Statisticsbrain reports that according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 51,000,000 turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving Day. That’s a lot of turkey, and a lot of turkey leftovers. Don’t let all that turkey go to waste. Here are ten creative ways to use leftover turkey.
1. Boil the turkey carcass and strain, reserving the broth. Bring the broth to a boil with carrots, onions, and celery; add egg noodles for a hearty turkey noodle soup.
2. Coarsely chop pieces of turkey white meat with onion and celery, and flavor with salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste. Add mayonnaise to create turkey salad.
3. Shred leftover turkey meat; add kidney beans, stewed tomatoes, and other ingredients to make turkey chili.
4. Leftover turkey is great in sandwiches, especially club, Monte Cristo, and panini.
5. Shred turkey, add carrots, celery and onion, and shape into turkey patties. Serve with scrambled eggs for breakfast or a light dinner
6. Cube turkey and add to ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables to make a chef salad.
7. Combine chunks of turkey with pasta or noodles, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms to make Turkey Tetrazzini.
8. Add turkey pieces to mixed vegetables and a white sauce to make Turkey a la King. Serve over biscuits or toast points.
9. Fork-pull white or dark turkey meat, add cumin, coriander, and chili and fill taco shells to make turkey tacos.
10. Using two pre-made pie crusts – one for the top crust and one for the bottom – make a turkey pot pie.
If you find you have other side dishes left over as well, you can combine them to make a turkey casserole. Layer mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and turkey in a glass baking dish. Warm in the oven and serve with garlic toast made from leftover bread. Other variations of turkey casseroles include shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese. Some call for cream of mushroom soup. For a crispy topping, use French’s fried onions or seasoned bread crumbs.
Here’s a recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini using shell macaroni. For 8 servings you need the following ingredients:
8 oz. shell macaroni
2-3 cups of cubed or chunked turkey
6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas or carrots or mixed peas and carrots
2 cups turkey broth
1 cup milk
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese
Thyme, salt, and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
2. Cook the pasta until al dente.
3. Heat half the butter in a sauté or frying pan and sauté the mushrooms, seasoning with thyme, salt and pepper.
4. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and turkey broth, whisking until flour has dissolved. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the roux has thickened.
5. Stir in the cheese and vegetables and add the cooked pasta, the turkey and the mushrooms to the pan. Combine well.
6. Transfer the mixture to the greased baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
7. Bake for about 15 minutes. The sauce will be bubbly.
Many variations of all of the above suggestions for left over turkey can be found on the Internet.