The Best Ways to Use Your Leftover Turkey

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Photo: Halfbakedharvest.com

Photo: Halfbakedharvest.com

Ahhh, Thanksgiving … A glorious day in the year that we associate with the feast of all feasts. I love spending the day with my family and reflecting on all the things that I am thankful for, but also I really love the food. The thought of those warm smells wafting out of the kitchen and flooding the whole house is enough to bring me to pre-Thanksgiving-tears-of-joy status. After a long morning of cooking and finally sitting down and devouring a loaded plate, I quickly drift into that unavoidable sleepy state. Feel me? I know you do!

The best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. With leftovers, you have another chance to wake up and relive Thanksgiving the next day. Keep reading to see some of our favorite go-to recipes for how to use your leftover turkey to its fullest potential.

1. Gravy Made With Turkey Giblets

Photo: Thekitchn.com

Photo: Thekitchn.com

Before we get to the leftovers, it’s important to remember that you can use every part of the turkey during the cooking process. Save all of the giblets so that you can make homemade gravy to be served with your meal (and then with your leftovers). This recipe isn’t for those who dislike getting down and dirty, but if you’re up for some slicing and dicing then try it out and impress your guests with traditional gravy.

2. Turkey Bone Broth

Photo: Mountainmamacooks.com

Photo: Mountainmamacooks.com

We’ll get to the leftovers soon (I promise), but you should make note to save the bones from your turkey to make a healthy bone broth. This stock recipe is especially easy since it’s done in a slow cooker. Toss everything in, and let the magic happen. You can freeze this and save it for any future recipes, or just enjoy it right away- it’s up to you!

3. Turkey Shepherds Pie

Photo: Kitchenconfidante.com

Photo: Kitchenconfidante.com

It’s likely that your guests won’t be able to finish off all of that turkey you cooked up, so go ahead and reap the benefits over the next few days! You have all of the ingredients and spices for this shepherds pie dish already, so why not whip it up?! A perfect combination of turkey, mashed potatoes and cheese will keep you cozy all weekend long.

4. Turkey Frittata

Photo: Skinnytaste.com

Photo: Skinnytaste.com

It’s Friday morning after Thanksgiving and you’re not sick of Turkey, yet? Of course you’re not, which is why this turkey frittata recipe has you covered. Crack some eggs in a pan along with your favorite chopped veggies and some shredded turkey and you’ll have a protein filled breakfast in no time!

5. Turkey and Cranberry Monte Crisco Sandwich

Photo: Noblepig.com

Photo: Noblepig.com

You like mixing sweet with savory? Me too. This is your typical next-day turkey and cranberry sandwich, except the bread is basically French toast. I don’t know how I’ve gotten through so many years without trying this, but 2015 is definitely the time. You simply construct your sandwich, soak it in a mixture of milk and eggs, throw it in a pan and cook until it turns golden brown. When it’s done, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top!

6. Turkey Pot Pie Soup

Photo: Handletheheat.com

Photo: Handletheheat.com

Pot pies are fall and winter staples for me. They’re the perfect way to warm up after a chilly day, and they fill you up perfectly. If you don’t have time to roll out the pie dough and make a traditional pot pie, skip the crust and make a soup version instead. It’s a simple recipe that’ll help you use up those extra Thanksgiving ingredients in a hurry.

7. New England Turkey Pasty

Photo: Afamilyfeast.com

Photo: Afamilyfeast.com

In case you didn’t know, a pasty is a meat pie baked in dough. That description alone intrigues me enough to say, “Yes, please,” but this recipe has my mouth watering. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cheese all wrapped up and baked in dough is a perfect treat for any lingering guests!

8. Turkey Tamale Pie

Photo: Halfbakedharvest.com

Photo: Halfbakedharvest.com

This turkey tamale pie recipe puts the perfect twist on your traditional Thanksgiving meal. If you’re bored of the food from the day before, introduce some new flavors like polenta, black beans, paprika and cumin to change it up. The recipe is simple and will have your kitchen smelling all sorts of good!

9. Turkey Tortilla Soup

Photo: Thekitchn.com

Photo: Thekitchn.com

While on the subject of delicious flavors, let’s talk about this turkey tortilla soup. Chipotle chiles, avocado, tortillas and queso fresco help this recipe reach its full potential. While there isn’t an overwhelming amount of ingredients, this soup turns out tasting completely different from your meal the day before.

10. Turkey and Cranberry Salad Sandwich

Photo: Insidebrucrewlife.com

Photo: Insidebrucrewlife.com

I’m a fan of chicken salad, but I’ve never tried a turkey salad sandwich. This no-cook leftover option is super easy to put together and just as tasty. Mix your leftover shredded turkey with pecans, cranberries, apples, a mix of mayonnaise and greek yogurt, and you’re ready to serve it right on your favorite roll or piece of bread.

11. Turkey and Mashed Potato Chowder

Photo: Bakedbyrachel.com

Photo: Bakedbyrachel.com

This turkey and mashed potato chowder recipe is another one that goes in your slow cooker, so I know you’re all listening up! The general flavors of this one will be similar to the pot pie soup, but it’s going to be a lot heavier and creamier. Yes, adding stuffing into this creation is even an option.

What is your favorite way to enjoy your leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Let us know in the comments so we can try them!