Leftover turkey? Here are 9 easy ways to make delicious new meals from your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers


The Thanksgiving table has been cleared and now you’re wondering what to do with the yummy abundance of turkey and other holiday leftovers. Dig into these nine easy leftover turkey recipes and turn your traditional Thanksgiving dishes into mouthwatering meals that will make you want to cook a turkey dinner more often.

Thanksgiving leftover turkey bites

What is way better than digging into a plate of cold Thanksgiving leftovers from the fridge? Turning the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes into these leftover turkey bites. Take your leftover stuffing, diced turkey and Gruyère cheese, and shape the mix into balls. Wrap mashed potatoes around the bites and roll them in panko breadcrumbs. Drop them in hot oil and fry them until they are golden, crispy orbs of irresistible yum! Serve the turkey bites with warm leftover gravy as a dipping sauce and surprise your family with one of the best Thanksgiving leftover recipes you’ll ever put on the table.

Leftover turkey chili-smothered sweet potatoes

Forgo the boring Thanksgiving sandwich and transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into this tongue-tantalizing meal we call leftover turkey chili-smothered sweet potatoes. This dish is quick, easy and the tastiest solution to the inevitable quandary of what to do with leftover turkey. If you have roasted or baked sweet potatoes in your fridge from your Thanksgiving feast, you can get this belly-filling recipe on the table in 30 minutes or less. Simply simmer up the spicy black bean turkey chili, warm the sweet potatoes, open them up, and smother them with a generous ladle of chili and shredded cheese.

Leftover turkey pot pie soup

When you’re craving healthier comfort food, this leftover turkey pot pie soup is the recipe for you. Featuring juicy turkey, tasty vegetables and a garlicky-cauliflower puree, every warm and wonderful spoonful is rich with indulgent flavor and yet contains far fewer calories and fat than traditional pot pies. Even better, this creamy soup is gluten-free and essentially dairy-free, calling for just a small amount of butter to sauté the garlic.

Leftover turkey shepherd’s pie

Make this leftover turkey shepherd’s pie featuring a delectable filling of turkey, onions, bell peppers, crushed tomatoes and seasonings, and then topped with cheesy mashed potatoes and baked until the filling and cheese are hot and bubbling. Simple enough for a fast weeknight meal and yet special enough to serve for family and friends, this dish will become your go-to meal for post-holiday comfort food.

Smoky leftover turkey corn chowder with bacon

Studded with vegetables, turkey and bacon, this smoky leftover turkey corn chowder with bacon soup is deceptively healthier than conventional chowders, which are usually heavy on the white potatoes and cream. In addition to the corn and leftover turkey, the chowder is full of satisfying chunks of sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and peppers. Bacon bits give it a welcome smoky pork flavor, while the lighter soup base — made with chicken or turkey broth and half-and-half — lets you enjoy the fresh flavors of the other ingredients.

Leftover turkey taquitos with nutty buffalo dipping sauce

With this recipe, you can serve your family a festive meal featuring leftovers that look and taste nothing like the holiday feast. Taquitos — a favorite Mexican snack or meal — are simply tortillas filled with meat, fried to crispy perfection, and then served with sour cream or guacamole. These leftover turkey taquitos with nutty buffalo dipping sauce are stuffed with leftover turkey, onion, celery, cream cheese and blue cheese, and the nutty buffalo dipping sauce is made with crushed pistachios and Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce.

Leftover turkey carnitas

Leftover turkey carnitas are a tasty way to use up leftover turkey and give your family a fiesta-caliber meal. The turkey is inventively seasoned with oranges, onions and bay leaves, and then cooked in a hot skillet until the edges of the shredded meat get crisp and browned. Served with tortillas, red onion, pico de gallo and limes, this Mexican-inspired makeover is one of our favorite leftover turkey ideas.

Leftover turkey enchiladas

Leftover turkey gets a mouthwatering Mexican-style makeover in this recipe. These leftover turkey enchiladas are more than just meat-stuffed tortillas topped with cheese; they are loaded cheesy chipotle turkey-filled tortillas covered in red enchilada sauce and then lavishly topped with black beans, corn and more cheese. This recipe feeds a large crowd, so invite a bunch of your enchilada-loving friends over, or divide the enchiladas up and freeze a big batch for later.

Leftover turkey casserole

Our leftover turkey casserole is not only practically effortless to prepare, but it features an intriguing combination of ingredients that make it a memorable post-Thanksgiving meal your family — especially your kiddos — will beg for year after year. This oven-baked casserole is made with bite-sized pieces of leftover turkey, onion, celery, water chestnuts and pimentos folded together with cream of chicken soup and mayonnaise, and then topped with crushed potato chips. The contrast of creamy and crunchy textures, and the interesting blend of flavors, make this dish a delicious conversation piece.