Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re visiting after Thanksgiving, then happy belated Thanksgiving. After a few decades of making Thanksgiving dinners, I am a pro at using leftover turkey. I have a whole file I pull out for the holidays for using up the leftover turkey. And I love those recipes, so I buy the biggest turkey I can find regardless of how many people I’m serving. This is just one of many, but it’s a family favorite. I might post another next week so I’ll give you a tip now:
Tip #1 – Freeze whatever leftover turkey you don’t think you’ll use right away so that you can make turkey dishes later.
I alway keep enough leftover turkey in the fridge for sandwiches, because that’s the go-to for everyone and we all look forward to it. I like mine with horseradish and red onion. What do you put on your leftover turkey sandwich? Everyone seems to have their own way and I love hearing everyone’s particular favorite so please let me know in the comments!
I also keep enough meat on hand to make a creamed turkey over rice (or mashed potatoes if we have a ton of those left). That’s another family favorite. It’s just chopped leftover turkey in a white gravy with a few seasonings. It’s easy and fast to make and I love fast dinners after Thanksgiving because I have a daughter whose birthday is always around the holiday (and another daughter the day after Christmas) so we are still busy and I want those fast and delicious recipes.
Another favorite of ours, but usually comes with the frozen turkey later, is turkey manicotti with red pepper cream sauce.
So here’s how the magic happens for this dish:
It starts with an apple hash. I’m always holding on to the apple season. Apples are one of my favorite fall ingredients. So I sauté chopped apples, onions and potatoes in a skillet with a bit of thyme. I recently got a little manual food chopper thing my girls convinced me to buy and I am kind of loving how it makes everything uniform. But of course, you can chop things into the sizes you like.
Part of the magic is that the turkey is already cooked. Since you don’t have to cook it, these come together quick.
After the potatoes and onions have softened to the tenderness level you like (I like things not hard but still firm), You can add in your favorite BBQ sauce. I use homemade most of the time but not always. Just use what you like.
Tip #2 – Use a different flavor profile.
One way to keep Thanksgiving leftovers from being monotonous is to use completely different flavors than you do at Thanksgiving. In this case, I’m using BBQ. I also have an asian recipe I like to make with leftover turkey. My manicotti is an Italian profile. It doesn’t feel like ‘turkey again’ when you head a completely different direction with it.
So after the hash part is cooked the way you like, add the BBQ sauce and mix. Then add in your chopped leftover turkey and mix it well.
At this point, you need to decide if this is a breakfast burrito or a regular burrito. Because you can scramble up a few eggs and make a breakfast burrito out of it. Trust me, it’s delicious. A breakfast BBQ burrito is the bomb. But you can leave them out and have this for lunch or dinner as well.
Final step – Wrap up the burrito and warm in on the skillet on both sides. Something about this crispy wrap just adds the final perfect touch and it’s not the same without it.
And that’s it!
The longest part is chopping apples, potatoes and onions. And with my little chopper that goes quick. I do peel my apples but you don’t have to.
If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving leftovers you might be interested in my Thanksgiving playlist on YouTube.
I have leftover turkey recipes over there including make bone broth with the carcass. Some of these are pretty old videos but are still great ideas.