Soup, sandwiches. Other turkey recipe ideas
I survived making one huge meal. Now it’s time to deal with leftovers.
If there’s one thing about Thanksgiving that many people enjoy as much as they enjoy their Thanksgiving meal or gathering, it’s eating leftovers for the next few days.
Eating leftovers from Thanksgiving, from mashed potatoes and gravy, to veggies and, of course, turkey, gives you a head start on meals. The options are vast. Think of making soups, sandwiches, salads, and pies.
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But first, don’t let those leftovers stay for too long. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends using leftovers that have been stored properly within three to four days or freezing them.
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Here is a sample of how to store and how long to keep leftovers. We also included some of our favorite recipes and ideas for using up leftovers.
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Turkey meat should be plucked from the carcass after the meal. Don’t store a whole turkey in the refrigerator with the meat on it.
When using leftover turkey in recipes, keep in mind that it only needs to be reheated because it’s already cooked.
Frozen leftovers are best used within a few months, but the USDA says leftovers frozen below 0 degrees are safe indefinitely, but quality may suffer.
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Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees in the oven, microwave, or stovetop.
Freeze mashed potatoes or cooked sweet potatoes well in an airtight container, but leave about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. They will keep for 10-12 months. Reheat the potatoes with 1-2 tablespoons of milk, cream, or water to prevent sticking.
Cranberries will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 1 year.
The leftover pie was inspired by Kid Rock’s mother
Turkey soup with stuffed dumplings
Pumpkin curry soup
Make: 8 servings 1 cup / Preparation time: 15 minutes / total time: 1 hour
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and cut into cubes
1 small onion, peeled and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
6 cups of fat-free or reduced-sodium chicken or turkey broth
1 cup low fat milk
1 medium to large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cups shredded, cubed, or shredded cooked turkey
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 package (0.87 ounce) turkey broth mix
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
to serve (optional)
pastry sheets (see instructions)
In a soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots and onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour. Stir in broth and milk and heat to boiling. Add potatoes, leftover turkey, poultry seasoning, and turkey broth. Reduce heat, cover slightly, and simmer 30 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, if desired, prepare the pastry chips for serving by cutting the cooled pie crust ready-to-roll into wedges. Place on aluminum foil or a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake at 350° until browned, about 12-15 minutes. Get out of the oven and cool.
To finish the soup, add the peas and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fried onions and pretzels, if desired.
From and tested by Suzanne Selasky for the Free Press Taste Kitchen. analysis per cup.
196 calories (25% from fat), 6g fat (2g fat), 20g carbs, 17g protein, 322mg sodium, 40mg cholesterol, 3g fiber.
Make: 4/ Preparation time: 15 minutes / total time: 30 minutes
2 ribs celery, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 shallot (white part only)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 ounces grated white cheddar cheese (or use Bravo Farms cheddar cheese)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
8 slices of your favorite bread such as French bread or sourdough, cut 1/2 inch thick
1/2 pound roast turkey, coarsely grated
8 fresh sage leaves, optional
Peel the celery and cut off the large white end. Slice the green part across (width) into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Cut the shallots in half lengthwise, reserving the light green and white parts. Cut into 2-inch pieces, then into matchstick-sized slices. Wash the shallot slices well.
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the celery and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, until the celery has softened slightly. Add the leeks to the celery, stir well and cover. Continue to cook until both are tender without colouring.
Put the white cheddar cheese in a bowl and mix it with the sage. (Do not use fresh sage if you are using sage-marinated cheddar cheese.)
To assemble the sandwich: Brush one side of each slice of bread with a little butter. Put half of the buttered bread slices on top and evenly spread 1 ounce (or more to taste) of the cheese, then put a little more shredded turkey on top of the cheese and add a dollop of the celery mixture. Put about 1 additional ounce of cheddar cheese on top of the turkey. Place another slice of bread on top, with the butter up. Place two sage leaves, if using, on top of the slice of bread before grilling.
Grill the sandwiches in a moderately hot skillet or panini grill for 4-5 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. If you’re working in a skillet, flip the sandwiches halfway through the roast. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve hot.
Adapted from “The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook” (Book Kitchen, $24.95). Tested by Susan Silaki for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
576 calories (50% from fat), 32 grams fat (18 grams sativa), 38 grams carbohydrates, 33 grams protein, 791 mg sodium, 117 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.
Make: 12/ Preparation time: 25 minutes / total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Here’s how to make turkey sandwiches for a crowd. These also make great use of leftover rolls and cranberry sauce.
12 soft white dinner pieces or slider bread
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
3/4 cup of cranberry sauce
12 slices (about 1/4 inch) leftover turkey breast
12 thin slices of provolone
Pepper to taste
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice rolls in half horizontally. Spread 4 tablespoons of the Dijon over the cut sides of the tops and bottoms. Drizzle a little cranberry sauce on top of the inside of the rolls. Arrange roll bottoms, cut side up and side up, in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish. Place the turkey slices on the bottom of the rolls. Fold the cheese slice into thirds and place it on top of the turkey. Season with pepper and cover with roll tops.
Combine butter, onion and poppy seeds in a bowl. Microwave until butter melts and onion softens, about 1 minute. Whisk Worcestershire, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons mustard into butter mixture until blended. Generously brush tops and edges of sandwiches with all of the butter mixture. Pour any remaining solids over sandwiches.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and leave for 10 minutes to allow the sandwiches to absorb the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until cheese melts around edges and tops are slightly set, 7 to 9 minutes. Leave it to cool for 10 minutes. serve.
Chef’s Note: Sandwiches can be drizzled with sauce, covered, and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Adapted from Cook’s Country magazine. Tested by Susan Silaki for the Free Press Test Kitchen.