Leftovers are the best – particular over the holidays when you really just want to graze in peace! These delicious leftover turkey recipes will make all that cooking worthwhile, and you definitely won’t get bored with so many flavourful dinners to choose from.
The leftovers are the best bit about cooking Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner – in fact, I deliberately cook more than I need so that a) I’m guaranteed lots of delicious snacking for days, b) the fridge is full and everyone can help themselves (without needing me!), and c) I can pull together yummy leftover meals at the drop of a hat. But really, I just love leftovers!
You are most likely to be left with leftover turkey and ham, but vegetables, sauces and sides can also be repurposed for something delicious.
Check out some of our favourites below, with everything from soup, sandwiches and salads to curry, casserole and chili. Enjoy!
Delicious Leftover Turkey Recipes
Classic Turkey Sandwich
We can’t even begin to discuss leftovers unless we start with a classic turkey sandwich. The best turkey sandwiches are packed with cranberry sauce, stuffing, turkey and ham all layered in a sandwich – yum!
Change things up with a bagel or wrap, adding some mozzarella or Brie for toasted cheesiness.
Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey pot pie, like this one from Damn Delicious, is comfort food at its finest! And with that flaky puff pastry crust right on top, with creamy turkey mixture that just melts in your mouth, this is one leftover meal you’ll look forward to!
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
What could be more comforting after all the Christmas indulgence than a warming bowl of turkey noodle soup?
Dara from Cooking Canuck has a great recipe for leftover turkey noodle soup that can be made on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot. Plus it has the added benefit of freezing well, so you can portion up this healthy soup and keep it for another day.
If you are short on time, this incredibly quick turkey noodle soup recipe from BBC GoodFood can be on the table in 15 minutes!
These turkey enchiladas from Simply Recipes are made with leftover turkey, homemade chili sauce, onions, black beans, and cheese. Top with red onions, avocado, coriander or any of your favourite toppings.
This leftover turkey casserole from Dinner Then Dessert is made with leftover turkey, cheesy gravy, and cornbread. It’s delicious, easy and ready in under 45 minutes!
Turkey Stir Fry
A stir fry dinner is really quick – get all your chopping done in advance, then you can have dinner on the table in minutes. Use our recipe for vegetable stir fry as a base, then add in your leftover turkey and switch up the veg for whatever you have on hand. Rice or noodles make a great accompaniment.
Turkey Corn Chowder
One pot and 30 minutes is all you will need to make this delicious and hearty leftover turkey corn chowder from Diethood.
Okay, so it’s not a classic leftover option but everyone will love their Christmas pizza!
You can use our quick pizza dough recipe to get started, then go all out for the season with a cranberry, Brie and turkey pizza, like this one from Taste of Home, that would be a great party food option over the holidays.
Alternatively, try this easy buffalo turkey pizza from Erica’s Recipes that is packed with flavour thanks to Ranch dressing, buffalo sauce and lots of mozzarella.
Turkey Lettuce Wraps
If you have a large group to feed or a holiday party, these turkey lettuce wraps with peanut sauce from Cheap Recipe Blog make a great option.
Toast all your leftovers in a delicious turkey panini – stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey and ham – or try some new flavour combos like this pesto, mozzarella, kale and turkey panini from Delish.
Or what about this turkey Cuban panini from Panini Happy? Mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and cranberry sauce are combined to create a delicious sauce, then add turkey, ham, Swiss cheese and (optional) sliced pickles.
This turkey carbonara from Dinner At the Zoo is packed with flavour – bacon, turkey, peas and a sauce made from turkey gravy, cream and parmesan. What is not to love about that?!
Turkey and Cranberry Pies
Pack all the flavours of your turkey dinner into individual pies. These turkey and cranberry mini pies from Savour the Flavour are layered with turkey, potato, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce for a clever reinvention.
These handheld turkey and cranberry pies from BBC GoodFood are also versatile – you could use ham and mustard instead, which would also be yum!
Indian Spiced Turkey Pilaf
This Indian spiced turkey pilaf from Ricardo Cuisine is packed with flavour, thanks to the addition of chicken (or turkey) stock, garam masala and and fresh coriander.
These turkey empanadas from The Spruce Eats are a fabulous way to use all of your Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers.
The empanadas are quick and easy to prepare and made with a filling of turkey, mashed potatoes, and dressing, along with some tasty seasonings. You can use homemade or store-bought pastry to make this recipe even easier!
Turkey Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a firm favourite for many families, but you can give it a major holiday makeover with the addition of leftover turkey.
This leftover turkey mac and cheese from Foodness Gracious is creamy and delicious with chunks of turkey and tarragon mixed through it. The best bit is the addition of some leftover stuffing crumbled on top of the dish to give it that savoury crunchy crust. Yum!
After much trial and error (you can thank me later!), these are definitely the best and most deliciously chewy chocolate chip cookies. You can have a cookie craving and be munching on these in less than 15 minutes…what are you waiting for?
Go retro with a spin on Coronation Chicken and use your leftover turkey instead.
The combo of curry powder, mayonnaise, natural yoghurt and mango chutney may seem odd, but it combines to make a delicious, creamy salad that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. Serve as part of a buffet spread, on brown bread, in a wrap, or in coronation turkey lettuce wraps like this idea from BBC GoodFood.
A big bowl of chilli is so comforting and delicious, particularly when the weather is wintry and miserable outside. It’s also a great meal for feeding a crowd.
This turkey chilli from Simply Recipes uses leftover meat instead of ground turkey, and is a great way to use up that really flavoursome dark meat.
Turkey Pasta Bake
Girl Heart Food transforms her leftovers into a tasty turkey pasta bake with sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes, but you could use anything you have in the fridge – bacon or leftover ham, cherry tomatoes, peppers or spinach would all work well.
Turkey Wild Rice Soup
Soup is the ultimate comfort food, making it perfect for this time of year. This lightened up turkey and wild rice soup from The Healthy Toast is the perfect way to use up your leftover turkey.
Ready in just 25 minutes, this tikka masala-style turkey curry from Easy Peasy Foodie is both quick and easy. Delicious served with white, brown or pilau rice, and/or naan breads.
Are you looking for some quick and easy snacks the whole family will enjoy? Crackers are perfect for snack times in busy households or as lunchbox fillers – but what can you add on top? These ideas for easy, tasty toppings for crackers will satisfy hungry tums!
Turkey Tortilla Soup
This turkey tortilla soup from What’s Gaby Cooking is delicious on its own, but gets a huge boost from the variety of toppings you can add. Crunchy tortilla strips are the best bit!
Many tetrazzini recipes use condensed soup as the base for the sauce, but this leftover turkey tetrazzini from Spicy Southern Kitchen is made from scratch and packed with flavour. But the best bit? It can be made in advance, so you can assemble when you have time and then cook when you’re ready to eat.
Rachael Ray’s Turkey Tacos
Rachael makes it look so easy – and you can watch her make these tasty turkey and chorizo tacos here.
Leftover Turkey Stroganoff
This leftover turkey stroganoff from Rock Recipes is not only packed with turkey, but also uses any leftover gravy you have too. The result is plenty of flavour and a really filling leftover meal.
Turkey Vegetable Soup
Made with a homemade turkey stock, leftover turkey, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and green beans (or whatever other vegetables you have on hand), this turkey and vegetable soup from Garlic and Zest is warming, filling and nourishing. Finish with a swirl of cream for extra flavour factor!