Whether you’re checking the Black Friday sales or starting off your first Christmas movie marathon, there is one thing you do not want to do the day after Thanksgiving — cook. I get it, you spent the day before stirring and sautéing away. Furthermore, you know you don’t want to eat a full Thanksgiving meal again. But you’re bound to be hungry, and that’s when you find some creative things to do with the leftover turkey.
If your stomach is turning thinking about white bread, mayo, and cold turkey breast, I’m here to put an end to that. Eating leftover turkey doesn’t have to mean an old school sandwich. If you’re going to pull out all of those dishes and unwrap their foil lids, you deserve to have something you can really enjoy. In fact, if you can find a leftover dish that uses not only the turkey, but the rest of those sides and a drizzle of cranberry sauce, it’s even better. You didn’t spend all that time choosing a turkey, thawing it, and cooking it to watch it mold in your fridge while you eat Ramen because you’re exhausted. With these 11 things to do with leftover turkey, you’re sure to be inspired and ready to eat. (But still not ready to really cook. That might take until Christmas.)
1. Turkey Gumbo
For when you still want to eat turkey, but need a lighter meal than the previous day’s, this turkey gumbo recipe from Steamy Kitchen is perfect. It’s also a milder version of your traditional spicy gumbo, so even the little ones can dig in.
2. Eggs Baked In Thanksgiving Leftovers
Start your post-Thanksgiving morning off right by using those leftovers in your breakfast. The Gouda Life made eggs baked in Thanksgiving leftovers by using everything from roasted veggies, stuffing, and yes, the turkey. With runny yolks and a generous helping of cranberry sauce on top, this breakfast will see you all the way through those Black Friday sales.
3. Turkey Pot Pie
Few things are easier than slapping together a casserole, especially if you already have most of the ingredients ready to go. Thanks to A Pretty Life in the Suburbs, this turkey pot pie is just that kind of casserole. With a delicious, creamy filling and a crust made from leftover stuffing, this is a recipe to keep all year.
4. Turkey Soup With Poblano Peppers
Chop up the rest of that cooked turkey now, because you’re going to want to toss it into this turkey soup with poblano peppers from A Spicy Perspective. Creamy and hearty with a bit of heat, this soup is perfect for those lazy days after Thanksgiving.
5. Thanksgiving Turkey Pizza
Pizza is always a crowd pleaser, but this leftover Thanksgiving turkey pizza from Baked by Rachel changes everything. Using shredded turkey, turkey gravy, and even leftover mashed potatoes and stuffing, you’ve got a pizza that the pilgrims would’ve fought over. (OK, everyone will fight over the last slice, Puritans or not.)
6. Cider Braised Turkey & Squash Tacos
Tacos are an easy enough meal, but using your Thanksgiving leftovers as the filling makes it even simpler. Cara’s Cravings has come up with a cider braised turkey and squash taco recipe that also includes cranberry sauce on top to give your savory dish a tangy kick.
7. Turkey, Cranberry & Apple Quesadillas
Leftover turkey and cranberry sauce always make for good sandwich components, but Cookie Monster Cooking has put these together in a whole new way. These turkey, apple, and cranberry quesadillas are tart, savory, and easy to throw together.
8. Day-After Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
If you’re over sandwiches (and have some leftover mashed potatoes), this day-after turkey shepherd’s pie from Kitchen Confidante is perfect for your menu. Hearty and savory, it’s great if you’re coming home from shopping or just worn out from all of that couch lounging.
9. Turkey Noodle Soup With Ginger & Cilantro
Feed Me Phoebe has created a fun, Asian twist on turkey leftovers with this turkey noodle soup. All of those delicious roasted flavors from the turkey marry well with the cilantro, ginger, and squeeze of a lime to give you a fresh take on a yummy soup.
10. Turkey Green Chile Enchiladas
Repurposing your Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t mean the meal has to be a traditional fall dish like pasta or soup. Budget Bytes has created a turkey green chile enchilada that tastes nothing like Thanksgiving, but is still so good. The recipe only calls for a few extra ingredients other than the turkey, so it won’t be too big of a pain for you to cook either.
11. Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry, Brie & Mashed Potato Waffles
Need a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast before hitting the sales? From Half Baked Harvest comes an incredible recipe. This turkey waffle recipe may be a mouthful to say, but that’s because you’re too busy chowing down. Add in a fried egg with that delicious runny yolk to really hit the spot.
Images: Courtesy of Cara’s Cravings; Half Baked Harvest; Steamy Kitchen; The Gouda Life; A Pretty Life in the Suburbs; A Spicy Perspective; Baked by Rachel; Cara’s Cravings; Cookie Monster Cooking; Kitchen Confidante; Feed Me Phoebe; Budget Bytes; Half Baked Harvest