Help With the Holiday Leftovers!

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Did your turkey outlast your Christmas meal? Are you on mashed potato overload? No problem, try a new gourmet turkey sandwich, turkey tacos, or even some homemade soup. There are so many ways to use leftovers; never let them go to waste. You certainly have free rein over the recipe ingredients to change or make additions according to your leftovers!

Turkey Stroganoff

1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 lb. leftover cooked turkey meat, dark or light meat, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup leftover turkey gravy (or chicken or turkey stock)

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 Tbsp. of chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dry thyme (important, do not omit)

1 cup of sour cream at room temperature (can substitute plain, full-fat yogurt)

Salt to taste (you will need more salt than you expect)

Black pepper to taste

1/2 lb. egg noodles, cooked

Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and dry sauté them (cook them without oil), shaking the pan frequently so they don’t stick, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mushrooms release their water and begin to brown.

Add the butter and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until the onions begin to brown. Sprinkle salt over everything. Add the turkey meat and gravy and stir to combine. Cook for a minute or two, and sprinkle on the thyme, black pepper and nutmeg.

Turn off the heat and add the sour cream. You may want to add a few tablespoons of water to thin the sauce. Mix in the sour cream thoroughly. Do not let the sauce come to a simmer or boil or it may curdle. Adjust seasonings to taste. In particular, depending on how salty your gravy was, you may need to add salt. More than you think.

Serve immediately over egg noodles. Serves 4.

Turkey Tacos with Cranberry Salsa


8-12 corn tortillas

Vegetable oil

2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese, or mild cheddar

Cooked turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

Lettuce, thinly sliced

Fresh cilantro for garnish


1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 an apple, peeled and cored

Chopped Serrano or jalapeno chili to taste (about a half a chili, but taste for desired heat)

4 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. chopped peeled ginger

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp. of lime or lemon juice

Dash of salt

Prepare cranberry salsa. Put the cranberries, apple, chile, sugar, ginger, cilantro, and lime or lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until coarsely shredded, about 10 short pulses. Let sit 15 minutes for the cranberries to macerate.

Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat. Unless you are using freshly made homemade tortillas, you will need to soften them first. Place a small amount (1/2 a teaspoon) of oil in the pan and spread to coat the bottom of the pan. Place a tortilla in the pan and let it heat up until bubbles start to form. Then flip it over.

Sprinkle grated cheese on half of the tortilla, and top with chopped cooked turkey. Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the side with cheese and turkey (like an omelette). Cook until the cheese begins to melt, then flip the taco over so that the tortilla browns on the other side as well. Continue to cook the tacos in this manner.

To serve, open up the tacos and put some chopped lettuce and plenty of cranberry salsa over the cheese and turkey. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serves 4.

Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

2 cups sliced mushrooms, (about 4 ounces)

3/4 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup quick-cooking or instant wild rice, (see Ingredient Note)

3 cups shredded cooked chicken, or turkey (12 ounces; see Tip)

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots and shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add rice and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in turkey (or chicken), sour cream and parsley and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 354, Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 87 mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, Protein 36 g, Fiber 3 g, Sodium 378 mg.

Open-Faced Turkey Cranberry Enchilada Melt

2 rolls, sliced in half


8 slices Swiss cheese

1 cup leftover turkey, shredded

½ 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup salsa

¼ sour cream

1 green onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

¼ teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

⅔ cup leftover cranberry sauce

¼ cup grated white cheddar cheese

Butter each slice of the rolls and lightly toast.

Combine the remaining ingredients except the Swiss cheese slices in a bowl and mix together.

Divide the mixture on top of each roll half.

Top with 2 slices of Swiss cheese and broil until the cheese is melted and the roll becomes crispy and golden brown.

Remove from the broiler and serve warm. Serves 4.

Cranberry Meatballs

48 frozen cooked meatballs

1/2 cup cranberry sauce

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. finely minced ginger root

Bake the meatballs according to package directions until well heated. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, gingerroot, and pepper. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until bubbly. Add meatballs to sauce and stir. Serve with toothpicks.

Slightly Lighter Bread Pudding

7 slices whole wheat bread (or whatever you have leftover)

1/2 cup sugar substitute
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3 egg whites

1 cup skim milk
1 tbsp. light stick margarine, melted
1/2 cup raisins

Spray cooking spray in loaf pan.
Tear bread in pieces and put in pan, add raisins. Set aside. Melt margarine and mix with egg whites, Splenda, skim milk, cinnamon and salt.
Pour this mixture over bread and raisins and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serves 10, each serving contains; Calories 97, Fat 2 g, Carbohydrates 17 g, Protein 4 g.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on Dec 21, 2015
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