How to Use Up Leftover Turkey

This year, liven up your leftover-turkey repertoire with some new recipes.


Up next in Thanksgiving Recipes (31 videos)

Are you hosting Turkey Day this year? Make it a feast to remember with these recipes and cooking tips.

You Will Need

  • Thanksgiving leftovers
  • Creativity


  1. Step 1

    Turn it into appetizers

    Turn your leftover turkey into appetizers: Combine 2 parts shredded turkey with 1 part cream cheese, curry powder to taste, and a splash of lemon juice. Drop a teaspoon of the mixture into the center of refrigerated crescent rolls that have been cut in half. Fold tops over to seal; bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden, about 12 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Update the open-faced sandwich

    Update the open-faced turkey sandwich: mix a cup of shredded turkey with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the turkey mixture on a warm baguette and top with any leftover cranberry sauce.

  3. Step 3

    Make Peking turkey

    Use up leftover turkey by tweaking Peking duck: Pick up Chinese buns or pancakes and a jar of hoisin sauce from an Asian market. Shred turkey and microwave it until just warm; meanwhile, steam the buns or pancakes. Serve with the hoisin sauce and matchstick slices of scallions and cucumbers.

  4. In a pinch, flour tortillas can be used in place of Chinese pancakes or buns.

  5. Step 4

    Pull together a pulled turkey sandwich

    Pull together a pulled turkey sandwich: Put shredded leftover turkey into a saucepan; add a cup of barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup of chopped onion for every 3 cups of meat, plus a dash of hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer until turkey is heated through, stirring occasionally -- about 30 minutes. Serve on warm rolls, topped with coleslaw.

  6. Step 5

    Make shepherd's pie

    Use up several leftovers in one dish by making a shepherd's pie, substituting shredded turkey for ground meat. The traditional recipe calls for peas and a mashed potato topping, but feel free to throw in whatever leftover vegetables you have and top with whipped sweet potatoes or a combination of sweet and white.

  7. Step 6

    Freeze it

    If you still have leftover turkey and can't stomach the thought of another turkey dinner, wrap the meat in heavy-duty aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. Use within 6 months.

  8. 14 percent of Americans say they never have Thanksgiving leftovers because they eat every crumb!