Make the Most of “Leftover” Turkey

On the day after Thanksgiving, the last thing on people’s minds is turkey.  Ask your family what they want for supper and – if they’re anything like mine – they’ll tell you pizza.  They might even say tacos, but they’re certainly not going to beg for another bite of turkey!  Little do they know…

My personal belief is that no food should be wasted.  I’m a freezer queen.  Freezer-ready meals make mealtime quicker and easier.  Browned beef, stored in freezer bags and stacked neatly in my freezer, cuts down prep time considerably.  I’ve been known to put whole chickens in the crock pot just to have cooked chicken freezer-ready for casseroles.

So why not “bag some bird” this holiday?  Simply cut up your leftover turkey; measure out 1½- to 2-cup servings; and freeze it for a while.  Thanks to the folks at the National Turkey Federation, you’ll have plenty of ideas on how to use that turkey.  Check out the NTF’s Top Ten Ways to Use Turkey Leftovers.

Before freezing all of your cooked turkey, you might want set aside just enough to make the dip or soup since they’re perfect “Game Day Foods.”  Perhaps you’ll want to make ahead a casserole or let soup simmer in the crock pot while you hang Christmas decorations over the weekend.  (That’s my plan, but the tough part is choosing which recipe to make!)

I’ve assembled my own Top 10 List, which includes many recipes we’ve featured on  In some cases, like “Buffalo Chicken Dip,” I’m suggesting you substitute chicken for turkey.  In other cases, I’m linking to some of my favorite turkey recipes from TheFieldPosition.  I hope these recipes will make you thankful for the extra turkey in your freezer during such a busy season!


  1. “Buffalo Chicken” Dip
  2. Turkey Tortilla Hot Dish
  3. Turkey Pot Pie
  4. Easy Turkey Salad with a side of French Onion Soup
  5. Turkey Reuben
  6. Southwestern Turkey Soup
  7. Garden “Turkey” Casserole
  8. Wild Turkey Casserole (a.k.a. “Wild & Cheesy Chicken Casserole”)
  9. White Turkey Chili
  10. Fiesta Turkey Chowder
  11. Turkey Mandarin Poppy Seed Salad

P.S.  Say you’re “cooking once and eating twice.”  Call them “do-overs.”  Whatever you do, don’t call them leftovers!  That’s like calling DDGs byproducts when everyone knows they’re coproducts, right? 😉