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Recipe of the Week: Leftover turkey ideas


Before Thanksgiving dinner is served, I begin imagining the next few days of hot and cold turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini, turkey tacos and soup.

Sometimes leftovers can be even better than the original meal.

Thanksgiving dinner is so much work to produce that I think the cook is entitled to a few days of not having to think too hard about putting together meals. But some folks get tired of eating leftovers, which is when it’s time to think of ways to repurpose the remaining turkey in a way that makes it seem original.

Of course we don’t want to work too hard at that, which is why the internet is filled with all kinds of ideas. There are recipes for soups, sandwiches, casseroles, pasta dishes, pot pies, stews, chili, nachos and salads. All you have to do is google the recipe you want and it will appear.

If you have more leftover turkey than you can eat in a few days, portion it out and freeze it for use later on. You will be glad you did.

In anticipation of preparing the biggest meal of the year, you might need backup in the kitchen. If you don’t have a knowledgeable aunt or grandma on call, you can always call one of the turkey hotlines that have been humming along for the winter holidays for decades.

The original hotline was from Butterball, the turkey company. You can call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or text 844-877-3456 to talk to or connect with an expert on cooking turkeys: usually somebody else’s aunt or grandma.

Jennie-O Turkey company also answers questions. Consumers can call, live chat on or text “TURKEY” to 73876 for advice on holiday meal preparation.

And if you have questions about cranberries, you can contact Ocean Spray toll-free at 1-800-662-3263 weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Now it’s time for a recipe that uses leftover turkey. This one from is an old favorite. It says you can serve it with rice, but biscuits also work well. It’s comfort food of the first order. Have a lovely, stress-free Thanksgiving.

Turkey a la King with Rice

2 tablespoons butter

1 ¾ cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 celery rib, chopped

¼ cup chopped onion

¼ cup chopped green pepper

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup fat-free milk

2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast

1 cup frozen peas

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups hot cooked rice

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, celery, onion and pepper; cook and stir until tender.

2. In a small bowl, mix flour and broth until smooth; stir into vegetable mixture. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Add turkey, peas and salt; heat through. Serve with rice.