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37 Leftover Turkey Recipes to Help Clear Out Your Fridge

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

If you ask us, leftover turkey recipes are the true heart of the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s why, even for a small gathering, you’ll usually catch us cooking a whole turkey. Leftover turkey meat keeps well for at least three days in the fridge and you can store it even longer (up to two months) in the freezer, giving you plenty of time to focus on more than building the perfect leftover turkey sandwich loaded with stuffing and cranberry sauce and dripping in leftover gravy.

Our best recipes for leftover turkey keep things creative with crisp salads, savory turkey soups, hearty leftover turkey casseroles, and more. You don’t need to set aside hours of prep time, either, because a lot of your leftovers will do the heavy lifting for you. Ready to level up your post-Thanksgiving game? Let’s go!

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Tetrazzini

Minimal prep for maximum reward: For this leftover turkey recipe, you’ll simply toss shredded meat with peas (or green beans! or brussels sprouts!) with spaghetti and mushrooms for a classic day-after-Thanksgiving dish. See recipe.

a plate of food on a table

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Thinly slice your leftover turkey breast to give this classic hot sandwich recipe a delicious upgrade, complete with cranberry sauce on the side for dipping. Best of all? The total time it takes to prepare this is less than 30 minutes. See recipe.

a bowl of food with broccoli

Lentil and Chicken Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Escarole

Swap the rotisserie chicken for your leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make this easy soup that’s brightened by fresh dill and lemon juice. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Thanksgiving Skillet Pizza

A one-pot (er, one-pan) wonder, the components of this Thanksgiving pizza are assembled directly in a cast-iron skillet and feature a “sauce” of mashed potatoes. Need we say more? See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Chilaquiles Rojos

This chilaquiles recipe is the blueprint for one of associate editor Jarret Melendez’s favorite Mexican comfort foods. His recipe calls for shredded chicken, but leftover turkey is an easy swap. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

French Toast Turkey Sandwich

Make French toast for breakfast, then make a classic Thanksgiving spread for dinner; the next day, put them together, and your leftover turkey sandwich situation will be legendary. See recipe.

a close up of a plate of food

Turn Turkey Leftovers Into Taiwanese-Style Turkey Rice

Shredded turkey over rice is a year-round staple in Taiwan, and this version from contributor Clarissa Wei happens to be one of our best leftover turkey recipes. The savory sauce and crispy fried shallots take it over the top. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Pickle Potato Salad

Give potatoes and carrots dynamic sour-sweet flavor by tossing them in a dry rub inspired by pickle brine before roasting. Toss the warm veg with leftover turkey, crunchy raw celery, and yes, sliced pickles, for a double-the-flavor, double-the-fun dinner salad. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Gumbo

Onions, carrots, and bell peppers create the rich, flavorful roux in this Cajun and Creole classic that gives roasted turkey a whole new flavor profile—and makes for an exciting alternative to ho-hum turkey soup. See recipe.

a pizza sitting on top of a plate of food

Sheet-Pan Pasta Bake with Chicken and Kale

Swap the chicken for shredded turkey in this sheet-pan dinner that boasts a cook time that’s under 35 minutes and has more crispy topping per bite than your standard pasta casserole. See recipe.

a bowl of food on a table

Turkey Matzo Ball Soup

Chicken broth and dill are the classic additions to matzo ball soup, but the rich flavor of turkey broth and sage leaves make this easy recipe a fun and comforting way to use your Thanksgiving leftovers. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizzas with Smoked Mozzarella

Stir leftover turkey into store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce to make a topping for this instant crowd-pleaser. Use any melty cheese you’ve got left from your Thanksgiving appetizer spread, like cheddar, gouda, or even brie. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Congee With Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

Comforting, filling turkey congee is the perfect soothing cold-weather breakfast. As with any rice soup or porridge, have fun with the toppings: Add fresh herbs, roasted butternut squash, chopped peanuts, or a soft-boiled egg. See recipe.

a pizza sitting on top of a piece of metal pan

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash

Store-bought puff pastry and leftover turkey meat make a winning combo for a family-size turkey pot pie. Even better: You can skip the flour and chicken stock here and just add your leftover gravy and little water to loosen it for the creamy sauce. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Samosas

Chef Naomi Pomeroy uses roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and peas (or chopped green beans) to make samosas with Thanksgiving leftovers. To get a jump start on the prep, you can make the samosa dough and roll it into rounds ahead of time. Layered between sheets of wax paper and wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap, the rounds can be refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen up to 3 months. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Easy Green Curry

Use store-bought green curry paste and your leftovers to make an easy Thai-inspired turkey curry with bell peppers and sugar snap peas—or whatever other vegetables you have in the crisper drawer or freezer. See recipe.

a bowl of food on a plate

Turkey Posole

This soothing, spicy soup recipe is one of the more delicious ways to turn your Thanksgiving spread into pure comfort food. Top your pozole with a fried egg and avocado for breakfast or a smattering of crushed tortilla chips, crema, and cilantro for dinner. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Chipotle Barbecue Pulled Turkey Drumstick Sliders With Brussels Sprout Slaw

Give leftover drumsticks the low-and-slow treatment in a barbecue sauce braise to make this exceptional alternative to the traditional turkey sandwich. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Croquettes

In addition to turkey, these croquettes can be packed with leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes. Serve with scrambled eggs for breakfast, and add hot sauce or chile peppers to bump up the heat. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Enchiladas

The sauce ingredients for these turkey enchiladas cook in the roasting pan with the bird on Thanksgiving, before getting puréed and set aside until the next day. When it comes time to serve, combine the sauce with your leftover turkey, tortillas, and cheese, and then bake to melty perfection. See recipe.

a bunch of different types of food on a table

Grain Bowls with Chicken, Spiced Chickpeas, and Avocado

Use your leftover turkey instead of store-bought rotisserie chicken in this satisfying dinner that’s packed with flavor. Don’t skip the crispy chickpeas, which add texture and protein. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Ramen

Chef Edward Lee is known for blending flavors found in East Asian cooking (specifically that of Korea) with the flavors of the American South and this warming noodle soup is a testament to that: savory turkey broth emboldened with country ham, daikon, and ginger, loaded with shredded turkey, scallions, tofu, watercress, and even a dusting of Parmesan cheese. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Chicken Caesar Salad with Crispy Kale

Crunchy kale and shredded brussels sprouts make a wonderful backdrop to pine nuts and Parmesan in this hearty salad. Feel free to skip the chicken and use tender turkey breast instead. See recipe.

a bowl of soup

Smoky Turkey Corn Chowder with Bacon

This creamy turkey soup recipe gets some of its Tex-Mex flavors from corn, red bell pepper, and diced green chiles. Sweet potatoes and smoky bacon accent the shredded turkey beautifully. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Reubens

Few easy recipes are as satisfying as a Reuben. Dress up your turkey meat with sauerkraut, cheese, and relish, and then butter some rye (or homemade beer bread) for the skillet. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Homemade Turkey Stock

Don’t toss those turkey bones! Save them to simmer in a pot of homemade stock with flavorful, aromatic veggies, and then freeze it for soups, stews, risotto, and more. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Spicy Cabbage Salad With Turkey and Peanuts

After a day of power-eating, try this turkey salad as a palate cleanser. It’s loaded with fresh, crisp vegetables and tons of spice, zing, and crunch. It’s also a great place to use up a rogue apple, or some leftover wild rice. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Pho Dip

To enjoy the flavors of pho in the palm of your hand, consider this banh mi–inspired sandwich recipe that’s part French dip, part Vietnamese comfort food, and all-out delicious. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

Wild mushrooms, savory turkey broth, and nutty cheese come together in this recipe that’s easy to pull together the day after Thanksgiving—or any old weeknight, for that matter. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Hash

Peppers, potatoes, and leftover turkey meat come together in this satisfying hash, which is especially excellent over toast and with a fried egg on top. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Shredded Chicken Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing

Craving a salad after the big day? Instead of chicken, use leftover turkey alongside scallions, crunchy lettuce, and a zesty miso dressing you’ll want to pour over everything. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Easy Fried Rice With Turkey and Broccolini

Fried rice is one of our favorite ways to give leftovers a new lease on life. Skip cooking the chicken in this recipe and just toss in some chopped turkey meat at the end to warm it through, along with whatever vegetables are lurking in your fridge. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Pressed Turkey and Farmhouse Cheddar on Egg Bread

Use thinly sliced turkey breast and hearty bread like brioche or challah in this pressed sandwich that’s delicious at any time of day. Pro-move: add some cranberry sauce to give it a welcome tang. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Shepherd’s Pie

For a post-Thanksgiving spin on shepherd’s pie, swap out the lamb here for shredded turkey meat and use your leftover mashed potatoes for the topping. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Monte Cubano

If this year’s Thanksgiving recipes included both a turkey and a holiday ham, you’re even better poised to take on this riff on a classic Cuban sandwich that’s got Swiss cheese, pickles, and sliced meats, and gets dipped in an egg batter and fried like a Monte Cristo. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Turkey Soup

Save your leftover turkey for this phenomenal soup, a study in simplicity with its short ingredients list and sophisticated flavors. It’s the perfect antidote to a cold night—or a long day of hearty eating. See recipe.

food, 37 leftover turkey recipes to help clear out your fridge

Chicken Cobb Salad

Substitute turkey for chicken here, and without much extra effort (cooking the bacon, whisking the dressing), you’ll have a fresh, bright, and super-satisfying leftover turkey recipe you’ll turn to again and again. See recipe.

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