5 Cures for the Common Turkey

traditional turkey

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love leftovers and those who hate ‘em. Turkey leftovers are particularly troublesome, because there’s just so much, plus most people overcook their turkey, and who wants to eat dried turkey all over again?

Before you do your big Thanksgiving shop, be sure to pick up a few odds and bobs so you can survive the following week without having to succumb to turkey sandwiches. (Not that there’s anything wrong with the occasional toasted turkey sammie lavished with bacon and guacamole or hot pepper jelly.) Here are my favourite ways to recycle the big bird.

Cheesy Chutney Turkey Tostados

Or you could skip the chutney and use salsa.

Cheese, chutney, turkey, green onion, tostado, done. Sometimes I swap spicy salsa for the chutney and it works just fine. Find this simple, yet savoury recipe here.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Kid's pasta dish
Creamy, cheesy, if you like alfredo, you’ll probably like tetrazzini.

While you’re still carb-loading, might as well tuck into this hearty pasta dish kids and old people seem to like. A lot.

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup

This isn’t your basic, ho hum turkey soup. No sir! It’s full of vim and vigor and vibrant ingredients that’ll make you wonder why you never ran off with that exchange student from Mexico. Oh, wait…

Bang Bang Turkey Salad

Vietnamese Turkey salad
Healthy, yet delicious, there’s a ton of flavour in Bang Bang Salad.

How can you not love a salad called Bang Bang? It’s super refreshing, surprisingly easy to make, and you’ll feel virtuous for finally getting some greens in you.

Baked Conchiglie

Baked pasta shells
Mashed potato and turkey make the best stuffed pasta shells ever.

I adapted this recipe from one Mario Batali wrote for Maxim a few years ago. Here’s how it’s done.


  • Box of large shell-shaped pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 Cups cooked turkey roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup ricotta
  • 1 Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 Cups tomato sauce
  • 1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Boil the shells, drain and throw them in a baking dish greased with olive oil.
  2. Combine the potatoes, turkey, ricotta, 1/2 the parmesan and nutmeg together in bowl.
  3. Cram the shells with a few spoons of this mixture and lay open side up in the baking dish.
  4. Drizzle tomato sauce over the the shells and sprinkle with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

What are your favourite uses for leftover turkey?

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