I love turkey, and particularly, a big turkey dinner with all the fixings. It is quite literally one of my favorite meals.
But man, is it ever a fat pain in the tookus to make. Which is, I’m sure, why most of us only do it once or twice a year. And when I do, my motto is go big or go home (hungry). It’s just as much of a pain to make a 12 pound turkey as it is to make a 25 pound bird that requires two people to get it in—and out—of the oven.
The issue is, once everybody has passed out on all of the various soft things in your house after gorging for 2.5 seconds on what took you all darn day to cook, you’re left with picking clean that carcass and figuring out what to do with all those leftovers.
This. Is. Not. A. Problem.
There are plenty of things to panic about—like whether the book you re-gifted to Aunt Whatever was inscribed by the person who gave it to you (I may or may not have almost done that this year!) Or you can ponder whether climate change is real, and whether that explains why it was 70 degrees this last week in December. Or you can just worry about how you have to do this all again next year unless you can figure out a way to just skip from Halloween to Martin Luther King Day. Wwwhhhhaaaaaattttt, and miss all this?
So, without further ado … here are a few ideas.
And from our family to yours, have a wonderful and blessed holiday with the ones you love (or at least a meal you love!)
Amy’s Top 10 Things To Do With Turkey Leftovers
- A turkey dinner sandwich is one of my favorites, and if Sarah’s post on Grilled (Turkey and) Cheese is any indication, I think sandwiches are a go-to for many of us. This article from Bon Appetit is a great place to turn for inspiration with 15 different turkey sandwich ideas.
- Bolognese takes forever to make (but seriously, all good things come to those who wait, right?) Check out Giada de Laurentiis’ quick fix using turkey.
- I have this theory: All men like meals in pot pie format, that is to say, all heaped up in a pile with no ability to discern one thing from another. Why not just give them what they want? Here’s The Pioneer Woman’s Turkey Pot Pie recipe. Don’t have time for the real deal? Make this cupcake version instead. (Personally, this obsessive compulsive doesn’t like her food to touch.)
- Spice up your day, er, dinner, with turkey enchiladas. Or try this Spicy Rice and Turkey with Chorizo. Or knock it out of the ballbark with Serious Eat’s turkey carnitas.
- Don’t stop at adding a little Spanish flair: Why not try to give that bird and Asian flair with Turkey Ramen? You could also go Indian with some Turkey Samosas.
- Before things get too crazy, let’s talk about one of my least favorite things to make (or eat): casserole. They are so easy, incredibly versatile, and, for the most part, crowd-pleasing. I don’t know why they are not my thing (aside from the fact that they are easy and I seem to be most smitten with things—like that bolognese—that take ten hours or so to make.) If I was in a life-or-death casserole situation, I might be inclined to try this French Onion Turkey Casserole.
- Oooohhhhhh … these little Baked Turkey Croquettes are fun! Plus, it will help you use up some of those ‘taters, too.
- And just when you thought turkey was JUST for lunch or dinner, how about a fritatta? Throw in a little leftover bird and we are good to go. (I know you Paleo peeps have the brekkie meat thing down!)
- We agree with former governor and onetime Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis on this point: Don’t throw those bones away! If you haven’t read about our stance on bone broth, you should. This is one of the most awesome things on the planet. You basically save up all your onion peels and carrot tops and such from cooking. When you get a big bag and a few carcasses saved up, you toss it all in a soup pot or slow cooker until—voila!—you get steamy hot goodness that you can sip as an immunity booster or use to make soups. And it’s free. Without all the crazy sodium and blech they put into commercially made broth.
- Which leads me to soup (there it is) … which I am in love with lately. There are so many options here, from Turkey Stuffing Dumpling Soup to Harvest Turkey Soup (scroll down the page a bit). Just search Pinterest for “turkey” and “soup” and you’ll be hungry again for turkey in no time.