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Leftover Turkey Recipes

Basting the turkey in 1922Almost all of my old recipe books have recipes for leftover turkey. It's hard to pick and choose which ones to add to this page. I've even made a turkey soup that turned out fantastic. Anyway, below are some recipes on how to cook turkey other than the traditional baking, and below that, some leftover turkey recipes.

What's my favorite way to use turkey leftovers? I like to make turkey sandwiches! Some of the leftover turkey I shred, or cut smaller, and pour the BBQ sauce on it. This makes a tasty BBQ turkey sandwich, add cheese to melt, and enjoy. Shredding the turkey and adding BBQ sauce seems to be the best way to freeze leftover turkey. It lasts a long time without getting that freezer burn taste.

I also use leftover turkey for a rice dish. Just heat up the turkey in a small pan, along with a little water or gravy to give it moisture, and pour over some hot rice.

Ways to Cook Turkey

My mom always baked the turkey, with an aluminum foil tent on top. Then I can remember brown paper bags got popular, where you would put the whole turkey in the the bag and bake it. Then the government got upset, and said don't cook your turkeys in brown paper bags, it's not healthy. So then those popular oven cooking bags were invented.

For awhile, the fad was to cook the turkey upside down, so all the juices would be in the breast. Nowadays, a popular method is deep frying the whole turkey. I saw a kit at Walmart for 37 dollars.

Tips on how to organize your Thanksgiving Dinner.

Fried Turkey Pieces

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 fryer-roaster thawed turkey 3 to 6 lbs. cutup

Combine flour and seasonings. Rub into turkey pieces. Place on rack to let coating dry. Heat fat (1/2 inch deep in a large skillet) until it will sizzle a drop of water. Brown only a few turkey pieces at a time - don't crowd. Brown one side slowly; turn with tongs or 2 forks so not to pierce. When first pieces are brown, remove and set aside while you brown the next lot; return all to skillet. Or use two skillets.

When lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes, reduce heat; cover. (If cover is not tight, add 2 tablespoons water) Cook until tender, about one hour. Uncover the last 10 minutes to crisp. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Oven cooked turkey pieces: Coat turkey and brown as for Fried Turkey Pieces. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk in oven going skillet or casserole. Cover tightly and bake in slow oven (325) 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until fork tender. Uncover last 10 minutes to crisp.
Recipe from 1963

Note: Interesting that this is exactly the same way I make fried chicken

Leftover Turkey recipes

Turkey Casserole 1

  • 5 or 6 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup broth or milk

Place turkey in large casserole. Melt the margarine in a large skillet and saute the celery, onions and bread crumbs. Add salt, baking powder, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Beat the egg; combine the egg, soup, broth or milk, and crumb mixture. Pour over turkey. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 to 60 min.
Recipe from 1974

Turkey Casserole 2

  • 2 c. or more cooked turkey
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. bread, cubed
  • 2 tsp. melted butter
  • 1 c. celery
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 c. turkey broth
  • 1/2 tsp. sage

Mix well. Pour into 9x13 inch greased pan. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
Recipe from a 2001 Classic Creations Cedar County Catholic Schools Cookbook

Jill's Turkey Casserole

  • 3 cup chopped turkey
  • 6 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 sprigs chopped parsley
  • 1 lg. onion chopped
  • 1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm Cubed Seasoned Stuffing
  • 1 tsp. each of sage and salt
  • 1/2 cup butter

Cook vegetables in butter until tender. Moisten stuffing with warm chicken broth until moist but not wet. Mix with vegetables.

Make sauce from 2 cans cream of chicken soup and milk until thickness of gravy. Assemble in 9 x 13 glass dish in layers. Use 1/2 of stuffing mix, 1/2 of sauce, all of turkey, remainder of stuffing then sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Bisquick Turkey Casserole

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 small can mushrooms drained
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups cut up cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or American cheese

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2 quart round casserole dish. Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp, remove and crumble. Add the onion, celery and green pepper to the bacon fat and cook until tender. Drain.

Stir in the soup, sour cream, and turkey, salt, pepper, and bacon. Heat until bubbly and spread in casserole. Mix the remaining ingredients just until moistened, and spread over the turkey mixture. Bake uncovered until golden brown 30 to 35 min.

Note: Cream of mushroom soup would work too.

Quick Turkey Stock

  • the neck, heart, gizzard and liver from the turkey
  • 2 cans low-salt chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 cans water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery

Place the neck, heart and gizzard in a medium saucepan, reserving the liver in the refrigerator until later. Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil, then skim the surface.

Add the bay leaves, onion, carrot, and celery, Reduce the heat and simmer on low one hour. Add the liver for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and discard the vegetables and neck. Chop the remaining giblets and reserve for the gravy.

My Note: I also pick the meat off the neck and chop it to add to the gravy.

Giblet Gravy

Baked Turkey
  • pan of turkey drippings
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups Quick Turkey Stock
  • chopped turkey giblets from stock
  • salt & pepper to taste

When the turkey is done, remove it from the pan and set it on a carving/serving platter. Remove the rack from the pan.
Place the pan over two burners of your stove (make sure the pan is flame-proof). Heat the drippings on medium flame, stirring in the flour and cooking until the flour is cooked through and no longer raw, about five minutes. Add the stock; if too much has evaporated, add enough water to make 3 cups. Stir to mix all ingredients thoroughly and simmer until thick and reduced, about 10 to 20 minutes. Add the reserved giblets and salt and pepper to taste.

More holiday recipe ideas

Turkey Dinner - Tips on how to organize a turkey dinner
Thanksgiving Timeline - Thanksgiving for a crowd, and shopping list
Stuffing Recipes - Stuffing and stuff
Cranberry Recipes - All of my cranberry recipes. Relishes too
Impossible Pies - There a Turkey Impossible pie on this page

Food for Thought:
"Leftovers are a kind of food that are here today - and here tomorrow."

Have a great day!
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