What to do with that leftover turkey

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Turkey sandwiches are great the day after the holiday, but what on earth does one do with that leftover meat, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes days after the party’s over?

Rather than eating the same meal ad nauseam, why not try a new take on the seasonal dishes? The Royal Gazette has compiled a list of ways you can breathe new life into the holiday favourites. Read on to learn how.

Cranberry sauce

Rather than just throwing the tart condiment into the garbage after a big meal, use it to make a cranberry syrup for waffles or pancakes. Take the sauce, add some sugar and a tablespoon or two of butter, then whisk until you get the desired consistency.

Or why not toss it into a muffin or quick bread recipe?

Persons with a sweet tooth might want to adapt it into a traditional cheesecake recipe or, heat the sauce with a dash of Cointreau or brandy and drizzle it over vanilla ice cream.

Another creative thing to do with leftover cranberry sauce is turn it into a festive pink cocktail. Just mix the sauce’s juice with a shot of vodka and seltzer water for an adult-only holiday drink.


Once the turkey is gone, you might need ideas for what to do with that extra stuffing. Try eating it the next morning with this neat breakfast idea, just take the stuffing and crisp it on both sides in a frying pan and top it with a sunny-side-up egg.

All you need is two cups of leftover stuffing, two tablespoons of lightly salted or sweet butter, two eggs and salt and pepper to taste.

Using your hands form the stuffing into a half-inch thick pancake, about six inches in diameter. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and cook the pancake on low heat for five minutes, or until golden brown.

Turn the pancake over and cook for another three or four minutes, then put on a separate plate. Make the eggs as usual, put on top of the pancake stuffing — and viola!

Other things you can do with leftover stuffing is: put it in stuffed peppers, use it as the bottom layer for a vegetable pie or use it to make veggie burgers.

Mashed potatoes

It might just be me, but mashed potatoes never seem to keep their fluffy, moist texture the next day after a big meal. So why not use them to make crisp and delicious mashed potato puffs?

What you do is mix leftover mashed potatoes with eggs, Parmesan cheese, chives, ham and salt and pepper.

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into a greased muffin tin and top each puff with more shredded cheese before baking. Put into a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until they are golden brown.

You can also use mashed potatoes to thicken soup. Just stir a few spoonfuls into any that’s too thin.

It is simple and actually contains less calories than a traditional roux.


The possibilities for what you can do with turkey are virtually endless, from soups and salads to the traditional sandwich.

But if you’re bored with the usual and dare to venture outside your culinary comfort zone, why not try a different take on classic marinara?

Cook the pasta for about ten minutes and in a separate pan, sauté pasta sauce and vegetables like spinach and mushrooms. Season with your favourite Italian herbs and spices and add in the turkey.

If you’re in the mood for Mexican, get a tortilla and top with turkey and cheese to make a quesadilla. Transfer the tortilla into a lightly oiled, heated skillet, then top with a second tortilla shell.

Flip when the cheese has melted, cooking for about five to seven minutes on both sides. Lastly add toppings like green onions, cilantro, sour cream and pico de gallo/ salsa.

Another option is to make a simple turkey stir fry with some onions and peppers and serve over rice. Alternatively, kill two birds with one stone, by making this turkey and stuffing casserole:


Ÿ6 tbs butter

Ÿ2 ribs celery, chopped

Ÿ1 small onion, chopped

Ÿ1 large apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped

Ÿ6 c cubed white bread

Ÿ2 ½ tsp poultry seasoning blend

Ÿ½ tsp salt

Ÿdash ground black pepper

Ÿ¾ to 1c chicken broth

Ÿ1 large egg, lightly beaten

Ÿ1 tbs olive oil or non-stick cooking spray

Ÿ1lb thinly cut turkey pieces

Ÿseasoned salt and pepper

Ÿ1 jar (12 oz) turkey gravy


Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a large baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

In a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the celery, onion, and apple until softened. Pour over the bread cubes and toss to blend.

Blend with the poultry seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, and a dash of pepper. Add ¾ cup chicken broth and stir until moistened, adding a little more broth if needed.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the egg until blended. Gently pat into the prepared baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil or spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle turkey cutlets with seasoned salt and pepper and sauté for about 2 minutes on each side. Add the gravy and bring to a boil.

Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange the turkey over the stuffing then pour the gravy over all; cranberry sauce can also be used as a garnish.

Then bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Happy holidays!

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Published Nov 23, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm)

What to do with that leftover turkey

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