stuffed winter squash

14 Delicious Ways to Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers

Last Updated on October 26, 2023

It’s rare that we’re not left with a hefty container full of turkey by the end of Thanksgiving. I mean, some of us even plan for it. Because of the hours of preparation that go into a Thanksgiving feast, it’s important to have ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. So, this is the perfect guide for you!

Thankfully there are so many ways to transform that turkey breast or thigh into an easy, delicious meal. And there are so many directions you can take your leftover turkey: soups, sandwiches, even stir-fry, or jambalaya.

14 Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers in New Recipes

We’re here to provide those recipes and more inspiration for using up Thanksgiving leftovers this holiday season. In this list, you’ll find:

  • Classic comfort foods
  • Unique spins on turkey meals
  • Paleo and Keto options
  • And more!

Keep this list handy after you’ve whipped up that incredible Thanksgiving turkey.

1 – Leftover Turkey Curry Soup Recipe

turkey leftover soup

You may not have thought of curry and turkey as a combination. But trust us, you’ll be glad you know about this delicious flavor combination now!

Turkey casseroles are delicious—you’ll even find some on this list. But if you’re craving something warm and spicy, this leftover turkey curry soup is the dish for you.

This gluten-free, dairy-free soup tastes anything but, thanks to the ultra-creamy addition of cashew milk. Veggies like cauliflower and butternut squash, when cooked until tender, make for a velvety mouthful in each bite.

The turkey, too, shines, in this vibrant, curry powder-flecked soup. It’s the perfect lean protein to bring the meal together.

2 – Aunt Bee’s Leftover Turkey Casserole Recipe

Add whatever fresh or frozen vegetables you want into this leftover turkey pot pie from Aunt Bee’s.

As promised, we included comforting turkey casserole recipes like this one: Aunt Bee’s leftover turkey casserole

This easy version requires only 15 minutes of prep because nobody wants to spend hours on dinner after preparing a Thanksgiving feast. In this recipe, you’ll marry carb-rich noodles with turkey, peas, and a savory cream sauce made with classic creamy soup in a can.

Don’t skip the crispy panko topping, complete with parmesan cheese.

3 – Autumn Leftover Turkey Stir Fry Recipeleftover turkey stirfry

A turkey stir fry is a creative alternative to just heating up your leftovers and eating them as-is. This spices things up a little!

If you’re a little tired of indulging, a lighter post-Thanksgiving meal might be what you need. And one meal that can use up all your leftovers? That’s amazing, as is this autumn leftover turkey stir fry.

This recipe uses up extra turkey, yes, but also some seasonal ingredients you may have lying around, like acorn squash, cranberries, and pecans.

It’s spiced with Chinese 5 spice, along with Tamari and coconut aminos for a unique, Asian-inspired take on Thanksgiving leftovers.

4 – Keto Leftover Turkey Casserole Recipe

leftover turkey casserole in a dish

A healthy option for using up leftover turkey and veggies is this recipe from My PCOS Kitchen.

Whether you enjoyed a fully ketogenic Thanksgiving or you’re hoping to get your body back into ketosis, this keto leftover turkey casserole is one delicious way to do it.

You’ll load up on a healthy (but low-carb) dose of veggies including mushrooms, green beans, carrots, onions, and broccoli. Then, there’s the to-die-for cream sauce, with cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, and parmesan.

This comforting keto casserole even manages a crispy topping, sans carbs, thanks to an ingenious use of pork rinds.

5 – Leftover Turkey Jambalaya Recipe

turkey jambalaya in a dutch oven with a spoon

If you’re a fan of tomato-based dishes and rich cajun flavors, try Spicy Southern Kitchen‘s jambalaya.

Spicy, hearty, and rich, this leftover turkey jambalaya is a great way to transform leftover turkey.

This recipe packs in the heat, with Cajun seasoning and Tabasco sauce. But there’s a whole lot more flavor than that, including a tomato-rich sauce made with fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and more.

Rice, andouille sausage, and turkey marry in this sauce for one hearty meal.

6 – Leftover Turkey Noodles Recipe

a dutch oven of turkey pot pie style noodles

These turkey noodles from Will Cook for Smiles are bound to be a crowdpleaser.

Looking for a simple, comforting meal? These leftover turkey noodles check all the right boxes: creamy, carby, and rich.

To make this simple recipe, you’ll combine leftover turkey with egg noodles, veggies like carrots and peas, and a simple cream sauce made with a roux and heavy cream.

This ultra-simple meal comes together in 30 minutes flat, so you can soak in some more family time before the holiday break ends.

7 – Leftover Turkey Chili Recipe

turkey chili

Chili is always a go-to recipe for using leftover protein – turkey, beef, chicken, or even venison!

Fast, easy, and perfect for a crisp fall day, our latest ButcherBox turkey chili recipe takes your Thanksgiving leftovers and adds some heat for the perfect comfort food.

Featuring our BB Five-Spice Rub, this turkey chili features leftover turkey, of course, as well as roasted butternut squash (or any other leftover roasted veggies from Thanksgiving).

For a little extra heat, add some canned chilis for a great spicy flavor without chopping or potentially getting chili seeds in your eye.

8 – Leftover Turkey Cornbread Casserole Recipe

cornbread casserole slice on a plate

A slice of cornbread casserole using up your leftover turkey… mmm mmm mmm!

You could make a turkey pot pie—or, you could switch things up with a cornbread crust like in this leftover turkey cornbread casserole.

Instead of pie crust, this casserole opts for slightly sweet cornbread on top. It revives leftover turkey with some of its gravy and a melange of veggies, including onions, carrots, and celery. Then, there is the flavor-packed spice blend: thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, and sage.

Don’t forget about the sharp cheddar cheese, as if this casserole wasn’t delicious enough.

9 – Leftover Turkey Sandwich Recipe

thanksgiving style turkey sandwich

What’s not to love about a turkey sandwich topped with all the cranberry sauce deliciousness from your Thanksgiving meal?

We know that you probably don’t need a recipe for a turkey sandwich. To that, we say: You need this leftover turkey sandwich recipe.

This brioche-bunned sandwich makes good use of leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, and gravy, though it makes a few indulgent tweaks that make this meal unforgettable. Namely, it adds an oozing, rich fried egg to the whole thing.

You’ll need a napkin or ten. It’s worth it.

10 – Stuffed Winter Squash Recipe

stuffed winter squash

This stuffed winter squash is a recipe for all autumn vegetable lovers.

While most of these recipes feature turkey only, we have another quick recipe for your leftover stuffing. And we all know, there is always leftover turkey stuffing.

Check out this fantastic stuffed winter squash recipe.

Best of all, you don’t need too many ingredients for this hearty, veggie leftover dish. Use the leftover side dish to stuff halved delicata or acorn squash and then sprinkle with a little oil and salt and pepper. Roast the squash, stuff it, and presto, an amazing and quick leftover meal.

11 – Grain-Free Leftover Turkey Pot Pies Recipe

an individual ramekin of turkey pot pie with vegetables

Individual turkey pot pies from Physical Kitchness are the perfect way to use up leftover turkey. 

Don’t worry: If you’re on the Paleo diet, there are still many great ways to use up leftover turkey, like these grain-free leftover turkey pot pies.

It’s the grain-free crust that’s really ingenious, blending together cashews, coconut flour, egg whites, ghee (or grass-fed butter), and salt. The crust is warm and crisp—the perfect complement to a hearty filling.

What’s inside, you ask? There’s turkey, onions, carrots, peas, celery, and a creamy sauce made with coconut milk. Don’t forget the spices: garlic, thyme, paprika, and more.

12 – Turkey Tetrazzini With Spinach Recipe

a scoop of turkey tetrazzini ready to be plated

A turkey tetrazzini transforms your leftover turkey into the ultimate comfort food.

There is so much to love about the creamy comfort of a tetrazzini bake. This turkey tetrazzini recipe from Ahead of Thyme is a wonderful way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

The other ingredients needed are cheese, creamy sauce, spaghetti, and any other vegetables and herbs you want to include. Their recipe uses spinach, but if you have leftover roasted veg from your Thanksgiving meal, there’s nothing stopping you from throwing those in the mix.

Plus, this recipe is great for making ahead and even freezing it for a future bake.

13 – Turkey Muffin Tin Dumplings Recipe

a muffin tin with fresh baked turkey dumplings

We found a great way to easily whip up a family meal using your leftovers! Check out these muffin tin dumplings, ready in only 10 minutes.

This is a quick prep meal that could easily feed a crowd. The Typical Mom came up with this great idea to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey to create turkey dumplings with Crescent roll dough.

And just like all of these recipes, you can get creative with how you incorporate any leftover vegetables. Add a cranberry sauce glaze to these dumplings. Mix in leftover corn or green beans into the mixture that goes inside the dumplings. The possibilities and ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers are endless!

14 – Turkey Noodle Soup or Pho

a bowl of turkey pho loaded with vegetables

Pho is a delicious combination of flavors and elements! This turkey version is a creative recipe for using up your leftovers.

This turkey noodle soup is about as simple as they come. It is light and brothy, warm for cool days, and full of flavor!

As with any noodle soup or pho, you can really customize the recipe as much as you’d like. The essential ingredients for the broth are what give this dish so much flavor – the fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon stick, and ginger. This recipes is definitely one of our favorite ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers.

If you’re looking for more cooking tips and recipes, check out the JustCook blog!