Transforming Turkey Leftovers

Two Ways to Use Leftover Turkey for Crowd-Pleasing New Meals

Is your house still full of Thanksgiving leftovers? Perhaps you’re already dreading the fridge full of uneaten food that will be coming as the next wave of holiday entertaining kicks off. Here are two of my family’s favorite recipes to use your leftover holiday turkey.

Turkey Puffs


For Filling:

1½ cups diced leftover turkey

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

2-ounce can mushroom stems & pieces, drained (optional)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 8-ounce. can crescent rolls

For Topping:

3-4 Tablespoons melted butter in a shallow bowl

½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 teaspoons chopped thyme, fresh or dried

2 teaspoons chopped dried basil

½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon celery salt


1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2 Combine the filling ingredients (except for the crescent rolls) in a medium bowl and stir until mixed well.

3 Separate the crescent rolls into 8 triangles and spoon ⅛ of the filling mixture onto each one. Pull the sides of the crescent rolls around the filling, pinching the sides together tightly so that they are completely sealed. This part takes some creativity, but you should be left with eight small, sealed balls when done.

4 In a separate small bowl, mix the topping ingredients together (except for the butter).

5 One at a time, dip the top of each crescent ball into the melted butter, then roll the top and sides in the topping mixture.

6 Place on a cookie sheet with the pinched side down. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

7 Serve plain or with leftover gravy.

Turkey Noodle Soup



Leftover turkey carcass with all meat removed

Leftover neck, skin and bones from turkey

1 onion, quartered

3 carrots, quartered  

8 celery ribs, quartered

8 cloves of garlic, chopped

A few sprigs of fresh parsley and thyme (or 2 teaspoons of each, dried)


1-2 12-ounce bags of egg noodles

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups diced celery (optional)

3-5 cups diced turkey

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons dried thyme


1 Place turkey carcass, bones, skin and neck into a large stock pot and fill with cold water until bones are fully covered with one extra inch of water.

2 Add the remaining broth ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for four hours, partially uncovered.

3 Use tongs to remove the largest pieces of bone and discard. Pour the remaining broth into a very large bowl through a fine mesh strainer to remove all other ingredients.

4 In the empty pot, sauté the diced carrots and celery in olive oil and ¼ cup of the broth, about ten minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one more minute.

5 Transfer broth back to the pot and taste. If it’s bland, add more salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic powder or onion salt until desired taste is achieved. 

6 Bring to a low boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

7 Add 1-2 bags of egg noodles, depending on your preference and boil according to package directions.

8  Remove from heat and add parsley, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

9 This recipe freezes well for use later this winter.

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