26 Ways to Transform Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Into a Delicious Meal

Overgrown Garden Turkey Melt
Photo: Andy Lyons

Get this: Leftover turkey recipes can be even better than Thanksgiving dinner itself! Try these turkey soups, cheesy casseroles, piled-high sandwiches, turkey salads, and more to put Thanksgiving leftovers to good use.

01 of 26

Turkey Cranberry Sandwiches

Turkey Cranberry Sandwiches
Blaine Moats

Shred your leftover turkey and there's no limit to the number of recipes you can make. This turkey sandwich also features leftover cranberry sauce, because the holiday season only comes around once a year, so you might as well keep celebrating.

02 of 26

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Blaine Moats

Not only is this a delicious and simple leftover turkey recipe, but you can add in other Thanksgiving leftovers, too! Mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and gravy make up this delicious leftover turkey casserole—simply swap the ingredients from our shepherd's pie recipe with turkey, potatoes, and other dishes borrowed from your Thanksgiving menu.

03 of 26

Peppery Turkey BLT

Peppery Turkey BLT
Blaine Moats

Add peppered bacon, potato chips, and mayo to leftover turkey for an easy, but satisfying turkey sandwich. Salty, savory, creamy...this Thanksgiving leftover sandwich has it all.

04 of 26

Creamy Pasta with Turkey and Crispy Crumbs

Creamy Pasta with Turkey and Crispy Crumbs
Carson Downing

Turkey leftovers get a delicious makeover in this easy pasta dish. A homemade alfredo sauce, capers, and crispy breadcrumbs transform shredded turkey into a restaurant-worthy dish in just 35 minutes.

05 of 26

Sesame-Ginger Turkey Wraps

Sesame-Ginger Turkey Wraps
Andy Lyons

Each of these tortilla-wrapped snacks is full of bold Asian flavors for a unique way to use up your leftover turkey. Top each turkey-filled wrap with broccoli cole slaw for an unexpected crunch in every bite.

06 of 26

Nacho Turkey Casserole

Nacho Turkey Casserole
Jason Donnelly

If you like nachos with all the trimmings, you'll love this dish. With just seven ingredients and 20 minutes of prep time, this make-ahead meal made with leftover turkey is also convenient.

07 of 26

Sloppy Turkey and Veggie Sandwiches

Sloppy Turkey and Veggie Sandwiches
Scott Little

Shred your leftover turkey to make these sloppy sandwiches that adults and kids won't be able to get enough of. A creamy goat cheese-yogurt sauce mixed with garlic and herbs adds flavor to every bite of turkey leftovers.

08 of 26

Garden Turkey Melt

Overgrown Garden Turkey Melt
Andy Lyons

This isn't your typical deli sub! Our garden turkey melt is one turkey sandwich that doesn't slack on flavor. Artichoke hearts, garlic, and fresh rosemary do all the heavy lifting in this easy Thanksgiving leftovers recipe.

09 of 26

Cran-Turkey Enchiladas

Cran-Turkey Enchiladas
Kim Cornelison

This crowd-pleaser makes the most of leftover turkey and cranberry sauce—and it's got all of your favorite leftover turkey enchilada fixings, including black beans, salsa, Monterey Jack cheese, and onion.

10 of 26

Smoked Turkey Panini

Smoked Turkey Panini
Andy Lyons

This mile-high turkey sandwich gets a fresh spin with thick slices of country Italian bread and bruschetta topping. We'll show you how to create a melty leftover turkey sandwich using to skillets.

11 of 26

Turkey and Apricot Bread Salad

Turkey and Apricot Bread Salad
Andy Lyons

Toss dried apricots, torn whole grain bread, and a simple oil dressing into a spinach and turkey salad for a fresh, delicious lunch. The recipe may say that dried cranberries are optional, but at this time of year they're basically required.

12 of 26

Turkey, Bacon, and Apple Club

Turkey, Bacon and Apple Club
Andy Lyons

This triple-decker leftover turkey sandwich is so easy to whip up that you'll be willing to make it the day after Thanksgiving. Just 15 minutes, and you're done!

13 of 26

New World Chili

New World Chili
Andy Lyons

Fresh pumpkin, dried cranberries, and jalapeno peppers add a pleasing twist to slow-simmering leftover turkey chili. Let it stew while you catch up on Netflix or the sports matches on TV.

14 of 26

Italian Turkey Salad

Italian Turkey Salad
Kritsada Panichgul

The dressing on this leftover turkey salad is what really stands out—combine grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Instead of deli meat, use leftover Thanksgiving turkey, of course.

15 of 26

Turkey-Avocado Wraps

Turkey-avocado wraps
Jay Wilde

Turn leftover turkey into a tasty Tex-Mex lunch in these simple tortilla wraps starring creamy avocados and spicy chipotle peppers. Make the corn salsa up to 24 hours before serving.

16 of 26

Turkey-Spinach Toss

Turkey Spinach Toss
Andy Lyons

Pepper-seasoned turkey breast, deli ham, and juicy oranges top fresh wilted spinach in this light lunch. Cooking juices make a tasty dressing for this leftover turkey breast recipe.

17 of 26

Chef's Salad

Chef's salad
Blaine Moats

We show you how to make the best variation of this classic salad, which tosses together with your favorite dressing and lots of fresh veggies and meats in just 30 minutes.

18 of 26

Anytime Tacos

Anytime Tacos
Kritsada Panichgul

Turn the day after Thanksgiving into a fiesta with these easy tacos. With leftover turkey and kitchen staples, such as frozen corn and bottled salsa, the tacos take just 25 minutes to make.

19 of 26

Turkey-Bacon Salad

Turkey-Bacon Salad
Andy Lyons

This easy leftover turkey recipe requires just a few ingredients, plus a homemade mustard-dill dressing. Bacon and snap peas top romaine lettuce in this hearty (and low-cal) turkey salad recipe.

20 of 26

Herbed Turkey and Waffles

Herbed Turkey and Waffles
Andy Lyons

A creamy sauce featuring Parmesan cheese, roasted turkey, thyme, and sage tops these homemade cornmeal waffles. Cranberry relish makes a tart and delicious topper.

21 of 26

Turkey Frame Soup

Turkey Frame Soup
Andy Lyons

Whole wheat pasta, turnips, carrots, parsnips, and beans simmer for a little more than an hour in a zesty tomato broth to create this satisfying soup. It's the best way to make the most of every single piece of your leftover turkey.

22 of 26

The Anything Frittata

The Anything Frittata
Scott Little

Serve a next-day brunch you and your out-of-town guests will love. This turkey-and-veggie frittata takes just 25 minutes to make.

23 of 26

24-Hour Chicken Fiesta Salad

24-Hour Chicken Fiesta Salad
Marty Baldwin

Layers of greens, turkey, tomatoes, jicama, cheese, and beans topped with tortilla chips and served with a chili dressing make a texturally interesting Mexican-inspired turkey salad. Layer the ingredients in the evening and chill overnight. Open the fridge come dinnertime and voila! You've got yourself a beautiful and filling meal.

24 of 26

Turkey Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai
Kritsada Panichgul

Pad Thai is Thailand's most famous noodle dish. Whether they're called banh pho (in Vietnamese) or sen mee (in Thai), rice stick noodles are still rice stick noodles. Don't soak the noodles too long or they'll break when cooked. And while chicken might be the typical option, swapping in leftover Thanksgiving turkey will put a delicious spin on a delicious recipe.

25 of 26

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder
Andy Lyons

Ideal for a crisp night, this rich and creamy chowder is whipped up from just six ingredients, and is on the table in just 20 minutes. Recipes for leftover turkey don't come much easier than this!

26 of 26

Cobb Salad Hoagies

Cobb Salad Hoagies
Kim Cornelison

A Cobb salad is a classic for a reason: fabulous flavor. Put its creamy avocado, crisp bacon, tomatoes, blue cheese, lettuce, hard-cooked eggs, and chicken on a roll and have it to go. This time of year, the classic turns into turkey salad sandwiches with no more effort.

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