Keep that turkey taste going after Thanksgiving

The aroma of a turkey baking in the oven for a Thanksgiving meal is memorable. That great feeling can be continued by planning a variety of meals with your leftover turkey.

With a little planning, a variety of scrumptious meals with your Thanksgiving turkey can be as delicious as your original.

Remember these food safety guidelines for handling your turkey leftovers safely:

Debone turkey and refrigerate all leftovers in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking.

Use leftover turkey within 3 to 4 days, stuffing and gravy within 1 to 2 days, or freeze these foods.

When reheating turkey, reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165 degrees until hot and steaming throughout.

Turkey Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard


  • 4 cups torn salad greens
  • 2 cups cooked turkey breast, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 (11-oz.) can mandarin orange segments, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery

In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine all vinaigrette ingredients; shake well (See cook’s tips). In large bowl, combine all salad ingredients; toss gently. Serve with vinaigrette. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries.

Cook’s Tips

You can substitute 1-1/2 tsp. dried chopped onion for the chopped fresh onion or as recommended on the dried onion container. Prepare the dressing at least 10 minutes before you need it to allow the dried onion to rehydrate from the fluids in the dressing.

If you’d prefer, another way to add crunch to your salad would be to use 4 Tbsp. chopped walnuts instead of the celery.

Source: University of Nebraska Extension Service

Apple Turkey Potpie

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cans (10-3/4 oz. each) cream of chicken soup
  • 4-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 2 medium unpeeled apples, cubed
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Pastry for single crust pie (9 inches)

In a large saucepan, sauté onion in butter until tender. Add the soup, turkey, apples, raisins lemon juice and nutmeg, mixing well. Spoon into an ungreased 9-by-13 dish.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry dough to fit the top of the dish. Place over dish and flute edges. Cut slits in the top. Place in oven and bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Source: University of Vermont Extension Service

Turkey and Cranberry Salad

(or chicken)

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Greek seasoning
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced finely
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 cups roasted chicken, diced or chopped (or substitute turkey)
  • 2/3 cup cranberries
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)
  • Mixed greens (to line serving bowl)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on sheet pan and bake for five to seven minutes, until lightly browned. Prepare other ingredients as directed. Mix mayonnaise, Greek seasoning, onion and lemon juice.

Add remaining ingredients (except mixed greens) and gently mix. Serve immediately or chill. Serve in a bowl lined with lettuce, or make individual salads. Sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles if desired.

Source: University of North Dakota Extension Service

Turkey Cranberry Quesadilla

  • 1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. cranberry sauce or dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. cooked turkey, chopped or shredded
  • 1⁄3 cup spinach

Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over one half of the tortilla. Add cranberry sauce or dried cranberries, turkey and spinach, then fold the tortilla in half over the filling.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat (300 degrees in an electric skillet). Lightly spray with cooking spray, then place tortilla in the skillet. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the outside is golden brown and contents are heated through.

Source: University of Oregon Extension Service

Turkey Salad

  • 1-1⁄2 cups cooked turkey or smoked turkey, diced
  • 1⁄2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • 3⁄4 cup celery, chopped (about 1.5 stalks)
  • 1⁄4 cup diced red or yellow onion (1/4 medium onion)
  • 1⁄4 cup diced carrot
  • 1⁄4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 red apple, cored and chopped (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
  • 1⁄3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar (cider, red or white)

Mix turkey, nuts, raisins, celery, onions, carrots, parsley and apple in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and vinegar; mix well. Toss meat mixture with dressing and chill.

Source: University of Oregon Extension Service

Turkey Stroganoff

1124 stroganoff.jpeg
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup nonfat or 1% milk
  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas
  • 2 cups dry macaroni
  • 2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄2 cup nonfat sour cream

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat (350 degrees in an electric skillet) and saute onions until transparent. Add garlic and cook briefly, about 30 seconds. Add turkey, water, milk, soup, and peas; bring to a boil. Add macaroni, dill, and pepper; stir to combine.

Cover pan, reduce heat to low (225 degrees in an electric skillet) and cook 10-15 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. While mixture is cooking, crush corn flakes in small bowl, mix in garlic powder and set aside. Just before serving, stir in sour cream and top with corn flake mixture.

Source: University of Oregon Extension Service

Turkey Stew

  • 2 tsp. vegetable-oil
  • 1⁄2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped, or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 4 carrots (chopped)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 2 potatoes (chopped)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups turkey (chopped, cooked)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning or oregano, basil or thyme to taste

Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and stir for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, tomatoes, and water to pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add turkey and cook another five minutes or until heated. Season to taste before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Source: University of Cornell Extension Service

White Turkey Chili

1124 chili.jpeg
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked turkey, chopped
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz.) Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 cans (11 oz.) corn, undrained
  • 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
  • 4 cups turkey or chicken broth (1 tsp. ground cumin

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery, cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan (at least 4 quarts). Stir well. Cover and cook about 15 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, if desired.


You can substitute 1 Tbsp. chopped dried onion for the chopped fresh onion or as recommended on the dried onion container.

If you have extra broth, use it instead of water when cooking vegetables or use it for some or all of the liquid in making rice. Use within a day or two or freeze.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

Turkey Tetrazzini

1124 tetrazzini.jpeg
  • 8 oz. fettuccine noodles or other pasta (regular or whole-wheat)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (or substitute 2 small cans of mushrooms, drained)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (scant)
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 4 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup peas, frozen
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-9 baking dish. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water by following the directions on the package but removing the pasta from the heat about two minutes early. (Note: This prevents the pasta from becoming mushy during baking.)

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and thyme. Stir and cook until the mushrooms are softened, about five minutes. Stir in the flour and blend thoroughly.

While whisking, slowly add the chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add toasted almonds, frozen peas, and cooked pasta. Gently mix together.

Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes. Let cook for about 10 minutes before serving.

Source: University of Nebraska Extension Service

Cheddar Turkey Casserole Recipe

  • 4 cups uncooked spiral pasta
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, sauté garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour, mustard, thyme and pepper. Gradually stir in milk.

Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in cheese until melted. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl. Toss with turkey, vegetables and cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 9-by-13 baking dish. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.

Source: University of Vermont Extension Service

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