Ideas for transforming leftover turkey

Sunday, November 25, 2012

After Thanksgiving, there always seems to be some turkey in the freezer, and it needs to be used up within a reasonable amount of time.

Of course, my mother's homemade pot pie is so amazing and is such a treat every year, but some of you may be looking for something besides pot pie for that leftover turkey.

Today's recipes include a couple of soups, a salad and a casserole.

I hope you can find some enjoyment out of these leftover turkey recipes.

Cheesy Turkey Chowder

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups diced peeled potatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced onion

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup flour

2 cups milk

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups diced cooked turkey (or chicken)

In a 4-quart saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat; add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan; add flour and mix well.

Gradually stir in milk; cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Stir in cheese and cook until melted; add to broth along with chicken.

Cook and stir over low heat until heated through.

Turkey, Bacon and Tomato Salad

For the salad:

1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 1/2 cups sliced, cooked turkey

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Fresh spinach greens

For the dressing:

1/2 cup plain yogurt or mayonnaise

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup honey

1 dash salt

1/2 tablespoon prepared mustard

Fry the bacon until it is crisp. Crumble it into bits or cut it up with kitchen shears.

While the bacon is cooking, mix the dressing ingredients together. Whisk until smooth.

Arrange the turkey, tomatoes, cheese, and spinach greens on a plate. Serve with dressing on the side.

Turkey White Bean Chili

1/2 cup diced onions

1 tablespoon butter

2 (15-ounce) cans white northern beans

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 (15-ounce) cans chicken broth

1 1/2 cups turkey, cubed

1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese

Sour cream and salsa for garnish

Saute the onions in the butter in a saucepan. Add the beans (not drained), cumin, garlic, broth, and salsa. Cook until it starts to simmer. Add the turkey. Turn the heat to very low and add the grated cheese. Stir until it melts and thickens the soup. Serve hot, garnished with a couple spoons full of salsa and topped with dollops of sour cream.

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole

1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 cups diced or shredded roasted turkey meat

1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli spears, thawed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) undiluted condensed cream of chicken soup

1 package (8 ounces) mini cubed ham, drained

1 package (6 ounces) finely shredded Swiss cheese (1 1/2 cups)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup vitamin D whole milk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook potatoes in microwave oven on high five to seven minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender, stirring once halfway through cooking. Stir remaining ingredients into potatoes; transfer mixture to 13-inch-by-9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 40 minutes or until casserole bubbles around edge of dish and top begins to brown.


I just had to slip this recipe in here today. It is not a turkey recipe, but a dish I thought you might like to serve sometime over this holiday season. It is an over-the-top macaroni and cheese that is fitting for this most wonderful time of the year. This recipe is so much more than just mac and cheese, it is pure decadence! Crab meat is combined with a combination of Gruyere, Swiss and cheddar cheeses. There's even freshly grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs on top.

he recipe fills a large 3 quart casserole dish, so this is one to make when you need to serve a crowd. It is sure to impress your guests!

Chesapeake Crab and Gruyere Cheese Macaroni

4 cups elbow macaroni

2 teaspoons kosher salt

9 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup flour

2 cups milk

4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

16 ounces fresh jumbo lump crab meat

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place macaroni and kosher salt into a large saucepan of boiling water. Boil 7 minutes and drain. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour to make a paste. Slowly add milk and stir until milk is hot. Add Gruyere cheese, stirring until melted. Add cheddar and Swiss cheeses, stirring until melted. Stir in salt and pepper then remove from heat. Stir in crab meat and drained noodles. Spoon into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Drizzle remaining butter over breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: