If you’ve slaved away for hours on a huge bird for Thanksgiving, there’s no reason that the extra meat has to go to waste. It’s inevitable-99% of the time, you’ll have leftover turkey after everyone’s had their fill. Although you can simply heat up the meat in the microwave, that is not very interesting or tasty. You’ve sent a lot of time and money cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. Do not let the leftovers go to waste!
One of the tastiest things you can do with your leftover turkey is make turkey salad. This is a great way to stretch the leftover meat as well. You can use the recipe for any turkey or chicken salad recipe, with is not much more than mayonnaise and a few extra additives (it depends on your specific recipe). You can use the turkey salad in sandwiches, or on top of toast. Add some cheese, and you’ll have a wonderful lunch!
Another great use for leftover turkey is potpie. You can make pot pie with whatever vegetables you have leftover from Thanksgiving as well. Although most people like to use chicken or beef, turkey holds up well in a potpie and can be delicious with the same recipe you use for chicken potpie. In fact, turkey works well in place of chicken in most recipes. You can try turkey a la king, turkey casserole, turkey and rice, and any of your other family chicken recipes.
Do not forget that you do not have to eat all of your leftovers right after thanksgiving. If you have a tone of leftovers, you can get sick of turkey rather quickly, and the heavy, rich foods associated with Thanksgiving are not always very healthy for your body. Why not spread out the leftovers all year? Thanksgiving turkey and other leftovers can be frozen in convenient packs, meaning that all you have to do when you want a taste of November is heat up the meal. Instead of freezing all of the turkey together, all of the corn together, etc, make up plates with single meals. These are great to take with you to work as lunch or to heat up for a child who does not like what you’re making for dinner. Use your frozen meals in about six month if you choose this option.
And hey, no one’s saying that you can not cook a larger Thanksgiving turkey on purpose! If you like the leftovers that you can make from turkey or if you want to freeze a number of extra Thanksgiving meals, try cooking a bird twice the size than you’ll actually need for Thanksgiving while you’re already taking the time to prepare the large meal.
At the very least, do not throw your leftover turkey away! Regulations prevent you from donating the meat to the food bank, but if you know of a need family in your area, you can offer the leftovers to them, stating that you have more than you can use before it spoils. Thanksgiving is a time of sharing the food you have with others, after all, so you can help keep in the spirit with your left Thanksgiving turkey.