Ways to Use Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers

Thanksgiving dinner is a meal we look forward to all year long. The savory stuffing, the roasted turkey, the cranberry sauce — does it get any better than that? The best part are the leftovers! And we’re talking about more scrumptious meals than the usual turkey sandwich. We’ve scoured the internet for different ways to put that surplus of food — trimmings included — to use.

Recipe 1 Turkey Pot Pie

Who wants to keep eating turkey, potatoes and the same sides all week long after Thanksgiving? Here is a way to see leftovers re-incarnated in different meals over the coming weeks. Like this delicious pie. With its flaky, all-butter crust? I could eat it every day

Ingredients:Turkey pot pie

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion cut in 1/2″ dice
  • 1 medium carrot peeled, cut in 1/2″ dice
  • 1 medium stalk celery cut in 1/2″ dice
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or leftover gravy
  • 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 large russet potato peeled, cut in 1/2″ dice
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped leftover cooked turkey
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 heaped tbsp minced fresh herbs sage, rosemary, thyme or a mix
  • 1 double or single pie crust
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water for egg wash


  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook onion, carrot and celery until soft, about 7 minutes.  Sprinkle vegetables with flour and stir to coat. Cook, stirring, for a minute, then add the broth, milk and cream.  Bring to a simmer, add pepper and salt to taste. Add potato, cover, and cook until tender, about 12 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in frozen peas, leftover turkey and herbs. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375ºF with a baking sheet or pizza stone placed on the lowest oven rack.  Roll out bottom pie crust (if using) to about 12″ and gently transfer to a 9×2″ pie dish. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.  When filling has cooled and oven is hot, pour filling into frozen pie crust.  Roll out top crust slightly larger than the pie plate and drape it over the filling, pinching it together with bottom crust. Cut a few slits for steam vents and brush with egg wash. Bake on preheated baking sheet/stone for about 35 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling out.

Recipe Two: Wild Rice Soup

This healthy leftover turkey wild rice soup is a creamy, delicious, hearty soup made with whole-grain wild rice, leftover turkey, and no cream for a light but comforting meal made with Thanksgiving leftovers! (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free option)


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into coins
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup whole grain wild rice
  • 2 cups leftover cooked turkey, shredded
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded (or 2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 6 cups vegetable, chicken, or turkey broth (see notes to make broth from the turkey carcass)


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add wild rice, broth, turkey, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cover.
  3. Simmer 45 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Remove 1/3 cup broth from the soup and let cool slightly. Stir into the Greek yogurt.
  5. Pour yogurt mixture into soup, slowly, while stirring. This will prevent the yogurt from curdling.
  6. Serve immediately.

Please share your leftover ideas in comments below or on our social media page.

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