Stretching turkey into new post-Thanksgiving meals
Slow-Cooker Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey
Credit: Victor Protasio

Honestly, the best thing about Thanksgiving (aside from the actual day), are the leftovers. After all, what’s better than having a guaranteed lunch and dinner for the next couple of days? Of course, if we’re being real, your palate is aprt to be a little bored with straight-up reheated Thanksgiving dinner after a couple days. And by about day 3, that turkey leg doesn’t seem to have much appeal at all. Which is why it’s key to transform your bird before you reach this point of Turkey Day turkey fatigue. Here are some easy way to remix your leftover turkey for a whole new, non-Thanksgiving-flavored meal.

1. Breakfast Hash

A hash is one of those no-recipe recipes you gotta love. All you need are a few basic ingredients: leftover turkey, onions, and potatoes. Grab a skillet to brown your preference of par-cooked, diced potatoes (sweet, red, russet) in oil. Throw in chopped onions along with the leftover turkey to sauté, and feel free to add in any additional vegetables to make your harsh heartier like spinach, sweet peppers, or Brussels sprouts. Finish with a sunny side-up egg and shredded cheddar cheese.

2. Soup

Leftover turkey is the perfect protein to throw into to pot of soup, as the seasoning from the turkey adds additional flavor to your broth. Turkey noodle soup is a riff on classic chicken noodle soup that’s equally comforting, especially after days of heavy feasting. You can also simmer a few cans of stewed tomatoes along with dried oregano and basil for an easy turkey-tomato soup that’s a great candidate for freezing.

3. Nachos

Who said that ground meats are the only ones appropriate for a tray of loaded nachos? Turkey breast and thigh meat would be the best parts to shred and distribute over your nachos along with your favorite toppings such as black beans, jalapeños, sour cream, and cheese.

4. Sandwiches

For all the lucky individuals who have panini presses at home, now is the time to bust them out. Of course, for the rest of us, a heavy pan (such as a cast-iron skillet) can be used to press a sandwich for similar results. Leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, and Brie is a most-excellent gooey combination for a panini. Of course, for something a little less fussy, you can stuff the leftover turkey meat, along with whatever veggies you like, into pita bread for a portable, one-handed lunch. And if you want to keep it classic, a regular, deli-style turkey sandwich (or sliders) made with your succulent leftover bird is always an excellent option.

5. Salads

A turkey Waldorf salad has all the traditional makings of the salad you’re used to—and as it turns out, cubed apples, grapes, and toasted walnuts make fantastic flavor partners for turkey. In the same vein, you can substitute the chicken breast in a traditional Cobb salad with your leftover turkey meat. Or keep is simple; grab a bag of pre-washed mixed salad greens, boil an egg, make a simple lemon vinaigrette, and shred your leftover turkey in.

6. Pot Pie

Create an shortcut turkey pot pie using mostly ingredients from the frozen food aisle. You can pick up frozen pie dough, peas, corn, and carrots. Make sure you have some leftover gravy as well to use as moisture for the filling to your pot pie.

7. Turkey Tetrazzini

Make it a casserole night and substitute turkey in place of the traditional chicken in this cream of mushroom-based dish. This super cheesy pasta bake has a handful of both Parmesan and Swiss cheese that brings the noodles together. Opting for frozen veggies instead of chopping fresh makes this an approachable meal to assemble any night of the week.