Mom feeding daughter with a fork; turkey dinner recipes like turkey soup and turkey pasta float around them.
Mom feeding daughter with a fork; turkey dinner recipes like turkey soup and turkey pasta float around them.

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.

We’ve also got some fresh options, like a next-level turkey Caesar sandwich and turkey pasta with penne and brussels sprouts to change things up. Bonus: Your kids can hardly complain about being bored with dinner if they helped make it, so put them to work!

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Turkey pot pie Image source: theHUB from

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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Ready in: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Why we love it: If we’re being totally honest, we don’t always make the most of our leftover turkey carcass, but no more excuses. This leftover turkey broth recipe is the perfect way to use those flavourful bones and it’s versatile in any dish that calls for chicken broth. (You can even freeze it!)

How kids can help: Get those little hands busy picking the rest of the meat from your leftover roast turkey carcass, saving it for another recipe, of course. Because the veggies in this recipe only need to be roughly chopped, it’s also a good time to get your child to practice their knife skills with a kid-friendly blade.

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If you really want to reduce food waste—and make a richer tasting broth—you can throw in any leftover turkey skins too. (Bringing the broth to a rolling boil for 10 minutes will kill any active bacteria if you’re worried about “repurposing” leftovers.[2])

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Leftover turkey casserole Image source: theHUB from

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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Creamy turkey pasta Image source: Canadian Living

Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: The best leftover turkey recipes make use of scraps from other dishes (in this case, roasted Brussels sprouts) and transforms them into something totally different. This fresh take on turkey pasta with penne is so much greater than the sum of its parts.

How kids can help: They can whisk together the chicken (or turkey) broth, reserved cooking liquid from the pasta and cornstarch till well combined. Then have them stir in the Brussels sprouts, turkey, sage, salt and pepper.

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Brussels sprouts used to be high on the most hated veggie list, but no more, especially when you roast them till caramelized and sweet, or shred them into salads and pastas. Plus, they’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre that can help with a number of health conditions.[3]

Missing any ingredients? Order penne, olive oil, pancetta and more through Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Turkey Soup Image source: theHUB from

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.
Caeser club sandwich Image source: Food Network Canada

Ready in: 15 minutes

Why we love it: This gourmet cross between a Caesar salad and club sandwich works just as well with leftover turkey instead of chicken breasts, especially when it’s covered with creamy anchovy-infused dressing, crispy slices of pancetta and freshly squeezed lemon. Skip the fish if you’ve got picky eaters at your table.

How kids can help: Kids love assembling sandwiches so let them go to town on these sandwiches (and worry about the mess later). Don’t forget to toast the ciabatta bread, and smear lots of Caesar dressing on both sides.

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Subbing raw chicken breasts for leftover turkey (or even rotisserie chicken) in this recipe saves on food waste as well as the extra 40 minutes of cooking time.

Missing any ingredients? Order ciabatta buns, pancetta, organic arugula and more through Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Tortilla turkey soup Image source: theHUB from

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.

Missing any ingredients? Order canned tomatoes, onion, chili powder and more through Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

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