10 different ways to use your Christmas turkey leftovers

It's pretty much expected that there's going to be some leftover turkey come Boxing Day – and maybe for days after that. So how can you use it all up without stuffing yourself with endless meat sandwiches? You won't get bored with this selection of Mumsnetters' top recipes for turkey leftovers.

And if you have a special dish you make every year that we haven't listed, please add your recipe so we can all enjoy it.

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Embrace the festive flavours

Homemade Christmas pizza: "make your own pizza base with camembert stuffed crust, homemade passata sauce, sliced strips of roast turkey, caramelized onions, a little sausage and stuffing, and cranberry jelly for the topping."

"Mix the breast meat with leftover ham and leeks in a creamy sauce enhanced with some of the turkey juices. Flavour with rosemary, and serve with mash."

"Put into a stew with veg, mashed potatoes and stuffing."


Continental influences

"There's a turkey stew traditionally made in Spain on Christmas eve. It has a mushroomy sauce and is topped with crunchy, cubed, fried potatoes. Yum."

Turkey paella: "Chuck in some prawns, rice, peas, peppers and whatever else is in the fridge. Bliss."

"We love turkey croquettes - serve tapas-style with mini portions of potatoes with garlic, cauliflower cheese and tomato/mozarella salad."

"Make turkey empanadas using shortcrust pastry"

Coq au Vin: "Add leftover turkey and baked ham to the slow cooker with the wine, mushrooms, a sautéed leek, some mushrooms and a bit of stock then leave it to cook all day. Just before the end add some cream and a a bit of dill. Super easy and yummy with jacket spuds and leftover veg. Perfect Boxing Day food."


Spice things up

Stir fry: Add your choice of spices and veg for a fusion of flavours - "the leg meat is lovely in a stir fry, with Chinese five spice and hoisin or plum sauce."

For an Indian-style stir fry: "Fry some sliced onions and chopped garlic in a little olive oil and cook until browned. Add the turkey and sliced peppers, chilli paste, a dash of soy sauce, ginger, garam masala, tumeric, salt and pepper and stir fry for 4-5 mins."

Turkey fajitas: "wrapped up in tortillas with strips of pepper, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and lime juice"

'Devilled' turkey: "rubbed with butter and spices then roasted and served with rice - the Boxing Day tradition."


You can't beat a curry

"Somehow turkey curry made with fresh turkey pieces just doesn't taste as good as using leftovers!"

Curried turkey: A spicy recipe using apple and redcurrent jelly for a more exotic way of using up your leftover meat

Creamy turkey korma: If you're not a fan of spicy curries, this turkey korma is nice and mild, but still rich and full of flavour

"Freeze in portions so that when the children ask for a ready meal or takeaway later in the month, you have one ready in the freezer."


Pop it in a pie

"It is almost as nice as Christmas lunch itself"

Leftover turkey pie: Make the most of those meaty scraps by topping with shortcrust pastry

Boxing Day pie: Try this super-simple turkey pie with a twist

Turkey on the run: This mashed potato-topped pie is a delicious alternative for those who aren't so fond of pastry

Cottage pie with root veg mash: Top turkey with sweet potato, butternut squash and any other veggies you have left to use

Get a post-Christmas carb boost 

Mac and cheese: with added turkey, broccoli and peas

Turkey tetrazzini: a tasty baked pasta dish topped with breadcrumbs

Creamy tagliatelle: "Try turkey and mushroom in a creamy sauce served with rice or tagliatelli" 

Chicken pasta bake: carb-tastic with added cheese, cherry tomatoes and pesto

Comfort food

Jambalaya: "It's quick and easy to cook from scratch, and a family favourite."

"Turkey and bacon risotto, using white wine and shavings of Parmesan"

Turkey wraps: "Shred leftover meat into BBQ sauce and put in crispy rolls."

"Turkey pieces dipped in egg, bread-crumbed and fried, served with bubble and squeak leftovers"

Turkey burgers: "breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs, tomato paste, a touch of English mustard, egg to bind and season. Absolutely gorgeous, especially barbecued, and pretty healthy to top!"

Soup – in various forms

"People these days just do not get how absolutely fantastic a soup from turkey bones and leftovers is. Seriously - haute cuisine? You cannot get better than turkey soup and croutons."

Turkey, bacon and lentil soup: thick and warming - serve with crusty bread

"Boil up the carcass and scraps, add seasoning and noodles to make thai soup"

"Make a spicy West Indian turkey noodle soup with Caribbean veg such as Okra, Yam, Scotch bonnet peppers as well as carrots, onions and potatoes - delicious!"


Something a bit lighter

Turkey and courgette frittata: "For a healthy option after all the seasonal indulgence."

"A fruity turkey salad with orange or pink grapefruit segments and pomegranate seeds with Caesar dressing, makes a lovely quick fresh tasting lunch."

"Mix leftover turkey with cooked mushrooms, rice and peas, pineapple, raisins, low fat yoghurt and a little lemon juice. Scoop out the insides of some different coloured peppers and stuff the mixture in keeping the lid to put on top. Place in the oven for around 20 mins. You have a lovely snack or meal for the kids and if you wanted to add a few calories it's very nice with melted mozzarella."


And there's never any harm in planning ahead...

"Freeze some turkey in tupperwares with the gravy for quick Sunday lunches."

Liked this? Try these:

Christmas turkey tips and tricks

Nigel Slater's Christmas leftover recipes

Christmas homepage


Last updated: over 1 year ago