30 Leftover Turkey Recipes for The Days After Thanksgiving
The big meal is over, but who says the feasting has to be? After the many hours that are spent preparing for such a huge spread, Thanksgiving leftovers are a given. We're not saying you have to give up the beloved leftover turkey sandwich, but why not explore a few new ways to enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers? For the sake of your family’s sanity, we’ve put together a list of recipes that will give your Thanksgiving leftovers a facelift. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, you can enjoy these dishes at any time of day.
Soups, salads, and casseroles are just a few of the dishes that are bringing new life to your dry leftover turkey. We’re even upgrading the classic turkey sandwich with fresh, creative recipes like Turkey, Pesto, and Fresh Mozzarella Sandwiches and Turkey, Brie, and Fig Paninis. From Turkey Pot Pie to Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole, these Thanksgiving leftover recipes might just give your main feast a run for its money. So don’t toss that turkey: These leftover turkey recipes will help ensure every bite of your Thanksgiving feast is enjoyed.
Turkey, Pesto, and Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich
Pesto and fresh mozzarella bring a bit of Italian flair to this sandwich. The kids will be requesting these in their lunchboxes year-round.
Turkey Pot Pie With Cranberry-Pecan Crusts
This casserole may just be as stunning as yesterday’s turkey centerpiece. Cut your cranberry-pecan pastry into festive leaf shapes for an extra-seasonal dish.
Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches
Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches
Drab, cold turkey sandwiches are a thing of the past. Blanketed in warm melty cheese, these signature open-faced sandwiches bring new life to your leftover turkey.
Mini Turkey Pot Pies with Dressing Tops
The homemade pastry crust for these mini pot pies is surprisingly simple. Use your leftover turkey in the filling and that extra box of dressing mix to make a crunchy topping for these personal treats.
Recipe: Turkey Quesadillas
This cheesy Mexican staple gets a Thanksgiving spin with the addition of roast turkey. This recipe makes for a quick and easy lunch—just keep the guacamole and sour cream on hand for dipping.
Leftover Turkey Hash
Recipe: Leftover Turkey Hash
When the family’s starting to tire of those endless turkey sandwiches, change things up and sneak that leftover turkey into a crispy breakfast hash. This all-encompassing breakfast recipe delivers an entire meal in one skillet.
Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
Recipe: Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
When it comes to leftovers, our strategy usually involves tossing lots of ingredients into a casserole dish and letting it bake together. And more often than not, it’s oh-so-good. Case in point: this Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole.
Every Southern grandmother has a poppyseed casserole in her Rolodex, but this Turkey-Noodle version may just be our favorite.
Gumbo-Style Turkey Soup
Recipe: Gumbo-Style Turkey Soup
Bring big gumbo flavor to that leftover turkey with this simple soup. It’ll be ready in just one hour.
Recipe: Turkey Panini
The star of this pressed panini? Without a doubt the sweet-and-spicy pepper jelly. But feel free to substitute for leftover cranberry sauce.
Smoked Turkey-and-Andouille Gumbo
Make a big pot of this warm, award-winning gumbo and you’ll have leftovers of your leftovers. But trust us—nobody will be complaining.
Recipe: Thanksgiving Po'boy
This is the ultimate Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich, if we do say so ourselves. Packed full of turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and cornbread dressing, this sandwich will help you relive your Thanksgiving meal in the tastiest way possible.
Turkey, Apple, and Brie Sandwich
Recipe: Turkey, Apple, and Brie Sandwich
Sweet apples meet creamy brie to perfectly complement that leftover turkey in this simple sandwich. Pack it up to take on-the-go for holiday adventures or road trips.
Recipe: Turkey Salad
Trade out the chicken for leftover shredded turkey in this new cult-favorite Turkey Salad. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of our creative variations, like Golden Curry Turkey Salad or Pickle-and-Dill Turkey Salad.
Turkey-and-Collard Green Stew
Recipe: Turkey-and-Collard Green Stew
With sausage, rice, turkey, and collards, this catch-all stew showcases all the best ingredients that the South has to offer. Plus, it’s sure to warm you up.
Turkey Tortellini Soup with Greens
Forget rice: We’re adding three-cheese tortellini to our soups from now on. This Turkey Tortellini Soup is the grown-up version of chicken noodle soup, and we’re making it all winter long. (Plus, it’ll be ready in just 25 minutes.)
Turkey, Brie, and Fig Pressed Sandwiches
These elegant paninis can be enjoyed hot off the press or packed up for an on-the-go lunch.
Wedge Salad with Turkey and Blue Cheese-Buttermilk Dressing
This salad is fit for any ladies’ lunch—and your guests will never guess that it’s made with diced-up leftover turkey meat.
Recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini
Tetrazzini is a staple on our dinner tables during the school year because it is delicious and filling, but we also think it’s a great dish for implementing after Thanksgiving leftovers. You can make this rich and creamy casserole with leftover turkey, and you can either eat it that night for Thanksgiving day dinner, or you can freeze it for a busier day (aka: when school is back in session and you’re pressed for time).
Green Chile-Turkey Soup with Hominy
Revive your dry turkey meat with lots of Tex-Mex flavor in this simple soup. Green chile adds a hint of subtle spice, complementing the tang of tomatillos, the acid from the lime juice, and the herbaceous bite of cilantro.
Mini Hot Browns
Recipe: Mini Hot Browns
Hosting a holiday cocktail hour or dinner party? These miniature Hot Browns will be gone in a flash.
Turkey, Caramelized Onion, and Gruyère Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food, but this recipe puts a sophisticated spin on the classic sandwich with the addition of turkey, gruyère, and caramelized onions.
Smoky Turkey-and-Sweet Potato Chili
Chili is a one-pot meal that will actually fill you up, but it doesn’t have to be made with heavy beef and beans. Try a lighter, yet still substantial take on the stew with this Smoky Turkey-and-Sweet Potato Chili.
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Break out the slow cooker: It’s chili time. And this isn’t just any chili. In this white chili recipe, the dry leftover turkey stews low and slow in chicken or turkey broth to bring moisture and succulence back to the meat.
Turkey and Pimiento Cheese Club Sandwich
Pimiento cheese just makes everything better, including leftover turkey. Try out the dynamic duo in our take on a club sandwich.
New Turkey Tetrazzini
Recipe: New Turkey Tetrazzini
Spinach and mushrooms update the classic turkey tetrazzini to make it a bit more modern and a bit healthier.
Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
Recipe: Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
Brace yourself for this delicious leftovers recipe. It’s perfect for adding a kick to your day-old Thanksgiving turkey. Transform that beloved bird, your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, into a fiesta of a meal with this recipe for turkey tostadas that are out of this world. Truly, they have to be tasted to be believed. A few add-ins kick up the spice of your cranberry sauce to round out the Tex-Mex combination of veggies, turkey, and cheese. The spicy cranberry-chipotle sauce makes the most of leftover cranberry condiments and takes the classic up a few notches. This sauce is zesty, zippy, and a thrilling addition to your day-after dinner table.
Tortilla Turkey Soup
Recipe: Tortilla Turkey Soup
Forget the bland, day-after leftovers pulled begrudgingly from plastic Tupperware containers. Instead, with a few steps, you can create something everyone will love. This recipe will help you put a new spin on those turkey remnants. Try leftover turkey in soup for a tasty, flavorful change. This Mexican-inspired turkey soup has crunchy tortilla strips, creamy avocado, and fresh cilantro for a zesty day after Thanksgiving dish. And with those dropping temperatures, you’ll love to have a big bowl of steaming soup to warm you up. This Tortilla Turkey Soup is the fuzzy scarf of soups—comforting, lovely, and you’ll reach for it again and again, especially this season.
It's so easy to whip up a pizza out of leftovers. With these after-Thanksgiving pizza leftovers recipes, you may find that you enjoy leftovers more than a brand-new meal. Whether you have turkey, sausage, shrimp, or veggies, you can use one of these easy recipes for a quick After-Thanksgiving Pizza. It is truly a melting pot of leftovers, and with tasty add-ins and gooey cheese, you’ll never want to order in from a pizza chain again. Throw in what you have, because these recipes are supremely customizable.
The Best Leftover Turkey Sandwich Ever
Recipe: The Best Leftover Turkey Sandwich Ever
This is the king of all turkey sandwiches. The monarch. The president. The turkey sandwich to end all turkey sandwiches. Why? It only takes one glimpse to appreciate the majesty of this sandwich. With tasty additions of mayonnaise, bacon and tomato, this hearty sandwich makes the most of your leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberries. It pleases all crowds because it is a classic, hearty post Thanksgiving meal. There’s nothing quite like it, which is why it is whipped up in kitchens across the country. Don’t try to wing the turkey sandwich prep, though. Follow our recipe for the ultimate leftover turkey sandwich.