Ideas for turkey leftovers

By Pat Brinkman - OSU Extension

Do you have turkey leftovers from the big Thanksgiving meal? Instead of the usual ways to do leftovers try some of these ideas.

First, plan to use the leftover turkey you have refrigerated within three to four days. If it is going to be longer, freeze the leftovers in freezer bags for later use. Remember when reheating leftovers, we should always reheat to 165°F.

Below are some ideas and short recipes for using your leftover turkey meat:

• Turkey Stir-Fry – Cut up the turkey into small strips. Stir fry vegetables (fresh or frozen) your choice, until just tender and add the turkey pieces. Heat until 165°F or higher. You can add herbs, low-sodium soy sauce, Teriyaki sauce, or Asian stir-fry sauce for flavor. (Quick meal in 15 minutes.)

• Turkey Tacos – Cut up the turkey meat and reheat adding taco seasonings. Serve with beans, tomatoes, salsa, lettuce, lite shredded cheese and/or sour cream.

• Turkey Quesadillas – Cut up turkey meat and add to lite cheese on a tortilla. Heat until very hot and tortilla is lightly brown.

• Turkey Fried Rice – Cook a scrambled egg. Add cut up turkey, scrambled egg, frozen peas, cut up carrots and onions to leftover rice. Heat to 165° F and then add low-sodium soy sauce.

• White Turkey Chili is delicious. It has beans and a southwestern flavor. This and other turkey soups can be found at

The University of Nebraska Extension website has other turkey leftover recipes.

• Pizza – Start with a flatbread or a pizza crust. Add some tomato or pesto sauce, cut-up turkey and lots of chopped up vegetables. Top with some low-fat cheese and pop in the oven until the cheese melts about 15 to 20 minutes.

• Turkey Chow Mein has been a favorite with my family. Cut up the leftover turkey and add to Chow Mein vegetables. Heat until 165°F. Serve over hot cooked brown rice. Have leftover mashed potatoes and turkey? Turn it into this Turkey Potato Soup found at

Leftovers can provide a speedy dinner. If you are hunting for more healthy recipes try the USDA’s website at and search for turkey.

Pat Brinkman is the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for Ohio State University Extension Fayette County.

By Pat Brinkman

OSU Extension