Leftovers, though, don't last forever, and it's important to practice good food safety habits to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses. As a general guideline, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends eating or freezing turkey and other leftovers within three to four days.
Visit FoodSafety.gov for a list of even more easy leftover turkey recipes in addition to the ones listed below.
Cooked turkey combined with your favorite frozen veggies means you can throw this stir-fry together quickly for a healthy weekday dinner.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 thin slices of ginger root (minced)
- 1 garlic clove (peeled and minced)
- 16 ounces turkey (cooked, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 2/3 packages vegetables, fresh or frozen (10 ounce package, chopped)
- water (optional)
- Optional gravy:
- 11 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Heat fry pan. Add oil and heat on high temperature.
- Add ginger, garlic, turkey and vegetables. Stir-fry about 1 minute to coat with oil.
- Adjust heat to prevent scorching. Add sugar. If vegetables are tender, stop cooking at this time.
- If the vegetables are firm, add 1-2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until tender.
- Serve at once, or if you wish to add a gravy:
- Mix the gravy ingredients well, pour over vegetables and turkey, cook for 30 seconds.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
Source: Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service, Pictorial Recipes
SEE ALSO: How long does leftover turkey last? Your guide to leftover holiday food safety
Make a hearty soup by adding lean, chopped turkey roast. You may also serve turkey roasts with steamed vegetables or side salad and potatoes or rice to make a complete meal.
- 5 ounces thawed turkey roast (about 1 cup, chopped)
- 4 celery stalks (chopped)
- 4 carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon margarine
- 1 cup rice (uncooked)
- 1 can low-sodium green beans (drained, about 15 ounces)
- In a large pot over high heat, add the turkey roast, celery, carrots, onion, bouillon cube, black pepper, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Add cooked rice and green beans into the soup and stir. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Source: Recipe adapted from Commodity Supplemental Food Program Cookbook
This turkey curry soup is a fun and flavorful dish to make with turkey dinner leftovers. You can use your leftover cranberry sauce to garnish the soup. A spoonful of cranberry sauce or chutney adds a cooling sweet, tangy flavor to balance the spicy curry.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup onion (diced)
- 1 cup celery (diced)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups carrots (chopped)
- 2 cups spinach (chopped)
- 3 small red potatoes (diced)
- 3 cups cooked turkey (skin removed, diced)
- Optional garnish: cranberry sauce
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in flour, curry powder, and cinnamon and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Bring to a simmer. Then add carrots, spinach, potatoes, and turkey.
- Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer (covered) for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with a spoonful of cranberry sauce.
Source: USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
This story was originally published in November 2018.