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How to Use Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers

The turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners. Hosts and hostesses spend hours creating a beautiful bird that is often the highlight of the holiday meal. But when all is said and done and your guests have gone home, leaving you with a table full of leftovers, what are you to do? There are many great turkey leftover recipes that you can use your Thanksgiving turkey for, and many of them take very little time to create since you save yourself the extra time of cooking the turkey. One of the most popular Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipes is to create a sandwich from your leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing and/or potatoes. This is of course a great (and delicious) way to use up your remaining food, but RecipeLion has several more unique ideas to use up your Thanksgiving turkey.

Turkey and Pasta Recipes
Chicken and shrimp are typically the most common proteins paired with pasta, but why not try something new and go for turkey? Turkey tetrazzini is a classic dish that is often overlooked as a great use of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. This creamy pasta dish is loaded with turkey, mushrooms, onions and cheese. If you take the time to cut up your turkey leftovers right after your Thanksgiving dinner, you will be able to easily pull them out at a moment’s notice for this or any of our other Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipes. Try this delicious turkey tetrazzini and you will soon be hooked. If this recipe isn’t your style, our turkey primavera is another great way to use up all your leftovers.

Easy Turkey Tetrazzini


• 3 pound cooked turkey
• 3 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock, fresh or canned
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• Salt
• Water
• 16 ounce package spaghetti
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• Paprika
• 1/2 cup dry sherry
• 1 cup half and half
• 3 ounce jar grated Parmesan cheese

1. Remove meat from bones and discard bones and skin. Cut turkey into chunks. Set aside.

2. After preparing spaghetti as label directs, drain in a colander. Spread it evenly in a greased 13 inch by 9 inch baking dish.

3. Chop onion. In 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, in 2 tablespoons hot butter, cook onion, mushrooms and lemon juice 5 minutes. Remove to bowl.

4. In same saucepan, melt remaining butter. When hot, stir in flour, salt , pepper, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon paprika until mixture is smooth.

5. Gradually stir in sherry and reserved chicken broth and cook stirring until liquid is thickened. Add half and half, turkey chunks and mushroom mixture and over low heat cook,stirring, just until mixture is heated through. Taste to see if it does need more salt and pepper.

6. Spoon turkey mixture over spaghetti in baking dish. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and add paprika.

7. Bake in 350 degree F oven 30 minutes or until spaghetti and turkey mixture are throughly heated and surface is golden and bubbly.

Turkey Bake Recipes
Turkey bakes and casseroles are one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a meal out of leftovers. Our turkey noodle bake is similar to the creamy pastas above, but this one is even easier to make. Add broccoli or your favorite veggies for a dish the whole family will love.

Pot pie is another great baked turkey leftover recipe. Read our recent article on how to make pot pies with turkey. For a simple play on a traditional pot pie, try a turkey bake topped with biscuits. Save yourself the time of making a homemade pie crust and create a topping with refrigerated biscuit dough. You will be surprised how easy it can be to make a delicious turkey casserole.

Other Delicious Turkey Leftover Recipes
There are many other recipes that are perfect for utilizing your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. You can replace chicken in any of your favorite recipes, like soups and stews. Turkey is great and makes for a nice, hearty soup that is perfect for chilly November evenings. Use turkey, vegetable or chicken broth and your favorite noodles (or rice) and veggies to create a soup that is filling, yet still healthy. You can also use chopped turkey in omelets, burritos, or on pizza. The possibilities are endless. Check out some of our favorite blogger turkey leftover recipes below for even more great recipe ideas.

Originally published on

Photo courtesyy of RecipeLion