Any cooked turkey that survives a holiday feast is the gift that keeps on giving! But if you’re not a huge fan of leftovers, it can feel more like a burden than a blessing. With a few simple ingredients, however, you can transform leftover turkey into a whole new culinary experience! Plus, using up leftovers is a great way to decrease food waste and cut back on food costs. (Three meals for the price of one? Yes, please!)
Skinless turkey is a naturally lean protein, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and, as the American Heart Association notes, turkey is a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, including choline, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12. Turkey is also a good source of potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
While the traditional holiday meal features a whole roasted bird with sides like green bean casserole and stuffing, there are countless creative uses for leftover turkey, both light and dark meat. For estimating purposes, you can expect to get about 18 cups of meat from a 10-pound bird, and the carcass can be used to make a soup stock.
The USDA recommends using all turkey within three to four days. If you won’t be able to use it all in that amount of time, consider freezing it. Leftover turkey meat freezes incredibly well, making for an easy heat-and-serve protein another night. To freeze turkey, scoop it into a resealable plastic freezer bag and squeeze as much air out as you can before sealing. Of course, if you’re ready to use up leftover turkey right away, give these simple recipes a try today!