30 Best Leftover Turkey Recipes for After Thanksgiving

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Use these best leftover turkey recipes to turn your Thanksgiving turkey into a delicious dinner after the holiday is over. Whether you want a turkey soup or casserole that still tastes like the seasonal flavors or you want something completely different, these easy recipes are sure to work perfectly for you.

A bowl of creamy turkey soup says "Gobble" on the front.

Once Thanksgiving is over, you probably have a big platter of leftover turkey meat to use and are wondering how on earth you'll ever eat it all up.

The best leftover turkey recipes use not only the main dish but also help you use up leftover potatoes, leftover cranberry sauce, and leftover Thanksgiving breads and veggies.

But when you're ready to move on to something different, there are so many delicious recipes that call for turkey meat that don't taste like Thanksgiving, too.

Can't decide from this amazing list? I strongly recommend you at least freeze the turkey meat now so you can pull it out for an easy dinner prep later!

Just be sure to check how much each recipe calls for and freeze the turkey in smaller portions so you don't have to thaw the entire container all at once.

Jump to:

Start with the Best Turkey

In order to even have any leftover turkey meat, you need to plan a large enough bird for your holiday meal.

Even though we usually have just 5 at our holiday table, we usually cook a giant herb butter turkey just so we have tons of leftovers.

We love turkey so much, we even cook this slowcooker boneless turkey breast at other times of the year. It's so delicious, we just might make it for our Thanksgiving bird instead!

Leftover Turkey Sandwiches

My husband would tell you that a leftover turkey sandwich is the entire point of cooking a huge whole herb butter turkey for the holiday.

He loves using leftover turkey to build sandwiches for days. It's part of the reason we love making our easier slowcooker boneless turkey breast periodically, too.

I, on the other hand, appreciate a variety of sandwich flavors to use my turkey!

Open Face Turkey Sandwiches

My family would tell you that the only acceptable way to use leftover turkey meat is to turn it into these open face turkey sandwiches with fresh Italian bread and leftover gravy.

I suspect they enjoy this more than the Thanksgiving dinner itself!

Open Face Turkey Sandwich
These open face turkey sandwiches with gravy are the perfect way to use up leftover turkey breast and Thanksgiving gravy but also make a delicious and easy dinner any night of the year.
5 from 32 votes
A piece of sourdough bread has chunks of turkey meat and gravy on top.

Grilled Turkey Reuben Sandwiches

I usually use deli turkey meat to make these grilled turkey reubens but thicker slices of leftover Thanksgiving turkey would make them extra delicious.

Grilled Turkey Reuben Sandwiches
Not a fan of corned beef? This year make delicious turkey reuben sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day instead! Deli turkey, a delicious spicy sauce, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut griddled up on caraway rye bread. Yum!
5 from 43 votes
A grilled turkey reuben sandwich is on a plate with potato chips and baby carrots.

Turkey Brie Sandwich

My turkey brie sandwich recipe has slices of fresh apple and peppery arugula. I love it with red pepper jelly and Dijon mustard but you could easily use leftover cranberry sauce instead.

Turkey Brie Sandwich
A turkey brie sandwich with fresh apples, peppery arugula, and melted brie is a great leftover turkey recipe after a holiday but works great with turkey deli meat, too. Make ahead and wrap in foil for a picnic or potluck.
5 from 1 vote
The baked turkey brie sandwich has been sliced in half so you can see the layers of turkey, apple, brie, and arugula.

Cranberry Turkey Sliders

My cranberry turkey sliders recipe uses both leftover turkey AND leftover cranberry sauce. Such a winning combo!

Cranberry Turkey Sliders
Savory cranberry turkey sliders are a great way to use up leftover turkey after a holiday but can be made any time of year with deli turkey meat, too. Tangy cranberry sauce with creamy havarti cheese and a golden brown buttery bun makes an excellent party appetizer or weekend lunch.
5 from 1 vote
A platter of cranberry turkey sliders show the melted cheese and poppy seeds on top.

Cranberry Turkey Salad with Jalapeños

Use leftover turkey instead of shredded chicken to make this festive spin on cranberry chicken salad with jalapeños. This recipe is inspired by Chicken Salad Chick!

Cranberry Chicken Salad with Jalapeños
This creamy cranberry chicken salad has an awesome kick to it with minced jalapeños stirred into the mix. The dried cranberries add texture and sweetness to your chicken salad sandwich. This festive salad is great any time of year piled on a croissant or served on a leafy green salad with crackers.
4.75 from 4 votes
A ball of cranberry jalapeno chicken salad sits on a bed of lettuce with clubhouse crackers on the side.

Turkey Parm Sliders

Turn your leftover turkey into a fun party appetizer or movie night snack! Layer slices of the turkey meat with tomato sauce and provolone in my bite sized chicken parm sliders recipe.

Chicken Parm Sliders
Easy baked chicken parm sliders use frozen chicken tenders and slider buns to make a delicious party sandwich that tastes just like your favorite Italian restaurant entree. The recipe makes enough for 6 appetizer servings or 3 - 4 heartier portions.
5 from 45 votes
A white platter of chicken parm sliders shows the tomato sauce and melted cheese.

BBQ Turkey Sliders

You could pair a batch of these BBQ chicken sliders, made with chunks of turkey instead of the chicken, with leftover sweet potato casserole or sweet potato mash with pineapple.

BBQ Chicken Sliders
These easy to assemble BBQ chicken sliders have just the right amount of filling, melting cheese, and a deliciously buttery crisp topping. They will fly off the baking pan at your next party or family game night.
5 from 1 vote
A metal baking pan has 3 rows of baked bbq chicken sliders showing the melted cheese oozing out.

Leftover Turkey Soups

One of the easiest ways to use leftover turkey is to toss it into a homemade soup that usually calls for chicken since the flavors are so similar.

Turkey soup is a fantastic strategy if you don't have a ton of leftover turkey meat to use but don't want to let any of it go to waste.

Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Use chunks of leftover turkey meat to make my easy Instant Pot chicken and rice soup with wild rice and fresh vegetables.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
This 15-minute Instant Pot soup recipe is made with tender chicken thighs and boxed wild rice blend. Fresh onions and celery give a homemade taste to a quick and easy chicken soup your family will love, even on a busy weeknight.
4.34 from 3 votes
A white bowl is filled with a creamy chicken and wild rice soup.

Turkey Chili

Use chunks of leftover turkey to make a tomato-based turkey chili with no beans. My kids like to call this "taco soup" because we pair it with shredded cheese and tortilla chips for dunking.

Red Chicken Chili with No Beans
Light and healthy red chicken chili with tons of tomatoes and fresh peppers but no beans. Top it with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and serve with tortilla chips for dunking.
4.43 from 28 votes
A white bowl of tomato-based chicken chili has shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Instant Pot Turkey Soup

Our favorite Instant Pot ground turkey soup calls for ground turkey meat, but you could just build the soup base and use chunks of leftover turkey meat instead.

The tomato based broth and fresh vegetables are a refreshingly different flavor after the rich dishes from Thanksgiving.

Instant Pot Ground Turkey Soup
This rich and hearty ground turkey soup is filled with tender vegetables and tastes like it has been slowcooked all day but takes less than an hour with your Instant Pot. Serve with fresh bread.
4.92 from 50 votes
The finished ground turkey soup is ready to be served from the Instant Pot.

Spicy Caribbean Turkey Soup

Really want to mix up the flavors with something different? My Caribbean chicken soup would be delicious with leftover turkey meat.

BONUS: If you've got leftover buttermilk cornbread from Thanksgiving, you'll use that i this recipe, too.

Caribbean Chicken Soup
This easy chicken soup has a tropical flair with coconut, lime, and hot sauce. Thickened with cornbread and sweet corn, it's a cozy way to channel an island vacation in the heart of winter.
4.80 from 10 votes
A bowl of caribbean chicken soup has fresh cilantro sprinkled over the top and corn bread muffins in the back.

Turkey Pot Pie Soup

Use my budget-friendly version of Ina's chicken pot pie soup with chunks of leftover turkey.

This is great if you happen to have a spare leek on hand after Thanksgiving, but I have an easy substitution if you don't.

Ina's Chicken Pot Pie Soup for the Real World
This budget-friendly version of Ina Garten's chicken pot pie soup recipe is easier to make and more affordable for real world families but still has all the amazing homemade flavor from the original.
4.34 from 3 votes
A bowl of chicken pot pie soup has a croissant on the plate next to it.

Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

If you want to get a whole new dinner out of your leftover turkey meat, you could consider a turkey casserole, a turkey pasta recipe, or even a turkey salad on a bed of greens.

The ideas are nearly endless. If you can't choose right now, I suggest you just freeze the turkey meat and then you've got it handy for one of these easy recipes sometime down the road.

Turkey Wild Rice Casserole

If you want to turn your leftover turkey into a ready-to-bake casserole for your freezer, my chicken wild rice casserole actually has similar flavors to your Thanksgiving dinner and would be a great place to swap the turkey for the chicken.

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
This warm and delicious chicken wild rice casserole has tender chunks of chicken breast in a creamy herb sauce mixed with wild rice and Monterey Jack cheese. Top the baked casserole with crispy bread crumbs and sliced almonds for crunch. You can make it ahead and freeze for a special family dinner down the road.
5 from 1 vote
A white baking dish has chicken wild rice casserole topped with bread crumbs and almonds. A scoop is missing.

Turkey Pot Pie

This lighter chicken pot pie recipe doesn't have a crust, we always just serve it with homemade buttermilk biscuits on the side or a baked pan of refrigerated biscuits for dunking.

If you've got any leftover Thanksgiving breads, you can just use those instead!

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie
This light chicken pot pie has a deceptively creamy base just loaded with tender shredded chicken and vegetables. Easy enough for the busiest of weeknights, this is comfort food you'll feel great about serving the family.
5 from 41 votes
A baking dish with creamy chicken pot pie has phyllo dough on the top.

Dutch Oven Turkey and Dumplings

Needing some more cozy comfort food? Use leftover turkey instead of chicken to make my easy Dutch oven chicken and dumplings recipe.

The good news is, you'll probably have leftover onions, carrots, and celery to use up in this recipe already on hand!

Dutch Oven Chicken and Dumplings
Warm and cozy chicken and dumplings comes together in 25 minutes with a few easy prep tips. This delicious chicken soup has savory fluffy dumplings that cook perfectly right on your stovetop thanks to the design of a Dutch oven.
5 from 1 vote
A Dutch oven is filled with chicken and dumplings with fresh chives sprinkled over the top.

Crispy Wild Rice Salad

My easy crispy rice salad is a great dinner idea that combines leftover turkey, leftover wild rice pilaf, and leftover roasted carrots!

Crispy Rice Salad
Next time you make rice for dinner, double the recipe for leftovers so you can make this delicious and simple salad for another meal.
5 from 2 votes
A serving of crispy rice salad shows green lettuce, roasted carrots, fried wild rice in a white bowl.

Buffalo Turkey Salad

Want something a little more . . . green? There are a lot of starches on the Thanksgiving table, a crisp green buffalo turkey salad might be just what you need.

Buffalo Chicken Salad
This spicy chicken salad makes a great low carb lunch idea but could be turned into an easy family dinner with a side of homemade bread or crunchy croutons.
5 from 1 vote
A bowl filled with green lettuce, topped with buffalo chicken salad, fresh tomatoes, and drizzled with buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing sits in front of a serving bowl of lettuce with mason jars of dressing on the side.

Turkey Taco Pasta Skillet

Use the leftover turkey meat broken into chunks for this savory taco pasta skillet that tastes even better than Hamburger Helper.

Creamy Taco Pasta Skillet
This lightened up one pot recipe is the perfect family-friendly comfort food. Made with lightened up ground turkey, diced tomatoes, and your family's favorite taco seasoning, this easy skillet dinner is always a huge hit.
4.50 from 6 votes
A bowl of elbow noodles coated in a creamy taco mac sauce with ground turkey.

Baked Cheese Tortellini Skillet

Another tomato-based pasta dish, this baked cheese tortellini skillet would be even more delicious with tender chunks of leftover turkey in the mix.

Baked Cheese Tortellini
This easy skillet pasta recipe combines refrigerated cheese tortellini with light ground turkey and a seasoned tomato sauce. Top it with crispy panko bread crumbs and bake it in the oven for a quick take on lasagna.
5 from 1 vote
A bowl of baked tortellini with a slice of garlic bread on the side.

Creamy Pesto Casserole

You could freeze chunks of turkey for using in this creamy pesto casserole with crispy bread crumbs on top closer to your next family holiday.

Pesto Chicken Casserole
This rich and creamy pesto chicken casserole can be prepared in just 20 minutes for an easy weeknight dinner. Simple enough for a weeknight, but festive enough to serve for the holidays.
4.56 from 29 votes
A blue baking dish filled with alfredo pesto pasta and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. A slotted spoon has scooped out a serving.

Turkey Enchiladas

My quick prep chicken enchiladas recipe uses a rotisserie chicken, leftover turkey meat is the perfect substitution!

Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken enchiladas are always a hit with kids who love Mexican food but they usually take a lot of time to prepare. This fast and easy recipe comes together quickly with several busy-parent shortcuts.
4.97 from 51 votes
A baking pan filled with tomato sauce covered chicken enchiladas.

Turkey Tetrazzini (No Mushrooms!)

My freezer-friendly chicken tetrazzini casserole is a great pick if you want to turn the leftover turkey into a ready-to-eat dinner for later.

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
This rich and creamy easy chicken tetrazzini casserole is a big hit with kids. Creamy pasta with shredded chicken and sweet peas is a freezer-friendly casserole you'll make over and over. A “mommy meals” staple.
4.86 from 7 votes
A blue baking dish has a spoon scooping out a serving of chicken tetrazzini pasta with peas.

Barbeque Turkey Pizza

Use chunks of leftover turkey to build my BBQ chicken pizza with red onions, cilantro, and your favorite barbecue sauce.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Homemade barbecue chicken pizza on an easy fresh pizza dough crust takes only a few minutes to prepare with these shortcuts. Use your favorite storebought BBQ sauce and seasoned chicken tenderloins for the most delicious pizza this Friday night.
5 from 1 vote
A baked BBQ chicken pizza has been sliced for serving.

Spinach Alfredo Turkey Pizza

Got some baby spinach hanging around after the holiday, too? Pair it with the leftover turkey meat for this easy spinach alfredo pizza.

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza
This rich and creamy alfredo base pizza is a great way to use up a little leftover alfredo sauce and cooked chicken. Chop up some fresh baby spinach and add shredded mozzarella and parmesan for a homemade pizza everyone will love.
5 from 1 vote
A homemade chicken spinach alfredo pizza has been sliced and the pieces pulled apart.

Pepper Jack Turkey Quiche

This pepper jack turkey quiche was made just for your leftover turkey! It is one of my favorite easy quiche variations.

Pepper Jack Turkey Quiche
This spicy pepper jack turkey quiche is a festive addition to your holiday brunch menu. The pretty red and green peppers are the perfect palette for Christmas morning.
4.50 from 2 votes
The baked quiche sits on a red and white checked kitchen towel.

Leftover Turkey Appetizers

If you're hosting company all Thanksgiving weekend long, it doesn't hurt to have a few easy turkey appetizers up your sleeve for friends coming over to watch the football game or enjoy a Christmas movie together.

From turkey dips and spread to turkey flatbreads and more, here are a few of my favorites.

Turkey Taquitos

I use ground turkey to build our baked turkey taquitos but leftover turkey meat would work just perfectly and save you a bit of time in the prep.

These easy taquitos can also be frozen if you want to make a batch for later.

Baked Turkey Taquitos
These baked turkey taquitos are a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Light ground turkey seasoned with taco spices is rolled up with diced tomatoes, peppers, and shredded cheese. Baked to a crisp in minutes, they are perfect for dunking in sour cream and salsa.
5 from 4 votes
A platter of rolled-up turkey taquitos sits next to a bowl of sour cream and a bowl of salsa.

Buffalo Turkey Dip

Turn the leftover turkey into a fun football party appetizer with my easy buffalo chicken dip recipe.

Love these flavors? You could also make my buffalo chicken flatbread with turkey, too.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
This chunky buffalo chicken dip is loaded with meat and over the top with flavor. Spicy buffalo wing sauce heats up a thick and creamy ranch flavored base and is baked to a golden, bubbly perfection. Serve with tortilla chips or pita wedges, and crispy celery.
5 from 7 votes
A baking dish filled with buffalo chicken dip sits next to a plate of celery and a bowl of tortilla chips.

Oriental Layer Dip

This Oriental chicken layer dip has a tangy sweet and sour sauce, leftover turkey would fit right in with the sweet carrots and green onions.

Oriental Chicken Layer Dip
This sweet and spicy layered Asian dip has a homemade sweet and sour sauce, savory cashews, and spicy green onions over a cream cheese base.
4.58 from 7 votes
A plate of layered Asian dip is served next to butter crackers.
The photo collage shows the turkey in a roasting pan next to four photos of recipes to use up the leftovers with


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