4 Delicious Ways to Use Leftover Turkey

You know the holidays are coming and with them mounds of excess turkey that isn’t going to eat itself. Initially, you might even look forward to the gallons of turkey soup, pounds of turkey hash and countless turkey sandwiches that follow Thanksgiving every year, but less than a week after the big day, you’ve had it with the same-old, same-old. What your recipe box needs is a makeover; some new and exciting leftover turkey recipes to bring the spark back to the post-holiday meals and renew your reasons for roasting a 40 pound bird for a family of three.

The Key to Creating a Leftover Turkey Masterpiece

The secret to making leftover turkey recipes interesting is changing up the ingredients that play a supporting role. With traditional recipes like turkey noodle soup and turkey hash, you typically use flavors similar to the ones used in the initial meal. The same vegetables, the same spices — the hash even makes use of leftover stuffing. There’s nothing wrong with using all your leftovers, but when creating a leftover turkey masterpiece that is a departure from the conventional, little touches like Parmesan cheese, crunchy raw vegetables and tangy barbecue sauce bring an unexpected excitement to everyday leftovers.

Crunchy Holiday Turkey Salad

So colorful and full of flavor, this day-after salad is light, easy and nutritious. Experiment by substituting or adding your favorite raw veggies and toss in 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard for some extra tang.


  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey


  • Combine dressing, vegetables and cranberries in large bowl.
  • Add turkey; mix lightly. Cover
  • Refrigerate at least 30 min. before serving.

BBQ Turkey Pita

This delicious pizza-inspired pita takes your taste buds far from traditional with tart sweetness from the barbecue sauce and sharp cheesy flavor from the cheddar. Add some smokiness to the flavor mix by sprinkling 1 tablespoon of cooked, crumbled bacon over the whole thing before microwaving it.


  • 1 whole wheat pita bread
  • 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 slice tomato
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  • Spread pita bread with barbecue sauce; top with turkey, tomato and cheese. Place on microwaveable plate.
  • Microwave on HIGH 1 min. or until cheese is melted.

Turkey Parmesan Casserole

You can’t ask for more in a holiday leftovers recipe: an elegant pasta dish that’s really a simple casserole. Serve with an additional sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a loaf of garlic bread for a meal they’ll never know started with leftovers.


  • 8 oz. spaghetti, broken in half, uncooked
  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook spaghetti as directed on package; drain.
  • Mix soup, sour cream, milk, parmesan cheese and pepper in large bowl. Add spaghetti, broccoli and turkey; mix lightly. Spoon into 2-quart casserole.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Creamy Corn and Turkey Soup

Turkey noodle soup is a reliable standby for leftover turkey, but this creamy, cheesy soup is sure to become a favorite and your new leftovers go-to. Add a chopped jalapeno pepper during cooking then top with shredded cheddar jack and serve with tortilla chips for a spicy, south of the border alternative.


  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 red pepper, chopped, divided
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 1 can (14.75 oz.) cream-style corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper


  • Cook onions and half the red peppers in butter in large saucepan on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
  • Add cream cheese; cook on low heat 3 to 4 min. or until melted, stirring constantly. Stir in turkey, corn, broth and milk.
  • Cook 5 min. or until soup is heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with remaining red peppers and black pepper.