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Leftover Turkey Recipes

5 Tasty Recipes to Make the Most of Leftover Turkey

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We all know to make turkey salad (with walnuts and dried cranberries) or make turkey soup by making chicken soup with turkey. How about some exciting ideas for using leftover turkey? Never fear. I've made plenty of turkey sandwiches in my time, and I've certainly been known to just throw some shredded turkey into a pasta dish to make it all go away, but these recipes are the ones I cook turkey in order to make.

1. Salbutes (Turkey Tostadas)

image of Salbutes (Turkey Tostadas)
Photo © Molly Watson

Salbutes are everywhere in the Yucatan. On street corners, at parties, in restaurants. They are small (just 4 or maybe 6 inches wide), and consist of a crispy corn tortilla topped with some shredded turkey, sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, pickled onions, and drizzled to taste with a bright and very spicy chile-citrus sauce. I've been known to roast up a turkey breast or a few turkey legs just to have the meat to make salbutes, but a better Friday-after-Thanksgiving lunch is not to be found. Get Salbutes recipe.

2. Turkey Red Chile Soup With Masa Dumplings

Photo of Red Chile Turkey Soup With Masa Dumplings
Photo © Molly Watson

New Mexico red chiles give this soup its distinctive flavor. Look for them dried, sold in bags in the produce section or Latin foods section of well-stocked grocery stores. The masa dumplings give the soup plenty of body and wonderful corn flavor. It's a hearty soup that works as a meal when paired with a big, crunchy green salad. Some warm corn or flour tortillas on the side to dip into the flavorful broth would, I think, be quite welcome by most people. Get Turkey Red Chile Soup With Masa Dumplings recipe.

3. Turkey Green Chili

Turkey Green Chili
Photo © Molly Watson

It's not the prettiest dish in the world, but it is amazingly tasty. Top it with finely chopped green onion, a few cilantro leaves, and some shredded cabbage and no one will see it anyway! Serve with a spicy cabbage slaw and warm corn tortillas for maximum effect.

The recipe, sticklers may notice, calls for ground turkey. True. But it works just as well with an equal amount (or use more, if you like) of shredded cooked turkey. Simply add the cooked turkey after the onions and chiles have cooked down and are very soft but before you add the broth. Get Turkey Green Chili Recipe.

4. Turkey Tacos

Photo © Molly Watson

These are a year-round favorite at my house. Something about the chile and the garlic and the lime on the turkey... yum. Again, the recipe calls for ground turkey, but works just as well with shredded cooked turkey, just reduce the cooking time to simply warm the turkey up and combine it with the garlic and spices. Get Turkey Tacos recipe.

5. Homemade Turkey Broth

Yikes. I know I said I wouldn't bore you, but the thing is, having homemade broth in the house is anything but boring. It is exciting and delicious and fabulous in each and every way. And turkey bones yield such wonderfully flavorful stock. It just breaks my heart that all those turkey bones get thrown out every year.... Oh well, I'll deal with my stock and broth issues privately, but maybe you'll help me out and make a batch of broth this year? Maybe? Get Turkey Broth recipe.

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