Using the Leftover Turkey

Thanksgiving is frequently known as Turkey Day in the US. In the UK, the Turkey is more for Christmas Day. Whichever day it is then what are people planning for how they will use the leftover turkey?
Several approaches to take depending on how much is left. Keep on reading to see how the turkey leftovers can be put to use.

First Steps

First and foremost is that any turkey that was carved but not eaten should be put into a container that is headed for the fridge. Then use a sharp knife to carve off any remaining meat that is still a substantial piece. Add that into the container with the rest of the already cooked turkey meat and seal. It will keep in the fridge for a few days and usually longer if it is properly cooled. Seal the container then chill in the fridge.

Turkey Stock

There will still be plenty of meat left on the turkey carcass so now is the time to make a turkey ready for the days ahead.

Place the remaining turkey into a large pan and cover with water. Add in some salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2-3 hours depending on size. Add more water if required. Strain off the turkey stock into a large bowl, cover and allow to cool. Seal the bowl once cool then put into the fridge.

More Turkey

Now comes the messy bit. Plenty of turkey still in the pan or on the carcass but you still need to get it from there. Pick out any pieces of turkey from the pan and add them into the bowl with the stock. Then work over the carcass to get any meat that is still remaining. Be watchful so that you pick out any pieces of bone from there. Add into a sealable container then put in the fridge.

From the stock pot

The turkey meat that is obtained from making the stock is best used in cooked dishes. Here are some ideas:

Turkey Stew

Turkey Stew is a good way to use some of the turkey and stock. Just mix some of the stock and turkey into a large pan with potato, carrot, turnip, peas and onion. Add a pinch or two of mixed herbs for added flavour. Put in any other vegetables to your taste then cook for 20-30 minutes so the vegetables are cooked and the sauce is thickened. Cheesy Suet Dumplings make a good addition to this too. Alternatively, serve with bread.

Turkey Curry

Turkey Curry is another way to use the stock and pieces that come from the carcass. There will often be sufficient to do both the stew then the curry. Add in your preferred curry flavouring and a selection of vegetables. Serve with boiled rice.

From the carved meat

The remaining carved meat can be used either hot or cold. Use one of these ideas as a starting point.

Stir Fry

Try a stir-fry! Chop some of the cooked leftover turkey into bite-sized pieces. Slice some red and green peppers, mushrooms, onions and chilli. Stir-fry the vegetables for a few minutes to soften. Add in the turkey and some soy sauce then cook until hot. Serve on a bed of boiled rice or Minty Rice and Peas.

Turkey and Cranberry Jelly Butty

Try a turkey and cranberry jelly butty. Two thick buttered slices of bread per person then stuff with cooked turkey. Top with cranberry jelly and enjoy. As an alternative to the cranberry then Sweet Pickle is tasty and Mayo works well too.


How about turkey salad? Build a base of lettuce, cucumber, tomato and coleslaw. Layer with some of the chilled turkey, top with vinaigrette then serve with bread. Add other favoured salad ingredients as desired.

Clearly the exact results are going to depend on the appetite of people for the turkey on the day or on the actual size of the bird. I do know that we frequently would end up eating a turkey dish every day for at least a week after Christmas!

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