Savor the Leftovers! Serve up a Different Take on the Turkey Sandwich

What happens when Thanksgiving is over, all the wine is gone, the table is slightly messy and there’s a boat load of leftovers sitting in the fridge waiting for something incredible to happen?! If you’re anything like me, you never want holidays to end, so why not turn the day after the big event into its own celebration?

We’ve been celebrating the day after Thanksgiving for the last two years and it’s one of my favorite ways to wind down from the holiday. It’s nothing too crazy, and it’s absolutely more tolerable than trying to brave black Friday at the malls. We tend to invite family back over to our house along with anyone else around town for a Panini / Sandwich party during the lunch hour and then we’ll get a little snazzier at night and do a pasta bake. Bring on round two!!

For lunch, all the leftovers get placed on the counter and I bring out the Panini press, let people assemble their own creations and kick back to relax. It’s basically no work since all the cooking was done the day before! You just need a few minutes to prep the sandwich bar, throw the leftover turkey into a skillet to reheat and then it’s go time. This year I’m going full force with the Butterball Pulled Turkey Sandwich! Complete with chipotle chili powder and Worcestershire sauce, this sandwich will add a little spice to your leftover turkey – find the full recipe below.

By the time dinner has rolled around, I’ve usually re-gained my energy and I’ll opt for a Turkey Spaghetti Bake!!

If you’ve got more leftovers than you know what to do with, just meander over to the Butterball Pinterest page and prepare to get lost in the multitude of ideas for everything Thanksgiving leftover related. And if that’s still not enough, you can always download the Butterball Cookbook Plus App on your Apple or Android (new this year!) device  for free to get even more recipe inspiration (this is especially great if you’re traveling and only have access to recipes on your mobile device).

Pulled Turkey Sandwiches

Pulled Turkey Sandwiches

Prep Time:          15 minutes

Total Time:         1+ hours

Makes:                 4 sandwiches



1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 small red onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, trimmed and chopped

3 cups coarsely chopped leftover cooked BUTTERBALL® Turkey

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

¼ cup ketchup

1 tbsp. packed brown sugar

1 tbsp. cider vinegar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. chipotle chili powder

⅛ tsp. salt

4 hamburger buns
1. Heat oil in Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender.Instructions

2. Stir in turkey, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder and salt. Cover and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour or until turkey is fork-tender and mixture is heated through. Oil or spray with cooking spray to prevent skin from drying. Insert oven-safe thermometer deep into the lower thigh muscle but not touching the bone.

3. Remove turkey from sauce; coarsely shred with two forks. Serve turkey on buns with sauce.

Tip: The pulled turkey filling for these sandwiches freezes very well. Try doubling the recipe and freezing any leftovers. Before serving, simply thaw the filling in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave.


Turkey Spaghetti Bake


1 lb. thin spaghetti noodles

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 cups leftover cooked & shredded Butterball turkey

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (I used little fresh mozzarella balls)



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Break the pasta in half and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, drain and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chicken, cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and stir.

5. Transfer the chicken and pasta mixture to the baking dish and top with the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.


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