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25+ Leftover Turkey Recipes

After all your hard work making the perfect turkey, use one of these inventive recipes and make the best of your leftovers. Believe it or not, you may like your leftovers more than your Thanksgiving dinner!

collage of leftover turkey recipes
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Best Leftover Turkey Recipes

Every year after Thanksgiving, we’re always left with lots of leftover roasted turkey or smoked turkey from our Thanksgiving menu. While we sometimes just heat it up again, it’s also fun to whip up a whole new dish using leftovers.

Turkey is a surprisingly versatile meat. From soups to salads to one-pot meals, there are hundreds of ways to use it.

You’ll find lots of options to choose from on this list – most of which are easy, quick and made with simple ingredients. All are so delicious! So take a look at this amazing list and start cooking your favorites today.

Tips for Using Leftover Turkey

  • White vs. dark meat. The turkey breast is considered the white meat, while areas like the wings, legs and thighs are considered to be dark meat. White meat is more lean, however the extra fat on the dark meat makes it a bit more flavorful. Both taste great, so using a mix of each will give you a good balance of flavors.
  • Use the carcass too! It’s not all about the leftover meat. Save your turkey bones and use them to make homemade turkey stock for your leftover turkey soup. You can also use the drippings to make turkey gravy to serve over Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes!
  • Carving. When carving your turkey, slice a few larger pieces from the breast to save for making turkey sandwiches the next day. That way it fits on the bread perfectly in just one slice!
  • Reheating leftover turkey. To reheat turkey in the oven without drying it out add a splash of water or broth and cover your baking dish with aluminum foil. Reheat at a low temp. The foil prevents moisture from escaping and the low temp prevents flavor loss.


What can I do with extra turkey?

Turkey is such a versatile meat, so there are plenty of ways to use it up! We especially love using it to make soups, casseroles, pot pie, salads and sandwiches. It makes a great substitution for shredded chicken in just about any recipe, so the options really are endless!

How long is turkey good leftover in the fridge?

Any leftover cooked turkey will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days, which gives you plenty of time to use it up!

How do I make leftover turkey moist again?

If the meat has dried out a bit in the fridge, you can moisten it back up in the oven. Simply add the turkey to a baking dish and pour in a little turkey stock or chicken broth. Then reheat on a lower temperature (about 300°F) until warm.

You want to avoid reheating the turkey using high heat methods like the microwave, as it will likely dry it out even more.

Can I freeze leftover turkey?

Yes! Just remove your turkey from the bones first and if you can freeze it in slices to retain moisture and help thaw evenly. Keep frozen for up to 3 months.


After the biggest meal of the year, it’s only natural that you may be wondering what to make that isn’t too heavy. Soup makes the perfect light meal to try!

Turkey noodle soup in a white bowl.
  • Leftover Turkey Soup: This is my number one go-to recipe. Made in just one pot.
  • Pot Pie Soup: Perfectly rich and creamy. Easier than making the homemade version from scratch.
  • Noodle Soup: Chicken noodle soup flavors with a turkey twist! Perfect for a chilly winter day.
  • White Chili: Make easier by using turkey instead of chicken. A simple dump-and-go crockpot meal.
  • One-Pot Wild Rice Soup: Toss in your turkey at the end and have soup ready in just 30 minutes.
  • Gnocchi Soup: Such a fantastic flavor profile! Creamy, thick and super hearty.
  • Lemon Orzo Soup: Bright and zesty from the lemon flavor. Made in just 35 minutes.

Hearty Meals

If you have an abundance of meat, try one of these hearty recipes. These are guaranteed to be loved by the entire family, and will stretch your Thanksgiving meal even further.

Leftover turkey tetrazzini being scooped out of dish.

Salads and Sandwiches

If you are in need of a break from cooking, these salads and sandwiches are some of the best leftover turkey recipes. These recipes can be put together quickly, and in most cases require no (or very little) cooking at all.

fall salad in a white bowl
  • Fall Salad: Perfect after a heavy Thanksgiving meal! Made with fall favorites like apples, roasted butternut squash and cranberries.
  • Club Lettuce Wraps: A light and fresh option. Great for those we are looking for an easy low carb recipe.
  • Avocado Toast: Simple, quick and delicious. Add an egg for even more protein!
  • Sliders: Replace the ham with sliced turkey for a fun twist. My family always begs for this recipe.
  • Winter Salad: A light and healthy salad filled with winter favorites like pomegranates, pecans and butternut squash.
  • Sweet Potato Salad: Impressive and crave worthy! The leftover turkey will taste amazing paired with the roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Buffalo Wrap: Toss the cooked turkey in buffalo sauce, then wrap in a tortilla with your favorite toppings. So delicious!

The Full List

Click on the links below to find the recipes for all of the delicious leftover turkey recipes mentioned above.

Ladle full of leftover turkey soup.
Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
The perfect meal to use up all that leftover turkey from the holidays! Packed with fresh veggies, herbs and noodles, this leftover turkey soup recipe is super filling and comforting!
Total Time: 45 minutes
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chicken pot pie soup recipe
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
All the flavors that you love about chicken pot pie, but saves you time and calories! This chicken pot pie soup is creamy, hearty and super delicious. 
Total Time: 50 minutes
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bowl of chicken noodle soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is the perfect comfort soup on a chilly day. Simple to make and full of delicious flavor. It will become an instant favorite!
Total Time: 45 minutes
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Crockpot white chicken chili served in a white bowl.
Crockpot White Chicken Chili
A creamy and delicious crockpot white chicken chili that's perfect for a chilly day! Takes just 5 minutes of prep and is great for busy weeknights. Add your favorite toppings and dig in!
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Read more
Chicken and rice soup in a blue pot.
Chicken and Rice Soup
This easy chicken and rice soup is a comforting and delicious one-pot meal loaded with tender vegetables, chicken and a flavorful broth that the whole family will love! Makes the perfect soup recipe for chilly weather!
Total Time: 30 minutes
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chicken gnocchi soup
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
This homemade chicken gnocchi soup is the perfect comfort food… creamy, hearty and delicious! Only takes one pot and 30 minutes to make. 
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Chicken orzo soup in a black pot.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
There's nothing better than a cozy bowl of soup on chilly days, especially one that's nourishing for the body and the soul! This one-pot, 35-minute lemon chicken orzo soup is one you'll want to keep around all winter long!
Total Time: 35 minutes
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turkey tetrazzini being scooped out of dish
Turkey Tetrazzini
Turkey tetrazzini is a delicious pasta dish with a creamy sauce and cheese melted on top. This classic comfort meal is easy to make with less than 10 ingredients!
Total Time: 45 minutes
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slice of turkey pot pie on white plate
Turkey Pot Pie
Use leftovers from Thanksgiving to make this easy homemade turkey pot pie. The ultimate comfort food that's made with a flaky pie crust and a creamy pot pie filling. 
Total Time: 1 hour
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spoon of biscuits on top of chicken pot pie
Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
Chicken pot pie with biscuits is quick and easy comfort food that has all of the delicious signature elements of the classic dish but with time-saving shortcuts to get dinner on the table in under 1 hour!
Total Time: 50 minutes
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cooked breakfast pie
Breakfast Pie
This savory breakfast pie starts with a flaky pie crust and is filled with a mixture of eggs, ham, cheese, veggies and spices. It's an easy-to-make breakfast idea that's always a crowd favorite! 
Total Time: 45 minutes
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chicken broccoli rice casserole
Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe
An easy dinner idea that is the perfect "all in one" meal that's great for busy weeknights. This chicken broccoli casserole is a staple dish at our house!
Total Time: 45 minutes
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White Chicken Lasagna with Pesto
White Chicken Lasagna
This white chicken lasagna with pesto is layered with a creamy white sauce, chicken, spinach and melty cheese then baked until golden and bubbly. It's the perfect spin on a classic dinner recipe that the whole family will love! 
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
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Savory crepes with eggs on a white plate.
Savory Crepes
Learn how to make tender savory crepes in a matter of minutes at home! Then add your favorite fillings like scrambled eggs, bacon and melty cheese for the ultimate breakfast idea.
Total Time: 40 minutes
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fall salad in a white bowl
Fall Salad
This easy fall salad is filled with chopped greens, apples, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and roasted butternut squash. Then topped with a maple balsamic dressing that brings out the delicious fall flavors!
Total Time: 20 minutes
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chicken club lettuce wraps with ranch drizzled on top
Chicken Club Lettuce Wrap Recipe
Chicken Club Lettuce Wraps… a quick and easy lunch idea made with only a few ingredients!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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runny egg yolk on avocado toast
Avocado Toast With Egg
Avocado toast with egg is one of my favorite quick, easy, and super healthy breakfasts to have on any given morning. Complete with fiber, good fats, and tons of protein for a delicious and ridiculously easy way to start your day!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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ham and cheese sliders
Ham and Cheese Sliders
These easy ham and cheese sliders are made with sweet Hawaiian rolls then brushed with a buttery poppy seed topping! The perfect party appetizer or main dish recipe for game day or the holidays.
Total Time: 25 minutes
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kale salad with apples and butternut squash
Winter Salad
Flavorful winter salad filled with kale, butternut squash, diced apple, pomegranates, pecans, feta and topped with a tangy vinaigrette. It makes the perfect starter to a holiday meal, family party or dinner side!
Total Time: 20 minutes
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sweet potato salad in bowl
Sweet Potato Salad
This sweet potato salad recipe is both colorful and crave-worthy! It's a bowl full of sweet and savory flavors and textures made with kale, roasted sweet potatoes, avocados, pecans, feta, and cranberries, tossed in a homemade balsamic glaze.
Total Time: 20 minutes
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buffalo chicken wraps on white plate
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
Buffalo chicken wraps are a quick and easy way to have a healthy flavorful lunch on the go. A tortilla filled to the brim with saucy buffalo chicken, and fresh veggies, drizzled with a homemade ranch dressing!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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Which one of these incredible leftover Thanksgiving recipes will you make first? 

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