It’s the day after Thanksgiving and our refrigerators are full of leftover food and turkey. It’s fun to snack on the food as is, but you can also turn those leftovers into incredible meals too. Here are the top 5 leftover turkey recipes we’ve found that are diverse and fun. Bon appétit!
Turkey Pot Pie
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 6 tablespoons cold butter
- 6 tablespoons cold water, or as needed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cubed cooked turkey
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can cut green beans, drained
- 1 (10.7 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour with salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the vegetable shortening and 6 tablespoons of cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter and shortening are the size of small peas. Sprinkle on cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and gently gather the moistened dough together with a fork until it just begins to clean flour from the side of the bowl. Separate the dough into 2 equal-size pieces, form into rounds, and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the carrots, onion, and celery with black pepper until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture into a bowl; set aside. Place 2 tablespoons of flour into a resealable plastic zipper bag, and toss the cooked turkey meat into the flour; shake the bag to coat. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat, and cook the turkey meat in the butter until the flour coating turns golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet about 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until the broth begins to simmer and thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cooked vegetables, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, cream-style corn, parsley, and thyme until the filling is thoroughly combined.
Roll out one of the dough pieces on a floured work surface to a circle about 11 inches in diameter, then fit the crust into a 10-inch pie dish. Pour the filling into the bottom crust. Roll out the second crust into an 11-inch circle, lay it on top of the filling, then pinch and fold the two crusts together at the edges to seal. Cut 5 slits into the top crust to vent steam.
Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 25 more minutes.
- 2 medium yellow onions, halved and peeled
- 1 (4-inch) piece of fresh ginger (do not peel)
- 12 cups turkey or chicken stock, preferably homemade
- ¼ cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 star anise
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 (1-pound) package dried rice vermicelli
- 12 ounces mung bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
- 1 small bunch Thai basil sprigs
- 3 jalapeños, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 limes, quartered, to taste
- 4 cups shredded cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1 large bunch)
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 1 bunch)
- Cook onions and ginger directly over open flame of a gas burner for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are charred on all sides. (If you don’t have a gas stove, heat broiler and set onions and ginger on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes until charred on all sides.) Allow charred ginger to cool, then slice it into 1/2-inch coins.
- In a large Dutch oven or similar pot, combine onions, sliced ginger, stock, fish sauce, star anise and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook rice noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- Arrange mung bean sprouts, sprigs of Thai basil, jalapeños and limes on a platter and set on the table.
- Remove onions, ginger and star anise from the pot. Add shredded turkey to the pot, and return it to a simmer. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning with additional fish sauce and/or salt, if needed.
- Divide rice noodles, cilantro and scallions evenly among large soup bowls, then ladle hot stock over the top, making sure each bowl gets a healthy serving of turkey. Serve immediately, accompanied by platter of garnishes.
- Cover and refrigerate leftovers, keeping noodles separate, for up to 3 days.
Turkey Tikka Masala
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic, finely grated or pounded in a mortar and pestle
- 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup whole-milk yogurt
- 4 cups cooked turkey (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, stir together garam masala, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, kosher salt, garlic, ginger and yogurt. Fold in the turkey. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
- Make the masala: On the stove top, heat a Dutch oven or similar pot over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons ghee or neutral oil, then add onion, cardamom, bay leaf, paprika, pepper flakes (if using), garam masala and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and tender, 10 to 15 minutes, adjusting temperature as needed so the onion doesn’t burn.
- Make space among onions in center of pot, and add 1 tablespoon ghee or neutral oil. When ghee has melted or oil begins to shimmer, add ginger, garlic and serrano peppers, and sizzle for about 10 seconds. Combine that mixture with the spiced onions. Stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes and their juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is almost gone, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add cream and chopped cilantro to the pot. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
- In the meantime, line a baking sheet with foil, turn on oven broiler, and arrange an oven rack about 6 inches from broiling unit. Lay the marinated turkey on the foil in a single layer. Stir any remaining marinade into the sauce. Broil until turkey begins to blacken in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Use a hand-held blender (or blender) to purée the sauce, then add turkey and return the sauce to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just warmed through. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
- To serve, garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve hot, with steamed basmati rice. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Turkey Waldorf Salad
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon lightly toasted cumin seeds, ground
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil or grapeseed oil, or 1 tablespoon each
For the Salad
- 2 cups diced or shredded turkey
- 1 tart apple, such as a Granny Smiith, diced
- 1 ½ cups diced celery
- ¼ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups chopped radicchio or endive
- In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, cumin, honey, lemon juice, salt and oil.
- In a large salad bowl combine turkey, apples, celery, raisins, walnuts and radicchio or endive. Add dressing, toss together, and serve.
For the Masa and Corn Husks:
- 1 (8-ounce) bag dried corn husks
- 2 cups dried masa mix for tamales (do not use masa harina)
- 5 ounces/ 2/3 cup chilled lard
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup cool chicken or turkey broth
For the filling:
- ½ pound fresh tomatillos, husked
- 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, stemmed (and seeded if desired)
- 2 tablespoons chopped white onion, soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 6 to 12 cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 cup chicken or turkey broth
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon crushed dried chipotle chiles or chipotle powder
- 2 cups/ 1/2 pound shredded cooked turkey
- Prepare the corn husks: Place in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and use a plate to submerge husks. Soak 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the masa: In a medium bowl, mix masa with 11/4 cups hot water. Let cool.
- Combine lard and baking powder in a stand mixer and beat for 1 minute, until light. Add salt and masa in 3 additions, beating at medium-low speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup broth while beating on low speed; beat for another minute or two. Taste for salt. Test to see if masa is aerated enough by dropping 1/2 teaspoon into a cup of water; it should float to the top. Batter should be soft but not runny, holding together on a spoon if you tilt the spoon. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Beat masa again for a couple of minutes, adding remaining broth.
- Meanwhile, make the filling: Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through, until softened and olive green. Drain and place in a blender. Add green chiles, onion, garlic and cilantro sprigs. Blend until smooth.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo purée and stir constantly until it thickens and begins to stick to pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, add salt to taste and bring to a simmer; let simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in chipotles. Sauce should be creamy and coat the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded turkey.
- Make the tamales: Select 16 corn husks; look for large ones that have no tears. Take a few more and tear into 16 1/4-inch-wide strips for tying tamales. Use some of the remaining husks to line a steamer that is at least 6 inches deep (or a pasta pot with an insert); reserve a few husks in case you need to double-wrap tamales. Add just enough water to the pot to miss hitting the bottom of the basket.
- Lay a corn husk in front of you and pat dry. Spread a scant 1/4 cup of the masa into a 4-inch square, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border at pointy tapered end of the husk and a roughly 3/4-inch border on the other sides. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of turkey mixture down the middle of the masa. Pull long edges of husk toward each other and join them so that batter is now wrapped around the filling. Fold the two pinched-together edges over in the same direction and wrap the tamale. If it does not seem well wrapped, wrap in a second husk. Fold pointy end up to enclose the bottom and tie with a strip of husk. The wide top end will be open. Stand tamale up, closed end down, in steamer. Repeat with remaining masa and filling. The tamales should be crowded into the steamer so they remain upright. If they don’t, fill spaces with crinkled foil. If tops stick out from top of steamer, trim with scissors.
- Lay unused soaked husks over open tops of tamales. Bring water to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat to medium and steam tamales for 11/2 hours. Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to a boil to replenish water in bottom of the pot, should it run out (check periodically). Tamales are done when husk comes away easily from the masa; when done, let them sit at least 15 minutes in the pot, uncovered, to firm up. Serve hot.