Leftover Turkey Surprise

So we are all familiar with the Thanksgiving tradition of a turkey dinner. But after all of the relatives have gone home and the football games have ended, what do you do with the leftover turkey in the fridge?

This past Saturday, my husband and I made a turkey dinner complete with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. (I don’t bother making sweet potatoes or squash when it’s just us because I’m the only one who eats it.) Even though I’m a big fan of a warm and filling meal like that, I think I might enjoy the week that follows even more. We’ve found so many dishes to make with the leftover turkey that I end up looking forward to those more than anything.

Turkey Sandwiches

This is probably the most cliche use of leftover turkey, but it’s one of my favorites. Whether you’re a cold turkey with Miracle Whip and lettuce on sandwich bread kind of person (like yours truly) or a hot turkey sandwich with gravy and cranberry sauce kind of person (like my husband), turkey sandwiches are yummy!

Turkey Soup

Growing up, my dad always made turkey soup with the leftover carcass and bones. I’ve started to do the same. Is there anything better than a nice hearty soup on a chilly fall day? I don’t think so! One of the best things about soup is that you can customize it to your taste preferences. Like a lot of veggies? Add them! Not a fan of salt? Let people salt their bowls to their tastes. And if you’re lucky, there will even be some left to freeze for quick meals in the future.

Turkey & Cheese Roll-Ups

Fast and easy are two qualities I appreciate in a dinner at least once a week (especially with a new baby in the house). Basically anything I can wrap up in a tortilla shell and cook is awesome. I personally like these baked in the oven, but others may enjoy them fried on the stove top in quesadilla fashion. It’s up to you. All you need is cubed or shredded turkey, flour tortillas, your favorite cheese, and butter. I roll them up and bake them in a glass casserole pan, but like I said, folding them in half and frying them have the same effect. They take about 10 minutes of prep time and are sure to please!

Turkey Clubs

I challenge you to name a sandwich that isn’t improved when bacon is added to it. Turkey clubs are on the top of that list. Fresh sliced turkey, thick sliced bacon, lettuce, and tomato… Mmm, mmm, mmm! I like mine baked with some kettle cooked salt and vinegar chips on the side. (And now my mouth is watering… Great.)

Fried Turkey & Rice

Another relatively easy meal calls for turkey, rice, and some vegetables (I personally like peas and carrots). I like this dish with fried chicken, pork, or ham, too. The nice thing is, it’s versatile. I make rice ahead of time and let it cool before I fry the turkey and add the veggies and rice. And voila! It’s ready to eat in no time – and it’s another great meal for those cold nights when you need a nice warm meal to fill you up!

So when armed with a refrigerator full of Thanksgiving leftovers and posed with the ever elusive question, “What’s for dinner?”, hopefully you will have some new ideas!

Katrina Martin

Katrina Martin is the owner of Katrina's Resources and a B-6 certified teacher in New York State. She specializes in elementary education and curriculum development. You can read her blog at KatrinasResources.com or view her educational resources on TeachersPayTeachers.com.

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