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Four Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers That Won’t Bore Your Tastebuds

Four Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers That Won’t Bore Your Tastebuds

Hola Mi Gente,

As we head into Thanksgiving week, I’ve been thinking and dreaming of ways to repurpose Turkey. As much as I love Thanksgiving and cooking for it, I am also kind of the worst because I actually hate eating leftovers. Don’t get me wrong: all the food we eat for Thanksgiving is wonderful–but after the third time around I start to resent roast Turkey. What can I say? My tastebuds were created for diversity.

With this in mind (and armed with the knowledge that being a food blogger means eating Turkey pretty much all through November), I decided to try to come up with a few recipes that use your leftover Turkey, but that don’t necessarily taste like Thanksgiving dinner. As I type, I still have about 3 pounds of turkey in my fridge leftover from last week when I cooked 3 Turkeys in one day (if you’re wondering, yes I am insane).

These recipes call for a little bit of mess after your Thanksgiving feasting–but for a bounty of leftover meals and flavors, and minimizing your food waste. So lets talk about the dirty business of using ALL of your Turkey. You aren’t done with your bird once the white meat is all carved away, there is still SO much good meat left. If your crew isn’t about eating the dark meat, you’re still going to want to save it because there are so many good uses for it. Enlist your least queesy family members or friends, and with gloves, set about tearing off all the little bits of meat on the underside of your bird. Attack the wings, thighs, and drumsticks (in my family there are fierce battles over who gets to eat these because we’re all about the dark meat). You want your bird to look like a naked carcass when you’re done (so it’s all prepped and ready to make bone broth).

Once that’s all said and done, come back here and get to making one (or all!) of these recipes.


For The Morning After


It’s no secret that after eating Thanksgiving dinner, most of us stay in a food coma for a good while. When you wake up the morning after Thanksgiving, I can almost guarantee you your body is going to be asking for a few vegetables, when that happens this Turkey Breakfast Hash is the perfect remedy! Full of flavor AND nutrients, it’s sure to give your body a refreshing start.

Turkey Breakfast Hash

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes


all the ingredients from our basic Perfect Skillet Potatoes

1.5 C Shredded Leftover Turkey

1 C Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

1/2 Bag of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Salad Mix (red cabbage, brusselsprouts, shaved broccoli stems, kale)

Lemon Juice and Salt to Taste

1 Rainbow Carrot, Sliced

2 Radishes, Sliced

Fresh Rosemary

4 Eggs, Fried


  1. Make a batch of Perfect Skillet Potatoes, and add Turkey in at the end. Add to a bowl. In the same skillet, add the salad mix and tomatoes with lemon juice and salt and sauté until the vegetables are soft (about 3-4 minutes). Mix in to the potato mix with carrot and radish. In a small pan, fry your eggs and serve with the hash.


For A Good Digestive Soup


This Turkey Caldo is AMAZING. If you happen to have some bone broth (any other broth will do fine, too) that makes this soup EXTRA rich and soothing. A play on our regular Chicken Caldo, this light soup is sure to warm you up and fall light on your overworked digestive system.

Turkey Caldo

Serves: 6

Time: 25 Minutes


1.5 Quarts of Bone Broth OR Turkey/Chicken Stock

2 C Shredded Turkey

2 Russet Potatoes, Chopped

3 Tomatoes, Diced

2 C Chopped Red Cabbage

3 Carrots, Chopped

Salt to Taste

Suggested Toppings/Sides: Rice, Radish, Cilantro, Avocado, Lime Juice


Combine all ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add salt to taste and serve with suggested toppings and sides.


For a Heartier Soup


This Turkey Lentil Soup is a delicious one-pot meal! Add some toasted bread with butter for a full, delicious meal and you’ll be cozying up on the couch for a movie marathon with your crew with only one dirty pot to show for it!

Turkey Lentil Soup

Serves: 8

Time: 45 minutes


2 TBSP Olive Oil

3 Carrots, Finely Diced

1 Onion, Finely Diced

2 Stalks of Celery, Finely Diced

1 LB Green Lentils

2 Bay Leaves

1.5 Quarts Bone Broth/Stock

1 16 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes

2.5  C Shredded Turkey

Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves until the onion is translucent (3-5 minutes). Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once soup is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer an cover pot until lentils are fully cooked (about 25 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste, serve warm with bread and sprinkling of cheese and enjoy!


For An Intense Turkey Taco Craving


I mean, come on! You didn’t think I could leave tacos out of the mix did you? These flavors are 🔥🔥🔥 and are the perfect cure for your last batch of leftovers for when you need a meal that tastes NOTHING like Thanksgiving dinner.

Al Pastor Turkey Tacos

Serves: 4

Time: 20 Minutes


2 TBSP Olive Oil

2 C Shredded Turkey

1 Packet of Goya Achiote + Culantro seasoning (this is what it looks like, it’s a coriander + annato seasoning blend that tastes AMAZING), you can find it in the Latin American section of your store. It is sometimes kept close to the canned beans.

1.5 C Red Cabbage

Lime Juice and Salt to Taste

Tortillas, Cilantro, Radish, and Queso Fresco for Garnish


  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add in Turkey and Goya seasoning and sauté until fully warm and blended. Remove turkey from pan and add in red cabbage. Sauté until soft and season with lime juice and salt (it will pick up residual flavor from the Goya seasoning). Remove from heat and assemble tacos!


I hope these recipes make you look forward to leftovers, and to using every last bit of your turkey! Don’t forget to also save your carcass to make bone broth afterwards. Be on the lookout on Black Friday for the instant pot to be on sale, and if you haven’t thought about becoming an Amazon Prime member before, now might just be the perfect time to sign up! With 2-day free shipping on Prime items, you could get your IP in the perfect time to make your turkey broth.


Love & Un-Boring Leftovers,



Mary-Beth is a creative, food-obsessed, Georgia transplant living in the PNW. She is proudly and fiercely Latina. You can usually find her wandering her house in pajamas staging the next social justice revolution in her head, or eating her way through Portland with her favorite people. Her life is a constant juggling of chasing joy, learning about rest/work balance, pursuing justice, and loving her crew deeply. Also tacos. Her life is full of really good tacos.

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