Leftover Turkey: While we don't want the bird to go to waste, we do prefer that too much not go to waist.

I roasted a turkey and need some ideas as what others favor for leftover turkey. We are a family of two and our only dietary restriction in that we are calorie conscious.

  • Posted by: TandA
  • May 1, 2012


ellenl May 3, 2012
google "carribbean turkey soup" for a recipe we like alot.
LLStone May 2, 2012
WinnieAB's pho is really good. My husband asks for it about once a week in the winter. http://www.food52.com/recipes/1919_turkey_pho
POTATO May 2, 2012
I had a great salad at Birdbath Bakery in NYC the other day -- it used chicken but turkey would be just as good if not better. It was a salad of what I rememeber to be radicchio and watercress (i think watercress, could be just about any green),and a just a few chickpeas, tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. Birdbath topped it with very very thin slices of chicken (turkey) that was sprinkled with balsamic and finished with shaved pieces of grana padano. SO good I can't stop thinking about it!
healthierkitchen May 2, 2012
there was a contest on just this subject a couple of years ago: http://www.food52.com/contests/81_your_best_recipe_for_turkey_leftovers

I have made lastnightsdinner's pozole which is delicious and I have had winnieab's pho and aargersi's jambalaya on my list since then!

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno May 1, 2012

First off, freeze what you don't think you'll be using over the next few days.

For many people, the day-after-Thanksgiving cold turkey sandwich is more revered than the main meal itself. An open-face hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy is something I always look forward to with relish (cranberry relish that is). And I always make stock which then turns into soup and pot pies.

I can hear my friend Pierino sighing right now but these are all comfort foods from my family growing up. In any case, here's a suggestion that could change even Pierino's thoughts about the big bird: Dark meat turkey and cranberry ravioli with shallot cream sauce. My version was inspired by this one:


The whole meal will only take about an hour from start to finish so don't be intimidated if you haven't made ravioli before or think it's beyond your capabilities. It's not -- check out Giada's shortcut. (Also, she starts with fresh ground turkey, simply substitute your roast turkey.)

Remember turkey is a classic Mexican ingredient. Plenty of inspiration there.

Now I know you didn't ask for this advice but take it from a 150-pound chef who absolutely loves to eat his own cooking: A smaller portion of good-tasting high calorie food has the same number of calories as a large portion of less-satisfying low-calorie food.

pierino May 1, 2012
Pierino never groans at ChefOno's comments because they are always informed and thoughtful. In fact pierino is really good at roasting the Thanksgiving bird but his favorite part of that bird is the skin and "the pope's nose."

As to traditional Mexican uses of turkey, it's not founded on your supermarket Butterball. Read the label and you will see that there is a really high water content which adds weight. Mexican turkey is scrawny and mean and not some big fat slob. And it's almost all dark meat.

Perhaps we are grouchier today because California's incredibly stupid ban on foie gras went into effect. Well intentioned but ridiculously stupid.
petitbleu May 1, 2012
Turkey banh mi! A turkey sandwich on a baguette with a little mayo, shredded pickled carrot, cucumber, daikon radish, and cilantro.
SeaJambon May 1, 2012
I disagree on turkey being most boring -- it is really a blank canvas SCREAMING for attention. So, go in some odd but delightful ways -- one of our family favorites is to shred the meat, reheat with spices (typically, a little sauteed onion, and taco type seasonings) and use in place of shredded meat in tacos, burritos, ... or, shred, reheat with your favorite BBQ sauce and make "pulled turkey" sandwiches. Of course, there's always turkey soup or turkey tetrazzini or turkey a la king but remembering that it is a pretty inoffensive flavor and can easily be enhanced with appropriate spices and you can go in whole new directions! :)
pierino May 1, 2012
Unfortunately turkey is the most boring member of the poultry family. An old school favorite is Turkey Tetrazzini which goes back to San Francisco and named in honor of a visiting opera singer. There are plenty of recipes. Look for one that matches your calorie threshold.
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