A Turkey Renaissance (repurposing thanksgiving leftovers)



If you enjoy turkey/cran sammies on repeat for a week, post-Thanksgiving, go ahead and look away now. The rest of y’all? Listen up. We leave nothing to chance and are whipping up a practice turkey this weekend, but I’m really just in it for the leftovers.

My hubby’s so food-fickle he doesn’t even eat his favorites twice in a row; consequently, I’ve become a bit of a magician with creative repurposing of leftovers… Thanksgiving no exception. Turkey noodle soup & turkey enchiladas are a yawn, so here are few more inventive upgrades…

The following are 5 tried & true variations of the Standard Turkey Dinner encore:

1. Cilantro Lime Fajitas(this AMAZEBALLS marinade had it’s genesis as a salad dressing recipe) Blend 1C fresh cilantro, 1C olive oil, 1/3C lime juice, 3 cloves fresh garlic, 2 tsp salt, & 1 tsp cumin & chili powder in a powerful blender, food processor, or mortar/pestle. Marinate sliced leftover turkey for at least an hour, then stir-fry in marinade alongside bell peppers & onions. Serve as fajitas or atop a salad.

2. Curried Turkey Salad – Mix shredded leftover turkey with mayo, chopped celery, diced green onions, yellow bell peppers & apple or grapes, and 2 tbs yellow curry powder; salt & pepper to taste. Serve in a pretzel bun or over greens, or in a hollowed out avocado-half like my bestie.

will look like this, click pic for link

3. Greek spinach & feta burgers/meatballs – Thoroughly combine finely chopped leftover turkey, handful of chopped spinach, 1/2C crumbled feta, 2 raw eggs, 1/2C cooked rice, chopped fresh basil or 3 tbs pesto; shape into meatballs or burgers and bake or pan-fry.

will look like this, from celebrating purim

4. Jambalaya – Coat bite-sized leftover turkey chunks, shrimp, & andouille sausage in cajun seasoning; brown each separately in olive oil on medium, then brown 1 diced onion, 2 diced stalks of celery, 1 diced green bell pepper, and 3 cloves minced garlic together. Stir in 1 can diced tomatoes, 2 tsp. Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp. tabasco, 1 tsp. salt, & 1 tsp. corn starch. Return browned turkey, shrimp, & sausage; cook 10 minutes. Add 1 1/4C basmati rice & 2 1/2C water, bring to a boil then reduce to low & cook 20 minutes.

will look like this, see my mardi gras post

5. Turkey Curry – Combine 2 cans coconut milk with 1 tsp. salt & 3 tbs. yellow curry over medium heat. Add forked leftover turkey, plus potatoes, carrots, & onion chopped. Bring to a bubble then drop heat, simmering for 30+ minutes until potatoes soft; serve over basmati. This one also works great in the crock-pot. 

PS- For the love of the Mayflower, brine your turkey

PPS- Be like the Pioneer woman and utilize a brining bag— and we’ve had a far less hazmat-ish experience prepping this year. 

PPPS- Walk next door and beg your brother-in-law to Traeger that naked, brined turkey for extra “wow” factor & to free up valuable oven real-estate. 


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2 responses to “A Turkey Renaissance (repurposing thanksgiving leftovers)”

  1. […] Pssst! Don’t forget my Turkey Renaissance post for re-purposing all of your leftovers! […]

  2. […] The menu was a customary potluck: Husband served his homemade pickles on an impressive and colorful relish tray. Firstborn whipped up a gluten-free apple cobbler. Assigned the veggie, I brought bacon-roasted Brussel sprouts, Husband snuck in a green-bean casserole (sans mushrooms) in protest. Nana made her famous sweet-potato-pie and jello salad, Auntie Heidi made the “Mimi rolls” (as we fondly call pickle-stuffed ham & cream-cheese rollups), and Grandma Tina made pumpkin muffins and mashed potatoes. Papa made the gravy, obvi, plus two kinds of stuffing, and my brother-in-law smoked the bird in his Traeger. […]

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