Leftover turkey casserole: An easy & delish way to use up Thanksgiving extras

You’ve roasted a beautiful turkey and enjoyed it the traditional way, with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, the works. Great! Now it’s time to get creative with all the leftovers. This leftover turkey casserole, inspired by Genius Kitchen, is a delicious start.

Inspired by a recipe from Genius Kitchen, it’s the ultimate comfort food in the realm of leftovers. A casserole is always a great choice when you don’t have much time, but still want a tasty, homemade dinner for your family to enjoy. Plus, the defining characteristic of a casserole — that it’s cooked and served in the same dish — makes it an easy way to go, with little cleanup afterward.

Roast turkey from last night’s dinner mixed with cream-of-chicken soup, pimentos and potato chips admittedly sounds kind of funky, but hear us out. The contrast of these different tastes and textures adds so much depth and interest to something that might otherwise taste ordinary. And still, the familiar flavors taste like home.

It takes very little time and effort to prepare. Even the kiddos can help! You just mix everything together in a casserole dish, top with crushed potato chips and paprika, and bake.

Even if you aren’t a fan of pimentos, water chestnuts or even turkey, this recipe can work for you. Just substitute in or out any ingredient you wish. That’s the beauty of casseroles. Not a turkey lover? Use cooked leftover chicken. Your family loves broccoli? Chop it up and throw it in. Have a ton of leftover corn? Go for it.

The core of any good casserole includes a thick liquid (think cream of celery if you want to keep in vegetarian), a favorite vegetable, a cooked protein (if you wish), and typically, some kind of cheesy or crunchy goodness sprinkled atop. Many people use potatoes, rice or pasta in casseroles, too. If you do this, the liquid you add can be thinner (milk, cream, stock) because these starchy items will thicken up the mixture while baking.

So take a peek inside your fridge and pantry. We bet you have the makings of a tasty homemade casserole in there somewhere. Just mix it up, bake and enjoy!

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Add turkey to bowl

Shred up any leftover turkey and get started assembling your ingredients.

Add turkey to bowl

Pour chopped celery over turkey

Celery adds flavor and crunch.

Pour chopped celery over chicken

Add onion to mixture

Onions are essential to most all savory recipes.

Add onion to bowl

Pour water chestnuts over mixture

Water chestnuts are a good option for adding texture and crunch.

Add water chestnuts to bowl

Add cream of chicken soup

Cream of chicken soup helps provide a flavor base for this recipe.

Combine cream of chicken soup with chicken and veggies

Pour mayonnaise over the mixture

Mayonnaise adds richness.

Add mayonnaise

Add jarred pimentos

Pimentos give a pop of color and flavor all at once.

Add jarred pimentos


Combine casserole mixture

Be sure to get all ingredients mixed and fully incorporated, so that elements are spread evenly throughout casserole.Mix casserole together

Scoop mixture into casserole dish

Get this baby ready for the oven by spreading evenly into your casserole dish.

Scoop mixture into cassrole dish

Spread crushed potato chips on top of casserole

Now for the magic! Crunchy, salty, glorious potato chips spread across the top provide the most satisfying topping to any casserole you’ve ever had.

Spread crushed potato chips on top of casserole

Sprinkle paprika over potato chips

A little smokey spice to add some flavor and color.

Sprinkle paprika over potato chips

A quick and easy casserole with the crispiest topping

This is one the entire family, including your kids, will absolutely love.

Finished casserole

Leftover turkey casserole

Yield 4–6 servings


  • 3 cups cooked turkey, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar of pimentos, diced
  • 1 cup potato chips, crushed, for topping
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika


  1. Mix all ingredients together and place in casserole dish.
  2. Cover with crushed potato chips and sprinkle with paprika.
  3. Bake uncovered at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until heated through and chips are lightly brown.
  4. Serve.

Courses Main Course



Serving of casserole