8 Reasons to WANT Leftover Turkey This Year!

Do you dread having to figure out what to do with all that turkey? Or are you one that likes having cooked meat on hand for a myriad of menus? Need some new suggestions? Here are a few ideas you may not have thought of… eight time-tested, family-approved recipes that will make you glad you got a big turkey!

I’ve given you the basics for each recipe, and the ingredients I like to use, but these are easily customizable to your family’s preferences. Like what add-ins to use in the salads, or how many veggies to put in the soup, or what seasonings to use. Approximate servings are given, but you can also easily adjust the quantity to match your family size.

To me, recipes are for ideas, suggestions, and guidelines. I almost never follow them exactly. So make adjustments as necessary and be creative!!

Here ya go!

Shepherd’s Pie

·1 ½ cups diced turkey

·3 cups leftover cooked cut-up veggies…whatever you like.

·A bit of turkey broth or gravy to moisten (did you know that cauliflower cooked in broth and pureed makes a wonderful paleo gravy?!)

·2 cups mashed potatoes

Mix turkey, veggies, and broth or gravy and pour into an 8x11 or 9x13 casserole dish.

Top with mashed potatoes.

Bake at 350 for about a half hour or until potatoes start to brown.

Serves 6-8.


~You can add seasonings to the veggie mix or the potatoes if desired, but when using leftovers they are likely already seasoned.

~Add shredded cheese during last 5-10 minutes of baking

~Try using mashed sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Yummy!!

Turkey ‘n’ Greens Salad

· 1 ½ cups diced turkey

· 5-6 cups mixed greens

· 1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries

· ¼ cup diced red onion

· ½ walnuts, pecans, or cashews (I like them toasted in butter, but that’s optional)

· 1 diced avocado (optional)

· Any other diced or shredded raw veggies you like


· 1 cup olive oil

· ½ cup vinegar or lemon juice

· about ½ cup maple syrup or equivalent of other sweetener (I use a combination of maple syrup and stevia)

· 1 ½ tsp salt

· herbs and seasonings of your choice – I like 1-2 tsp. each of basil, dill, cilantro, parsley

· a dash or two of black pepper

Mix well, let set for at least an hour or two to dissolve and meld flavors. Mix or shake well, pour over salad and toss.

Serves 6-8 (depending on whether you have salad lovers or not!)

Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash

· 2 Tbsp. coconut oil

· 3 cups shredded sweet potatoes

· ½ cup each of diced onions and peppers

· 1 cup diced turkey

· ¼ tsp. salt

Saute sweet potatoes, onions, and peppers in oil until soft.

Add turkey and salt and continue to cook until heated through.

Season if desired, with about ½ tsp of poultry seasoning and/or basil.

Serves 3-4.

Turkey Salad

· 2 cups diced turkey

· 2 Tbsp finely chopped onion

· Enough mayo to moisten (you’ll probably need a little more if using white meat, less if using dark meat)

· 1 tsp, mustard

· ¼ tsp. salt

· 1-2 Tbsp Elm Run Farms maple syrup, (or use honey or equivalent of other sweetener)

Mix all ingredients together and serve in sandwiches or with crackers.

Optional add-ins:

Relish or chopped pickles

Chopped celery or other veggies

Shredded cheese

Diced hard-boiled eggs

Use halved grapes or chopped apples to sweeten instead of sugar or sweetener

Serves 4-6, depending on how many add-ins you use.

BBQ Turkey Sandwiches

· 2 cups diced turkey

· ½ cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce (or try our recipe below)

Mix turkey and BBQ sauce in a saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until it reaches desired temp.

Serve with your favorite sandwich buns.

Serves 4-6.

Homemade Maple BBQ Sauce:

· 2 Tbsp butter

· ½ cup chopped onion (or 1 Tbsp dehydrated onion)

· 1 ½ cup ketchup

· 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

· ¼ cup Elm Run Farms Maple Syrup

· 2 tsp. lemon juice

· 1 tsp. prepared mustard

Melt butter, add onion and cook until onion is soft.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes.

Add a few drops of liquid smoke or a little smoked paprika, if desired.

Turkey/Butternut Squash Soup

· 1 onion, chopped

· 1 Tbsp butter

· 4 cups (approx) butternut squash puree*

· 1/4 of a small head of cabbage, shredded

· 1 cup of diced turkey

· 1 pint of turkey broth

· ½ tsp each (or to taste) thyme, sage, basil

· 1 tsp salt

· Dash or two of pepper - to taste

Sautee onion in butter.

Add squash puree and cabbage, cook until cabbage is soft.

Add turkey and broth and seasonings, heat for a few more minutes until hot.

Makes about 2 quarts.

*To make squash puree:

1. Cut a squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds.

2. Place squash cut side up on a baking sheet and spread with butter, coconut oil, or other fat of your choice.

3. Bake at 350 for an hour or until soft.

4. Scoop out the flesh and process in a blender or food processor, adding a little water, broth, or milk if it’s too thick.

This puree freezes well, so if you have freezer space, make plenty of it in the fall when squash is plentiful!

Turkey Vegetable Soup

· 2-3 quarts turkey broth (use part water if broth is strong)

· 6-10 cups (depending on how thick you like the soup) assorted vegetables (start with onions, carrots, green beans...add whatever else you like – cabbage, squash, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)

· 2-3 cups diced turkey

· Salt and seasonings to taste…I like basil, sage, poultry seasoning, onion powder, garlic, parsley, etc

In a 6 quart kettle, begin heating broth over medium-high heat, adding vegetables (longest cooking ones like carrots and green beans first), turkey, and seasonings. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-45 minutes until veggies are soft.

Makes 5-6 quarts.

Curried Turkey

· 2 Tbsp. fat or oil

· 1 small onion, chopped

· ½ tsp. minced garlic

· 2-3 tsp. curry powder

· 2 cups turkey broth

· 3 cups diced turkey

· ½ tsp. salt

Saute onion and garlic in oil.

Combine curry powder with about ¼ cup of the broth, add to skillet, continue to cook 2 minutes.

(This produces a mild curry, you can add more later if you like.)

Add remaining broth and the turkey and salt.

Simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.

If desired, thicken a bit by adding 1-2 Tbsp of cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or flour to 1/3 cup water and adding that mixture to the curry. Continue to cook for a few minutes until it thickens.

Serve over rice, noodles, zoodles, or toast.

About 4 servings.

Sandy ResslerComment