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Thanksgiving dinner will be shared by millions of families around the country today. But once the traditional turkey day is over with, you’re still left with a ton of food. So what are you going to do with all those leftovers?
You bought and prepared a 22-pound turkey (you have no idea why) and more than half of it is still left. The cranberry salad was barely touched. You made some sort of fruit salad with apples that you forgot to serve in all the commotion. The mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the dressing, the various vegetable side dishes and all that gravy…What are you going to do with all of it? All of these things can be turned into other delicious meals.
Quick ideas for leftover turkey
Chili Cornbread: Prepare a packaged cornbread and pour the mixture over the turkey meat, mixed with a can of chili. Bake until the cornbread is ready.
Turkey Alfredo: Cook the pasta (whichever you like), warm up the turkey with a jar of Alfredo sauce, and mix it up.
Turkey Shepherd Pie: Heat mashed potatoes; mix them with the turkey, a can of corn, and a can of seasoned tomato sauce. Pour grated cheddar cheese over the mixture and bake until the cheese melts.
Cranberry salad: Use the cranberry salad you made for Thanksgiving Day and put it on top of your favorite lettuce instead of using dressing. If you haven’t already added oranges to your cranberry salad, add it to this recipe. Mandarin oranges are a great choice.
Hot Turkey Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
If you want to try a really great combo, have a go at this open-faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes smothered in turkey gravy.
8 large slices roasted turkey breast (leftover)
Mashed potatoes (leftover)
8 slices white bread
Turkey gravy (leftover)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Warm leftover turkey slices, mashed potatoes and gravy. Overlap two pieces of white bread on each of four plates. Top each bread pair with a heap of sliced turkey. Pile on the mashed potatoes in any remaining plate space. Douse everything with gravy and season with salt and pepper. Makes four servings.
Cordon Bleu Casserole
4 cups turkey breast meat, cubed (leftover)
3 cups ham, cubed
12 oz. frozen vegetables, Italian blend or equiv.
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1-1/2 tsp. dill weed, divided
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 Tbsps. margarine, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine turkey, ham, vegetables and 3/4 cup of the cheese; set aside. In a saucepan, sauté onions in broth until tender. Add flour to form a paste. Gradually add skim milk, stirring constantly. Simmer until thickened, approximately one minute. Add the mustard, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of the dill weed; mix well.
Remove from heat and pour over meat mixture, mixing well. Pour into prepared pan. Toss breadcrumbs, melted butter and the remaining dill weed. Stir in remaining cheese. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 6-8 servings.
1 small onion, diced
16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsps. olive oil
4 sheets pre-made puff pastry squares (4-by-4-inch)
1 cup turkey stuffing (leftover)
1 lb. turkey meat (leftover)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
Cranberry sauce (leftover)
Sauté onions and mushrooms in olive oil 4- 5 minutes; set aside. Place 1/4 cup turkey stuffing in the center of two puff pastry squares. Top the stuffing with 4 oz. turkey pieces. Top turkey with sautéed mushrooms and onions; add salt and pepper to taste.
Beat together egg and milk. Place remaining two puff pastry squares over filling and seal with the milk and egg wash. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with heated gravy on top, cranberry sauce and your favorite vegetable.
Turkey Soup with Egg Noodles and Vegetables
2 tsps. olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
3-4 cups turkey, shredded (leftover)
2-3 bay leaves
2 tsps. dried thyme
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
8 cups chicken broth
6 oz. egg noodles, uncooked
1 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsps. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Heat oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, garlic and celery; sauté 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add turkey, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to mix well. Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Return mixture to a boil and add egg noodles. Cook 10 minutes, until egg noodles are just tender. Stir in peas and cook until peas are just heated through, about one minute. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and stir in parsley. Makes 4-6 servings.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to use your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.