Get Creative with Turkey Leftovers

By Sarah Boucher, Macaroni Kid Publisher Grand Haven, Spring Lake & Muskegon, MI November 27, 2020

If you're anything like me, you gobbled up the great deal on a GIANT turkey at your local grocery store, and planned a HUGE Thanksgiving feast.  Then, you realize you have pounds of turkey leftover, and your kids aren't huge fans of leftovers, but you have to do something with all this turkey!

I've mastered the art of "up-cycling" my leftovers to create new meals, often using pantry staples, and therefore making my family happy with exciting meals and also keeping on track with my budget and limiting food waste in our house.

Here are 5 ways that you can use your leftover turkey:

1. Turkey and Cheese Panini

Throw turkey and cheese between two pieces of your favorite bread, butter the outsides of the bread, and grill on your panini maker.  Don't have a panini maker?  No problem!  It cooks up great in a frying pan just like grilled cheese!  If you want to get fancy, you can add other toppings like lettuce and tomato.  

2. Turkey Noodle Soup

Substitute turkey in your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe.  Don't have a recipe?  Try mine!  

3. Turkey and Broccoli Alfredo

Substitute turkey for chicken, toss with Alfredo sauce (I buy mine at the store and have found a brand my kids love!), throw in some broccoli, and serve over your favorite pasta noodles.  

4.  Turkey Quesadilla

A spin on taco night, put turkey and cheese between two tortillas, fry in a pan until the tortillas are toasty and the filling is hot (don't forget to flip it over!).  I like adding salsa on the side for dipping!

5. Freeze It

Yes, my freezer is my friend.  You can put turkey in freezer zipper bags, get the excess air out, and wrap the bags in foil for added protection.  I like to divide mine into small portions so I can take it out and throw it into a pot of soup or use it in one of the other recipes above, especially on busy days when I just don't have time to cut and cook meat or poultry.  

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