easy leftover turkey recipes to try after thanksgiving

Easy Leftover Turkey Recipes to Try After Thanksgiving

Ever wondered what to do after Thanksgiving dinner with the leftover food? Well, below we’ve gathered ideas for easy leftover turkey recipes that’ll have you wanting turkey all year long! 

Thanksgiving Day brings about many wonderful moments — gathering with loved ones, eating delicious food, and relaxing on the couch (perhaps napping) after the grand meal. But if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, chances are your fridge will be stuffed with leftovers for a week or more. To help keep the festivities rolling we’ve gathered some delicious leftover turkey recipes for you to try post-Thanksgiving. 

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice 

by The Seasoned Mom 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 onion, diced 
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced 
  • 4 celery stalks, diced 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 2/3 cup wild rice blend 
  • 2 and 1/2 cups water 
  • 2-3 cups cooked, shredded leftover turkey 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 


  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  1. Add the thyme, bay leaf, broth, rice and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for about 35 minutes, or until rice is tender. 
  1. Stir in cooked turkey and simmer until heated through. Remove bay leaf. 
  1. Add fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste. 
  1. Serve immediately or cool completely, then store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Leftover Turkey Meatloaf 

by Family Food on the Table 


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth 
  • 1.25 lbs lean ground turkey 
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/3 cup ketchup 


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Sauté until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. 
  1. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and broth to skillet, stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 
  1. Combine ground turkey with breadcrumbs, egg and onion mixture. Mix with a fork gently and then use your hands to make sure everything is well combined. 
  1. Transfer meatloaf mixture to baking sheet and shape into an 8-inch loaf. Top with ketchup. 
  1. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve. 

Leftover Turkey Chili 

by Once Upon a Chef 


  • 2 medium yellow onions 
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 6 garlic cloves 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1/4 cup chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey 
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans 
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes 
  • 2 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoons salt 


  1. Finely chop onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables, chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne pepper, stirring often until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. 
  1. Add turkey, increase heat to medium-high, break up meat until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes with juice, crushed tomatoes, broth, salt and bring to a simmer.  
  1. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until chili is thick. Stir occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve when ready. 

More Easy Leftover Turkey Meal Ideas 

Looking for lighter options? Consider making turkey quesadillas, cranberry turkey sandwiches, a turkey apple arugula salad, or turkey lettuce wraps. 

The great thing about turkey is that it’s a great source of lean protein and rich in B vitamins, so there’s no reason to feel guilty if you still want to enjoy turkey after the Thanksgiving festivities. 

Speaking of Thanksgiving — what are you thankful for this year? Tag us on Instagram @naturalbalancebrand for a chance to be featured in our stories!

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