19 Leftover Turkey Recipes That Are Sure to Become Family Favorites

These soups, pies, and casseroles are so good, you'll want to roast an extra Thanksgiving turkey just to ensure you have enough meat to make them.

Creamy Leftover Turkey and Rice Soup

Johnny Miller

Leftovers are an essential and much-loved part of Thanksgiving—and figuring out what to do with all that leftover turkey is one of our favorite post-holiday challenges. Most of us opt for a turkey sandwich, layered with cranberry sauce and stuffing. But that certainly isn't your only option, especially if you're willing to get creative.

Beyond the beloved sandwich, there is a treasure trove of leftover turkey recipes to explore after the big dinner, since this protein is an easy, adaptable ingredient with many possibilities. Try your hand at a few classics, like turkey pot pie, turkey tetrazzini, and turkey noodle soup; we have stellar versions of these fan-favorites. We also like to switch things up, exploring new-to-us ways of using leftover turkey with tacos, curry, and pocket pies.

In this leftover turkey recipe collection, you’ll find dishes that are sure to become annual day-after-Thanksgiving traditions in your home—and as cherished as the feast itself.

01 of 18

Spicy Turkey Medianoches

spicy turkey medianoches
Lennart Weibull

Midnight snack, anyone? This pressed sandwich inspired by a Cubano uses turkey and prosciutto.

02 of 18

Turkey Breakfast Tacos

breakfast turkey tacos
Julia Gartland

Maybe you have weekend guests post-Thanksgiving; these turkey tacos are a cheerful add to the breakfast table. Plus, they pull double duty, using up leftover mashed sweet potatoes, too. Feel free to vary toppings to suit different tastes.

03 of 18

Turkey-and-Watercress Salad

turkey-and-watercress salad
Julia Gartland

A fresh, peppery watercress salad with a clever cranberry vinaigrette and cooked turkey is served over cooked and cooled grains (we used farro, but you could substitute your favorite grain), elevating this salad to main course status.

04 of 18

Pocket Pies Filled With Leftovers


A fun way to get the entire family in the kitchen is to let them choose their own filling for these easy-to-make turkey pocket pies. Will they pack in sweet or mashed potatoes or stuffing and cranberry sauce? (There are no wrong answers!) These bites can be enjoyed warm from the oven—or tuck them into a cooler for a post-holiday road trip.

05 of 18

Leftover Turkey Curry

leftover turkey curry
Julia Gartland

Spinning your leftover turkey into a spiced curry gives it new life and will fill your kitchen with the aroma of sizzling ginger. If you have homemade turkey stock, use it in place of chicken stock. 

06 of 18

Turkey and Mashed Potato Potpies


Individual pot pies are simple to assemble, especially if you have leftover mashed potatoes to use for their topping.

07 of 18

Quick Turkey Tetrazzini

turkey tetrazzini
Mike Krautter

Turkey tetrazzini may be a post-Thanksgiving cliché, but it's one worth trying. With sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan, our recipe hits the spot.

08 of 18

Chunky Turkey Vegetable Soup

Chunky Turkey-Vegetable Soup

Try this version of turkey soup with escarole and tomatoes for a minestrone-like take on the classic.

09 of 18

Turkey Monte Cristo

Turkey Monte Cristo
Bryan Gardner

This turkey Monte Cristo sandwich plays on the diner classic, which is usually made with ham. Really, it's a savory turkey-French toast hybrid. Will you serve it with cranberry sauce or maple syrup?

10 of 18

Thanksgiving-Leftovers Shepherd's Pie


All the savory Thanksgiving leftovers you have left in your fridge go into this crowd-pleasing dish. Pop it into the oven and voila—you have dinner.

11 of 18

Turkey Salad Sandwich

Turkey-Salad Sandwich
Bryan Gardner

Open-faced and light, this turkey salad sandwich has fresh, green apples, lemon, and golden raisins. 

12 of 18

Easy Turkey Stock


Go ahead and make a batch of turkey stock. It’s an investment that pays off, since you can freeze and use it for soups, stews, sauces, and more. Plus, it's the best way to spend a few hours on a brisk autumn day.

13 of 18

Turkey Noodle Soup


For traditionalists, turkey noodle soup will always be the best leftover turkey recipe around.

14 of 18

Creamy Leftover-Turkey-and-Rice Soup

Creamy Leftover-Turkey- and-Rice Soup
Johnny Miller

Turkey and lemon offer a bright take on avgolemono soup, a restorative dish scented with fresh dill. 

15 of 18

Turkey Curry Dinner

Bryan Gardner

A store-bought Indian simmer sauce produces a quick, weeknight curry. Make it fun for everyone by placing an assortment of extras, such as coconut, yogurt, and herbs, on the table, and let everyone top their bowls as they like. 

16 of 18

Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash

Turkey and Sweet-Potato Hash

When it's comfort you need after all the activity of the week, try this leftover turkey recipe that combines the meat in a creamy sauce with sweet potatoes and apples. We like to serve it spooned over toast.

17 of 18

Turkey Banh Mi


This turkey banh mi will give you what you crave after a few heavy meals: cilantro, chilis, and crunchy, fresh vegetables in a whole wheat baguette.

18 of 18

Thanksgiving Leftovers Pie

thanksgiving-leftovers pie
Julia Gartland

A golden, rustic pie filled to the brim with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce makes the day after Thanksgiving, or the day after that, feel like a brand-new celebration.

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