what to do with turkey leftovers

November 30, 2009

The idea of leftover turkey (from Christmas, in my British household) has always thrilled me. First, there’s the obligatory turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing sandwich. This would most definitely always be the first use of leftovers, usually on Boxing Day.

One of the most popular ways to use up all that turkey in my house was also the turkey curry. Curry is big in England and so it’s no surprise that our minds wander straight to how to spice things up. So, I was very happy to see that Mark Bittman is advocating the very same use of leftovers on The Minimalist blog.

If you want an easy and delicious way to use up the last of your Thanksgiving turkey, I highly recommend taking the curry route. Bittman’s recipe for turkey and spinach curry sounds utterly delightful but if you wanted to lighten it up then you could use light coconut milk and low-sodium veggie broth instead of the regular kind of coconut milk or you could try using yogurt instead.

Some other great ideas for leftovers:

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Turkey Waldorf Salad from Food Network
  2. Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans and Lime from Kalyn’s Kitchen
  3. Turkey and Guacamole Quesadillas from Kalyn’s Kitchen
  4. Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Dumplings from Food Network

Enjoy your leftovers!

What are your favourite ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tay November 30, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Mmmmm. I'm boring and just have another plate exactly identical to my Thanksgiving dinner plate. And sandwiches. My favorite combo!!


Susan December 1, 2009 at 6:38 am

I only got all three yoga sessions in one week this month!! I was trying to do them on top of my regular exercise routine so it was just too much for me. I think I'm just a once a week kind of gal :)

I know this is boring, but I really just love turkey sandwiches for the leftovers. Even just eating it cold out of the fridge is delicious!


Jen (Running With Cake) December 1, 2009 at 11:09 am

Great ideas for turkey leftovers! I love making "turkey salad" (similar to chicken salad) with leftovers, and like you, I try to spice it up a bit!


Holly December 1, 2009 at 11:23 am

turkey waldorf salad = amazing. i used to hate leftovers…what was wrong with me? now i love them – cheap and delish!



Food Makes Fun Fuel December 1, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I like to make meals that looks just like what I ate on thanksgiving and pretend it's still the holidays, haha


Katie December 1, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Your yoga challenge inspired me – I think I may try that this month!

My favorite is the leftover sandwich, but unfortunately, I went to Thanksgiving out of town this year and had no leftovers!


dearbonnie December 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for the comment.
I know what you mean about curry being big in the UK, I think it's more popular than fish n chips.
I love Boxing Day leftovers for the Brussel sprouts, they're great roasted and added to salads.



foodfitandfun December 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Do you use steel-cut oats? if so, do you prepare them ahead of time? Your oats look so good!


joyofood December 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm

My Christmas leftovers are turkey and stuffing sandwiches and any mince pies we don't eat at Christmas.
I love your Yoga challenge, I try do at least 3-4 sessions a week.



Janetha December 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm

i didn't get to fancy with the leftovers yet.. but i think you may have inspired me to try something tonight! not sure what but i am sick of the boring old sandwich~plus i am out of rolls ;)

i should PROBABLY try yoga at least once in my life…


Jocelyn December 1, 2009 at 9:43 pm

mmm great ideas for leftovers! I would make some sort of soup!
And great job for getting yoga back into your routine :)


Thinspired December 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I just wrote this on another blog that featured this–but whenever I see turkey curry I always think of Bridget Jones! Remember how her mom always does a turkey curry buffet?! ;)

We do turkey rice soup in my house. It's a Chinese soup pronounced "joke." It's amazing!


ohonemorething December 4, 2009 at 8:05 am

Lol I didn't really have leftovers except for the Swiss chard with raisins and toasted pine nuts! But these leftover ideas sound amazing. It always baffled me when people rolled their eyes at leftovers -it's perfectly good food!!!

p.s. I'm not sure if I ever answered you but those black tights with the lacy flowers were purchased at.. I think Urban Outfitters? I'm pretty sure. OH! Before I forget, I'm reading a Carol Emschwiller story and the main character has your name!!

I hope all is well in the land of my lady :) And I'm glad you are feeling better


Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) December 8, 2009 at 11:37 am

The turkey waldorf salad is one of my favs – I made a version for my family this year that involved onion, celery, cranberries, grapes, and low fat mayo.

And I love, love, love adding cranberry sauce to plain greek yogurt. Sometimes I had chopped pecans!


Meredith (Pursuing Balance) December 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Holiday leftovers are the best :)


Sarah (Finding My Balance) December 19, 2009 at 9:12 am

Angharad, where ARE you??? Come back!!


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