Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you will enjoy a special time together with friends and family. One of the best things about having prepared a Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers you have to be used in other creative ways.
One Thanksgiving I ate out with some family members at a Thanksgiving buffet, and I missed the opportunity to enjoy turkey sandwiches and other menu items that could be used for a repeat performance. Besides turkey and cranberry sandwiches, you can try other traditional dishes such as a shepherd’s pie made with cut-up turkey, leftover gravy or cream of chicken soup, mixed vegetables, and topped off with leftover mashed potatoes and grated cheese.
And of course there is always the turkey noodle soup made with the turkey carcass. Following I have provided a variety of other options you can try, including pizza, salad and soup that are less traditional.
For a change from the usual turkey noodle soup, you will want to use some of your leftover turkey to prepare a pot of this quick-to-fix cream soup that incorporates a mix of rice and wild rice with mushrooms. Doris Cox, who submitted this recipe to Taste of Home, said she was originally given the soup when she was ill and it really hit the spot, so now she makes it frequently for guests. The original recipe calls for cream, but I use half and half instead.
Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 (6 oz.) pkg. long grain and wild rice mix
2 cups diced cooked turkey
1 cup half and half
Minced fresh parsley
In a large saucepan, sauté onion and mushrooms in butter until onion is tender. Add water, broth and rice mix with seasoning; bring back to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until the rice is tender, 20–25 minutes. Add turkey and cream; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley. Source: Taste of Home, Oct./Nov. 2019
Are buffalo chicken wings a favorite of yours? Then you will enjoy using your turkey leftovers that have been tossed with hot sauce to top a pizza. You have all the essentials of hot wings, including the blue cheese. If desired, more blue cheese can be added to the baked pizza.
Buffalo Turkey Pizza
1 (12-inch) packaged thin pizza crust
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1½ cup chopped cooked turkey
2 tablespoons hot sauce, plus additional
¼ cup chopped red onion
Chopped celery leaves, garnish
Preheat oven to temperature required for baking pizza crust. Top the pizza crust with the mozzarella cheese and crumbled blue cheese. Toss together the turkey with 2 tablespoons hot sauce in a bowl. Top pizza with chicken mixture and chopped onion. Bake pizza according to the directions on the package. Top baked pizza with chopped celery leaves and additional hot sauce. Source: Allrecipes Magazine, One-Pan Recipes, 2019.
If you have had a fruit plate for your Thanksgiving dinner, use some of those leftovers to add to this salad. If you don’t have chutney, try using some of your extra cranberry relish. I also added pomegranate seeds for color and flavor.
Turkey Chutney Salad
2½ cups diced cooked turkey
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1 (13 ¼ oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 cup chopped celery
¼ cup salted peanuts
½ cup sliced green onions
¾ cup chopped unpeeled apple
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Lettuce leaves (optional)
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chopped chutney
½ teaspoon freshly grated lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, toss turkey, pineapple, celery, peanuts, green onions and apple. Combine dressing ingredients in lidded jar and shake well. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. (You may have extra dressing). If desired, arrange individual servings on beds of lettuce or line the salad bowl with lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with top with cheese crumbles if desired. Source: “Crème de Colorado Cookbook,” Junior League of Denver.
Using refrigerated crescent rolls you can create a batch of these hot sandwiches to use for a special luncheon or casual evening meal served with a salad. They would also be handy to have for a take-and-go lunch.
Luncheon Turkey Crescents
¾ cup dry herb seasoned stuffing
½ cup finely chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
6 ounces cream cheese (can use low-fat), softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced cooked turkey
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
½ cup finely chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 (8 oz.) cans crescent rolls
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment. Crush seasoned stuffing and mix with nuts; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and pepper. Add turkey, green onions, parsley, mushrooms and celery; set aside. Separate crescent rolls to form four rectangles, press seams securely. Place ½ cup of the turkey mixture in the center of each rectangle and fold up ends to cover filling. Seal edges securely. Dip each folded roll into melted butter and then roll carefully in stuffing mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees. *Note: For a change in flavor add 2 teaspoons cranberry sauce or ¼ teaspoon curry powder to turkey mixture. Also, for a Mexican flavor omit the mushrooms and add 1 (4-oz.) can diced green chilies, 1/8 teaspoon cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon chili powder to the chicken mixture. Serve topped with a dollop of guacamole. Source: “A Pinch of Salt Lake,” The Junior League of Salt Lake City.