Coming up with creative ways to use leftovers is one of our favorite challenges here at Cook Smarts, so we get giddy with excitement when we start thinking about Thanksgiving. As much as we love the main event, we look forward to all the fast, healthy dinners we get out of that beautiful, roasted turkey.
The fact is, most of us can only enjoy so many turkey and gravy sandwiches before we want to throw in the towel. But those sandwiches are only the beginning of roasted turkey potential.
With some creative inspiration, it’s possible for the leftovers to be as delicious as (or, we’re just going to say it, even better) than the original.
To help you make the most of your Thanksgiving masterpiece, here are our top 5 creative ways to turn turkey leftovers into something new, fresh and delicious.
1. Teriyaki Turkey Stir-Fry with Noodles
With an Asian twist, no one will recognize these leftovers. Just saute frozen veggie mix in your favorite store-bought teriyaki sauce. Add roasted turkey and serve over noodles to bring this dinner together in no time flat.
Tip: Fold cooked turkey into the stir-fry at the very end of cooking to prevent it from drying out. Tweet this tip.
2. Turkey Caesar Wraps
Wraps make great lunches and super fast dinners, so we love adding cooked turkey for flavor and protein. Toss chopped Romaine lettuce, sliced roasted turkey and croutons in your favorite caesar dressing. Wrap in tortillas for a quick, delicious meal on the go.
Tip: If you’d like to reheat leftover turkey while giving it a bit more flavor, quickly saute chopped roasted turkey in olive oil or butter over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Tweet this tip.
3. Turkey and Swiss Scramble
Don’t overlook breakfast as a chance to use those turkey leftovers. Turkey and Swiss cheese are a match made in heaven, but folded into scrambled eggs, they make a healthy, irresistible addition to the breakfast table.
4. Turkey Cobb Salad with Bacon and Avocado
Turkey is just one satisfying element of this salad that’s a classic for a reason. Top chopped lettuce greens with some of that leftover turkey, avocado, hard boiled eggs, crispy bacon, tomatoes and blue cheese. Serve with a simple vinaigrette.
5. SPICY MEXICAN SOUP WITH TURKEY, BLACK BEANS AND CORN
We love this Mexican-inspired soup that, thanks to leftover turkey and a few pantry staples, can be on the table in 10 minutes flat.
To make four servings, saute 1 can of black beans and 1 can of sweet corn (drain and rinse them first) with a splash of cooking oil, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin. Add in 1 cup chopped roasted turkey and 2 cans of tomato soup and continue cooking until heated through. The best thing about a soup like this is the toppings, so pile each bowl high with avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping!
Need more inspiration?
Roasted turkey would work great in any of these fast, delicious meals:
- Use turkey in place of sliced deli turkey in these quick-to-make Open-Faced Pesto Turkey Melts
- Leftover turkey makes just as easy a sub as rotisserie chicken in this Cream-Free Corn & Potato Chowder
- Bulk up an otherwise vegetarian meal by adding roasted turkey to the filling of Black Bean & Chard Enchiladas
- Sprinkle Cajun seasoning on leftover turkey and quickly saute, and then mix into Creamy Cajun Pasta
- Instead of pork, toss roasted turkey with Asian pears, celery, and a heavenly peanut dressing in this Asian Kale Salad