Delicious ways to use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey

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Delicious ways to use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey

After Thanksgiving, many people find themselves asking how to eat all these leftovers without becoming tired of turkey. Not only that, there's leftover veggies and all the other side dishes you had.

Here are some ideas — plus a recipe — for how you can use these delicious leftovers throughout the rest of your holiday weekend.

Friday: Soup

On Friday, the day after the big binge, my stomach is always craving something on the lighter side. In the holiday spirit, we all had seconds, and dug deep into dessert so having a simple, turkey soup not only clears a bit of room from the fridge, it does wonders for your digestive health. You can use your own recipe or check out this soup recipe — it works for either turkey or chicken.

Saturday: Mile-high turkey sandwich

By Saturday, with all the kids home from school, lunch becomes the star of the day. That’s when I get creative with some mile-high turkey sandwiches. Some cranberry mayo slathered on toasted white bread, thick slices of the white meat with lettuce and tomato and bacon leftover from breakfast makes for a mean turkey club. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make a turkey salad that is a bit more upfront work but will make sandwiches and salad toppers for days.

Sunday: Turkey pot pie

Finally, a lovely Sunday night meal is my annual Turkey Pot Pie. This is when I get to repurpose all my leftover roasted veggies, the uncorked white wine and the pie crusts I made in advance but just didn’t use. Simple and delicious, no one will remember the by end of the weekend that this kitchen sink dish includes everything you've already eaten the past few days.

Here's the recipe for this delicious — and comforting — post-Thanksgiving turkey pot pie. For this recipe, try to use up as many leftovers as possible. But feel free to add other items (like frozen peas or carrots) if you like.

Serves: Six
Prep time: 35 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, small dice
2 carrots or leftover roasted veggies (1 cup), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup celery, small dice
4 cups leftover roasted turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces (both white and dark meat)
1 cup corn or 1 cup peas
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 thawed pie crust, either store bought or leftover from pie making
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
coarse salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil and butter on medium heat until melted. Add onion, celery and roasted veggies/carrots and cook until onion is translucent, about five to six minutes. Add turkey, salt and corn/peas and mix to combine.

Sprinkle flour all over the mixture and stir to combine until you no longer see the flour, which should take about two minutes.

Add white wine and stir to combine.Add stock and increase heat to high. Mix to combine and allow mixture to boil.

Add thyme and oregano and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer six to seven minutes, until liquid begins to thicken. Remove thyme and remove pan from the heat.

Transfer to a large pie dish and allow to cool for ten minutes. While the mixture is cooling, roll out the crust. Place the crust over the cooled turkey/veggie mix and cut three to four slits in the dough. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until crust to golden brown the and filling is bubbling.

Serve with a fresh green salad or other delicious side dish, like this.

Image: Anna Gass