Steadfast FinancesRestaurant Meals You Can Make at Home with Leftover Turkey

Restaurant Meals You Can Make at Home with Leftover Turkey

Filed in Frugal Living , Good Eats , Saving Money 2 comments

Considering the popularity of my last post on restaurant meals you can make at home for half price, and that most of us have a 10 pounds of leftover turkey sitting in the frig, I thought posting a few of my favorite frugal and tasty leftover turkey recipes would make for some great day after Thanksgiving menu ideas.

Plus, if you successfully fought through the Black Friday crowds and came away with your discounted booty without being upsold, any one of these quick and easy dishes might be exactly what you’re looking for.


Spicy White Bean and Chicken (Turkey) Chili

What’s better on a cold winter day that a hot bowl of steaming chili? (Okay, bourbon might be better but that’s another post.)

I love any excuse to make a good, hearty, meaty chili, but this recipe from is a bit different than traditional chili since it calls for chicken breasts (white meat) as well as Great Northern beans (any white beans should do). The non-traditional colors in this chili dish gives it a unique visual appeal, so if you’ve got a few finicky eaters in the house, this chili looks a little more appetizing than your normal ground beef and kidney beans chili.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Mmm… Parmesan cheese! Nom nom nom.

If you’re a cheese lover and looking to break up the monotony of turkey and mashed potatoes leftover classics (Thanksgiving dinners can turn into a snooze fest), then Turkey Tetrazinni is right up your alley.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s a restaurant style meal anyone can make for pennies on the dollar since you already have lots of leftover turkey. Most family kitchens have dried pasta and milk as everyday staples, so all you’ll need is a small block of Parmesan cheese.

Chicken Salad Sliders (Sandwiches)

Good chicken salad recipes are tough to find since the recipes can vary by region, but being a southerner, I have to say Paula Deen’s recipe is among my favorites. I’ve made this basic dish several times, and it’s a great way to put excess chicken or turkey to good use.

In my opinion, this is probably the best way to put a spin on a leftover turkey sandwich. Plus, it’s great finger food if you’re having guests over during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Leftover Turkey Curry and Spinach

Probably one of the least likely recipes that you would consider making with your leftover turkey (unless your family hails from India), but that just makes it even more delicious.

It’s another classic, and healthy, minimalist dish from Mark Bittman with few distractions from the basic curry flavors. Probably takes about 15 minutes to make, and might require a trip to the market to pick up some relatively uncommon ingredients in the American kitchen (coconut milk, ginger, etc.), but I’m sure it’s worth the extra effort.

Plus, it beats paying $10 to $20 per person at the restaurant.

Green Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas

Maybe I’m spoiled, but I like to take the extra effort an enchilada requires versus the standard burrito or wrap. I just think the sauce makes the tortilla taste better, and the cheese yields a better flavor.

You will notice in the video that Chef John uses a rotisserie roasted chicken in this recipe, but since you recently spent several hours roasting a turkey, it works equally as well in my humble opinion.

If you prefer the white meat over dark meat, or have family members who refuse to eat dark meat because it’s fatty, this is the perfect recipe to sneak it into their food without them knowing about it. More than likely, they’ll gobble this stuff down proclaiming how awesome you are in the kitchen. Then, later that evening, you can hit them with the truth. Try not to smirk as they try to wiggle out of the “I hate dark meat” argument.

What about you?

Got a favorite recipe to dispose of all your leftover turkey without throwing it in the trash? Feel free to add it below? Or if you try any of these recipes, or plan on adding one of them to your menu, be sure to drop a comment below. Always love to hear from readers or Google’rs who go recipe fishing for new dishes.

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Posted by CJ   @   27 November 2009 2 comments
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Dec 22, 2010
3:43 am

Hay, Trying to view this website on an iphone and am having hassles. I can’t get the menu to load correctly. Just thought you should know, Cheers!

Dec 22, 2010
10:03 am
#2 Matt SF :

Thanks, I’ll look into it.

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