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Top 10 Post Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a mere dozen or so days away, and everyone is gearing up for the family feast held thereupon. The only real issue after all the hubbub and craziness dies down, mainly that following week, is what to do with the remaining hunk of turkey taking up vast amounts of space in your refrigerator. Well, generally we just pick at it hoping somehow it’ll just slowly fade into non-existence on its own, but it never really does and we end up tossing it to the dogs. Well, waste no more, with these delicious recipes, you can serve your bird for weeks to come and no one will be the wiser! Incidentally, these are all my own recipes from past years. I am a chef so I can at the very least guarantee that the measurements are correct, I can only hope you’ll try them and enjoy!

10. Turkey Curry


2 Tbls. Curry Powder
4 Tbls. Butter
1 whole medium sized onion, diced
3 cups left-over turkey (light or dark)
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup left over gravy or grease-less drippings

Combine butter and onion in saucier or sauce pan and heat over medium until sweated (not sauteed, that would give the onion color) then add the turkey and heat through. When thoroughly mixed, pour in drippings or gravy to thicken, add cumin (salt and pepper to taste) and serve hot over rice or cold in a roll.

9. Turkey and Gravy over Biscuits


This one is deceptively simple and is also great for anyone on a budget especially after the holiday. Simply chop up some left over turkey and heat through with either left-over gravy, or from the store which is relatively inexpensive if you by it in the envelope. Mix thoroughly and serve over either left-over biscuits or bread, or a tube of pre-made biscuit dough is also pretty cheap and readily available. Delicious breakfast snack as well!

8. Turkey Broth

Picture 1-17

Turkey broth has any number of future uses once it is made. Broth is different from stock as it is made from the remaining meat of this particular bird, or just the meat of anything you want to create broth from. In this case, pick as much meat as you can off of the bones and toss into a large stock pot, preferably tall and heavy. Add vegetables such as carrots (you don’t even need to peel them), onions (just quartered, again no peeling necessary), and celery just broken and tossed in. In order to get maximum herb flavor you will need to add herbs and spices but I’d recommend not just throwing them in since they will be difficult to retrieve later. What I suggest is taking a regular coffee filter and filling it half-full with whole pepper corns, fresh or dry: thyme, basil, sage, and parsley, and I enjoy whole coriander seed as well. Now twist up the filter and tie shut with whatever is handy, and toss it in the pot. Fill with enough water to cover everything, yes, the filter will temporarily float, and turn the heat to high to bring to a boil. Back it down to a simmer and let it go covered for at least 3 hours. Skim the fat as necessary and always make sure the water remains about the same level by adding hot water as needed. Drain through a colander into a large vessel, and rapidly bring the temp down by dropping in frozen water bottles. And there you go! A thousand uses from risotto to soup!

7. Turkey Stock


Though similar to broth, stock is quite a bit different in a few of its key steps. Stock is made from collagen from bones and when made correctly yields a much thicker and gelatinous product. Unfortunately, since the turkey has already been cooked, the end result will not be quite as perfect as from a fresh bird. Anyway, take all the bones you have left (wings, legs, neck) we’re looking for as meatless of bone as you can attempt, and toss them into a good stock pot. Use the same variety of veggies as with the broth as well as the herb package (called a Bouquet Garni, by the way) and place them all in the pot as well. Bring again to a boil and back down to a simmer and this time you’ll need to keep it at a bare bubble for six hours or more, depending on the bones. When collagen breaks down the bones will become spongy and even brittle, this is a good indication that you are done. During the process you will acquire some nasty foam at the top of the simmer, just skim it off and toss away. Once complete, drain into a new container as before, and quickly bring the temp down. Stock is the corner stone of a thousand sauces and bases, so use for whatever needs a bit of extra flavor. You can freeze it for up to a year as well.

6. Turkey and Rice Casserole

Chicken & Rice Casserole

My grandma used to call this turkey Divan, similar to her chicken Divan, and equally as outstanding. Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups large diced turkey
1 cup left over gravy
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1 large bag of frozen broccoli
1/2 large onion diced
1 tbls. butter or oil
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (or standard is fine)
1 tsp. parsley

Sweat onion in butter or oil (about 5 minutes over med. heat) and pour in gravy and soup. If thickness is more than gravy was, add 1/4 cup milk. Stir to combine and heat through. Pour broccoli and turkey into large casserole dish. Once heated, pour mixture over meat and veg. Top with bread crumbs and parsley. Bake for 45 minutes at 400. For additional flavor, add a can of cheese soup as well!

5. Turkey Pot pie / Shepherd’s Pie


This is especially nice on the cold days to follow as it really warms the soul.

3 cups diced turkey
2 cups left-over mashed potatoes (if doing Shepherd’s pie)
2 cups par-cooked diced potatoes (if doing pot pie)
1 cup diced carrots (left-over works great)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 onion
2 tbls butter with 1 tbls flour for roux (recipe follows)
2 cups stock (home made or bought)
1 cup any left over veg, even squash, for either pie works well
2 cups left over gravy (or bottled)
pastry dough for the top (Pot pie)

If a roux is needed to thicken up your mixture, more often than not only of gravy isn’t going to be used, do it easily like this: sautee onions to a nice golden color in butter. Once nicely colored, add an additional tbls. of butter and allow to melt thoroughly. Once done, add 1 tbls. flour and cook in until color is gone, drop in all of the ingredients plus 2 cups of the stock or broth you may have already made (store bought is fine) and bring to a simmer. The roux you just made will thicken the mixture. Pour ingredients into large, round casserole dish and either top with mashed potatoes (for Shepherd’s pie) or rounds of pastry dough (Pot pie). Bake at 375 for 1 hour! Yum!

4. Turkey Enchiladas


You can, as with all of these recipes, substitute chicken in place of the turkey. That’s generally how I make this one, but the turkey is even better!

10-20- small soft flour tortillas
4 cups shredded cheese (any kind)
2 cups diced turkey
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 small can mole sauce
1 cup left-over corn (or new)
1 yellow pepper diced
1 small cerranno pepper chopped fine (optional)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup half and half
1 can refried beans

Combine turkey, mole, corn, pepper, and 1/2 can enchilada sauce in sauce pot and bring to a simmer for 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, spread refried beans on warmed through (microwaved) flour tortillas and set aside. Once meat mixture is cooled, spoon into tortillas, roll up, and place side-by-side into non-stick-sprayed casserole dish. Combine cheddar cheese soup, half and half, remainder of enchilada sauce, and 1 cup of cheese together and pour all over tortillas. Sprinkle remainder of cheese on top and bake at 375 for 1 hour. So GOOD!

3. Turkey Soup


If you have decided to make the broth or stock from above, you will need about four cups of it for this. Otherwise, one carton of store-bought chicken stock is just fine. This one is so easy, I can just spell it out without a recipe. Dice up about 2 cups of turkey and set aside. Dice up a small onion, about 2 sticks of carrot, about 2 stalks of celery, and chopped or dry parsley. Pour stock in the pot with equal the amount of water, and mix in the veg and turkey and bring to a boil and back down to a simmer for 2 hours. If you want to add noodles, do so at about the 1 hour, 45 minute mark or they will get overly soggy. You can also add 1/2 cup of rice or barley at about the 1 hour mark. Salt and pepper to taste. Very nice.

2. Turkey Chili

Chili Turkeycolorful

This varies from the standard chili recipe that generally includes tomato product and red beans in addition to the meat. This is more of a white chili.

2 cups diced turkey
3 cups broth (chicken or turkey) or 2 cup and 1 cup of beer
1 large onion diced
1 large can or jar of white, great northern, or navy beans
1 small can of black beans
1 cup left-over or canned corn
1 tsp. white pepper powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbs. butter or oil
1 cup crushed white corn tortilla chips

Sweat over medium heat the onion in butter. Add turkey and heat through. Add white pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder and heat through for 5 more minutes. If using the beer, do so now so the little bit of alcohol can cook off, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add beans and liquid, corn, and broth. Bring to a boil and back down to a simmer for at least an hour. At the end, add the crushed chips which will thicken the chili nicely. Serve over rice or just enjoy plain.

1. Turkey Sandwiches

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Yup, the penultimate classic for left-over turkey. I have no real recipe for this only to add that I love mine with mayonnaise and a tomato, but that’s just me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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  • mmmmm fooooooood…. I love Thanksgiving

  • Anthony

    Great list, it’s actually made me hungry for some turkey. :(

  • i feel tired now!

  • smac

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – mostly because it has the most food. I actually like to put mustard on my turkey sandwiches since I don’t like mayo very much.

    I might try the turkey and rice casserole and the enchiladas this year. They look pretty good.

  • Great. Just because I wasn’t hungry enough already…These look so good! I’m forwarding them to my mom. =p

  • god_in_a_cup

    the last thing i used a stove for is to light a cigarette when i lost my lighter…

  • Jeremy

    Thanksgiving was over about a month and a half ago, by the way

  • TravelerDante

    Jeremy: Uh….no. I’m assuming that was a lame attempt at a joke?

  • Cyn

    Thanksgiving is on different dates in different countries..or countries that celebrate a day of thanksgiving which would mean different historical reasons for each country that do so. Google or Wikipedia can set your straight on exact dates, countries and particular practices. :)

  • Cyn

    Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American holiday to give thanks at the conclusion of the harvest season. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.

    other ‘harvest festivals’

  • there is more then one country in the world. i think?

  • Samsung

    No thanksgiving in New Zealand; but turkey, brie and cranberry toasty pies taste great after christmas

  • Juggz: just a few :)

  • So, if Turkey Sandwiches are the penultimate, what is the ultimate? :D

  • NoPunyNerd: Good call, I meant Ultimate… so, in retrospect, I suppose just yanking turkey straight from the carcass and wolfing it down would be relatively indulgent… if you’re into that kind of thing!

  • StewWriter: I got called on the same thing myself once upon a time when I used penultimate incorrectly in a news story. As for falling face first on the turkey, sandwiches sound better … try one with cranberry sauce (the whole berry kind, not the jelly stuff) instead of tomato this year. Yum!

  • I don’t know if it is all that well known around the world, but turkey (or chicken) on a sandwich with cranberry sauce (the good stuff) and melted brie is incredibly good. (as noted in comment 12 – it was in New Zealand that I had it).

  • blackmamba

    i was going to mention the cranberry sauce on sandwiches (knock out two left overs in one), but I bet it would be yummy with brie! if you really want to carbo-load, you can put stuffing on it as well.

  • blackmamba: that would be beyond amazing – I don’t even have the words in my vocabulary to describe how yummy that would be. Oh – love the nickname btw :)

  • Ya know, I hate to admit it in a comment forum such as this, since I did the list after all, but I’m not such a huge fan of cranberries. Be it sauce, gelatinous can-shaped mound, or somehow hidden within some food ready to jump out in my mouth and scare me… just not a fan. My mother in law makes this cranberry salad with like celery and nuts and shit in it… nope, sorry, that party in my mouth just got canceled. However, I will say that brie on the stuff on a turkey sandwich just made parts of my stomach punch other parts of me for not having tried it yet. I think I shall next week…

  • Yarr

    Stew- I agree. I think cranberries are only really good for bladder infections. They don’t belong in an otherwise awesome meal.

  • Anastasia

    i’m sorry, but that enchilada dish is by far the worst recipe i’ve ever seen! everything from the flour tortillas to canned mole (even homemade mole is absolutely horrible!)

  • Anastasia: Awwww, but it’s so stinking YUMMY!

  • Anastasia

    Sorry Stew! I don’t know where you’re located, but i’m from SoCal, so i’m used to authentic mexican food (including enchiladas). is it a more spanish version of the dish? (it is a wild guess you’re across the atlanic….)

  • Anastasia: Michigan actually, where everything is a mish-mash of everything else… that might be what your thinking! This from a state whose favorite dish is the Pastie!

  • Stew: bah on your pasties… How did you enjoy THE GAME last weekend. 14-3. Hope they do better next year.

  • Ravyn: I always hope they do better next year. Frankly, since Schembechler left, they’ve kinda sucked despite Heart et al. Oh well, nothing to do now but let Lloyd Carr wallow in his own worthlessness. I happen to like parties, by the way! ;-)

  • Rayvn: Or pasties, well, parties are fun, too i guess! Ha!

  • Stew: I love parties. I have only had a pastie once a long long time ago and I didn’t like it. I was thinking of giving them another go and see if I like them better now that I grew up. lol. BTW: I live in Toledo.

  • Anastasia

    mmmmmmmm pasties, yum! you should’ve put turkey pastie recipe. lol.

  • Smartlydone

    Turkey soup turkey soup turkey soup how I love thee!

  • Diggo

    Thanks a lot, dude :)

  • coleman

    Yum i guess

  • Amanda H.

    I usually make a turkey pizza. Either make the dough or buy it but its really simple. Shred up some turkey and mix it with a can of mushroom soup, some mayo, and cheese and bake until the crust is crispy and the topping is bubbly!

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  • oedura

    Why is there no rice in the “Turkey and Rice Casserole”?

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  • carolinacottontail

    My mom always made turkey chop suey!

  • MF

    For the curry recipe…at what point would one add the curry powder? I have had the pleasure of eating a few curry dishes, but never cooking with it. :-) Also, is yellow curry powder recommended?

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