Leftover turkey recipes

We love the tradition of a big, beautiful bird on our dinner table, but how do you make sure the leftovers are just as exciting as the fancy spread? Luckily, there are plenty of creative and kid-friendly leftover turkey recipes to inspire your dinners for days.

But planning is key. How long is leftover turkey good for? The safest bet is three to four days in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.[1] Luckily, any of the best leftover turkey dinner ideas like turkey soup, turkey casserole and turkey pot pie freeze like a dream, so you can save them for a day when you need a ready-made dinner in a hurry.

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Turkey pot pie

Ready in: 55 minutes

Why we love it: Turkey pot pie is a classic and kid-friendly way to use up leftover cooked turkey. Who wouldn’t want to warm up with a golden and bubbling pot pie fresh out of the oven?

How kids can help: Once you’re done sautéing the aromatics, your kid can help stir in the vegetables and pieces of turkey. (And if you still need to shred the leftover turkey, that’s an excellent kid job, too!) They’ll also enjoy draping the pieces of puff pastry over the dish, pressing it ever so gently to help it stick.

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If you have leftover veggie side dishes like carrots, peas or corn, this recipe is a great way to reinvent those too and make sure they don’t go to waste.

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Creamy turkey ragout recipe

Ready in: 15 minutes

Why we love it: You can add whatever leftover roasted vegetables you have on hand. Win-win.

How kids can help: Depending on how old they are, kids can whisk the gravy or help chop the veggies under supervision. (You might need to get some goggles out for dicing that onion.)

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Leftover turkey casserole

Ready in: 55 minutes

Why we love it: This cheesy turkey casserole recipe gives us a delicious new way to not only use our leftover turkey, but leftover cranberry sauce and stuffing too.

How kids can help: Your kid can mix up the mayo-cranberry dressing, add cheese, then combine with the potatoes before spreading it over the turkey in the casserole dish. Lastly, they can spoon the stuffing over the whole thing before you pop it in the oven.

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Partially cooking the potatoes ahead of time by boiling them lets you shorten the baking time to only 30 minutes or so.

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Curried turkey salad recipe

Ready in: 10 minutes

Why we love it: We’re already fans of creamy curried chicken salad so this one is a no-brainer for leftover turkey ideas.

How kids can help: While you’re dicing the ingredients, get those little hands working on the dressing by combining yogurt, mayo, lemon juice and curry powder.

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Turkey Soup

Ready in: 20 minutes

Why we love it: This leftover turkey soup makes a quick and comforting dinner or school lunch. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and the recipe is super versatile. You can swap chicken broth with your homemade leftover turkey stock and use up any leftover veggies from your holiday spread.

How kids can help: Your kid can dice the leftover turkey and cooked vegetables with a child-safe knife—or simply dump in the frozen mixed veggies from the bag.

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If you have leftover cooked rice or noodles, just throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil and you have yourself a five-minute meal.

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Leftover turkey sloppy joes recipe

Ready in: 25 minutes

Why we love it: Who doesn’t love an ooey, gooey and saucy sandwich? This one is especially delicious and filling.

How kids can help: Instead of chopping the turkey, you can let them shred it (with clean hands of course). Once the filling is ready, they can build their own sloppy sammies! Embrace the mess.

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Tortilla turkey soup

Ready in: 25 minutes

Why we love it: This comforting soup has all the fresh flavours and textures we crave—tomato, tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, lime and chili for a little heat. We also love to add corn for extra crunch. The recipe calls for shredded rotisserie chicken, but leftover turkey makes a smart substitute.

How kids can help: Kids will love adding all the toppings and garnishes to the individual bowls of tortilla turkey soup. They can even practice their pattern skills by trying to make each bowl look the same.

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Thick tomato soups like this one are a great way to sneak in extra veggies for vitamins and fibre! Think corn, black beans, even diced red bell pepper hidden under all those tasty tortilla chips.

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Article Sources

  1. Health Canada. Safe Food Storage.

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