Cajun spices and black pepper.
Next, place a generous amount of these ingredients on half a tortilla, fold it over and place in a hot and dry frying pan.
Then cook for a couple of minutes on each side, taking care to ensure they do not burn, before serving when the cheese has visibly melted.
2. Moist Maker Sandwich
One of the most iconic scenes from Friends finds Ross obsessing over Monica’s Thanksgiving leftover sandwich, featuring gravy-soaked bread in the center.
Jamie Milne has now taken to TikTok to recreate one of TV’s most celebrated bread-based snack.
After toasting two slices of bread, spread herb butter to a slice of bread, which will sit at the bottom, followed by mashed potatoes and leftover turkey.
Next, soak a third, toasted, slice of bread in gravy and set it on top. Then add cranberry sauce, stuffing and spinach.
Finally, spread yet more herb butter to the top slice of bread and add to the sandwich, before slicing and serving.
3. Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Crista Santos swears by this Thanksgiving leftover comfort food, especially when eaten on a cold night.
She places a generous quantity of leftover vegetables and diced meat into a foil pie base and adds enough gravy to liberally cover the ingredients.
Next, place any leftover stuffing on top, before spreading cold mashed potatoes and heating in an oven at 350F (180C).
4. Turkey Spring Rolls With Cranberry Peanut Sauce
Chef Brenda describes this innovative twist to the Thanksgiving leftover canon as a “satisfying meal.”
For the sauce, mix peanut butter, chilli garlic condiment, hoisin sauce, fish sauce and a generous spoonful of cranberry to taste.
Now pile a quantity of assorted Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, plus scrambled eggs and spinach, on a platter.
Rice paper sheets should then be briefly soaked in warm water and laid on a plate, before you start to assemble the spring rolls, with chef Brenda aligning all the ingredients vertically, close to the top.
5. Turkey Enchiladas
Alexa’s method of repurposing leftover lunch is as easy to make as it is reportedly healthy.
To begin, soften one onion, garlic and one or two jalapeños in a frying pan, before adding three cups of shredded turkey meat.
Next, mix one can of rinsed and drained black beans, two cups of Monterey Jack cheese and a little lime juice in a bowl.
Once all the ingredients are combined and mixed, use this to fill eight tortillas, which when rolled, are packed into an oven dish, soaked with enchilada sauce, topped with extra cheese and baked.
6. Turkey Salad
Brittany suggests this method of creating a slightly lighter way of making use of leftover bird, which she often enjoys for lunch.
She adds to a bowl turkey, red onion, celery, dried cranberries and a generous dollop of mayonnaise.
Then lemon juice, salt and pepper, mustard and chopped almonds are all added to the mix, which should then simply be stirred well.
She suggests this can be served in a sandwich, on a bed of lettuce or even with crackers.
7. Cheesy Turkey Croquets
Shay Spence recommends chopping up leftover turkey and mixing this with potato.
He then sets up a “breading station”, featuring a bowl of beaten egg, another of flour and a third of seasoned breadcrumbs.
Now take a handful of the potato-turkey mix, with an added piece of cheese place in the center, before dusting with flour, dipping in the egg and finally the crumbs.
These balls should then be called in the fridge before they can be fried in a pot of neutral oil.
8. Turkey Pot Pie
Liz Capi recommends using any turkey leftover from November 25 to create a wholesome dinner the next day.
She begins by making a volute sauce with a knob of butter, before adding sliced celery, carrot and onion.
Next, add half a cup of flour, three cups of chicken stock, cook to a boil then introduce half a cup of peas, corn, seasoning and leftover turkey.
Once this mixture has cooled, spoon into a pie dish lined egg-washed pastry, and add a pastry lid slightly slashed to allow air to escape, and bake for 30 minutes.
9. Turkey Pho
Christy Nguyễn believes this recipe prevents any Thanksgiving food wastage.
She begins by shredding all the meat from the bones and adding to a saucepan filled with approximately 1 liter of water to make a broth.
To this add an onion, a piece of ginger, sugar, star anise and chicken soup base powder.
Fresh pho noodles only need to be immersed in hot water for 15 seconds before they go limp and these should be drained, moved to a bowl, before adding turkey, and the now-ready soup.
Finally, add some chopped spring onions, cilantro, beans sprouts and a squeeze of lime before serving.
10. Filipino Turkey Sopas
This Filipino recipe is a clever method of using up leftover turkey.
Melt a knob of butter and add onions and garlic, then sauce for approximately three minutes before adding carrots and celery.
Add salt and pepper to taste, before adding turkey broth, which can be made yourself, by boiling the bird’s bones for roughly one hour.
Skim away any scum which may rise to the surface, then add the meat and a sprinkling of chicken bouillon.
In a separate pot, boil some macaroni, which will prevent the pasta from soaking up an excess of soup.
Then add the macaroni, a can of evaporated milk, some cabbage and season with fish sauce.
11. Creamy Wild Rice and Turkey Soup
This recipe promises to make a balanced meal in a single pot, to save on any excessive washing up later.
Begin with a wide array of fresh seasonal vegetables, with the chef on this occasion including onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms.
Once softened, wild rice is introduced to the pot and then some quality chicken stock.
Turkey leftovers is then stirred in when the rice is almost cooked, then add some cream, fresh spinach before serving.
12. Yorkshire Wrap
This recipe by Grace Keen is a uniquely British take on the quandary over what to do with quantities of turkey.
Start by adding a good glue of olive oil to a dish and allowing it to warm in a 200C oven.
While this is heating, mix 230g of plain flour, threes eggs, a teaspoon of baking powder, some salt and pepper and then, very gradually, stir in 300ml of milk.
Once this batter is nice and smooth, add this to the dish of hot oil and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden.
Slice the resulting Yorkshire pudding in half and add any Thanksgiving leftovers of your choice.
13. Thanksgiving Leftover Eggs Benedict
Shay Spence describes his dish as “the best thing to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.”
The chef begins with cold leftover stuffing pressed together sufficiently so they can be cut out to form patties.
Next add these to a frying pan lined with sizzling butter, with some slices of turkey nestled alongside shortly afterwards.
Once the parries and meat are caramelized, remove from the pan, add more butter and fry some eggs.
Once cooked, lay some turkey on top of the patty, top with an egg, then add a little leftover gravy and serve.
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