Savor the Leftovers! Serve up a Different Take on Turkey

Once my family has enjoyed the spread of holiday favorites, the cooks around our table share suggestions for the leftovers. There are definitely a few “to-go” plates, in the list of what’s next for those good things to eat.


What is the best way to preserve turkey leftovers?

There are a lot of ways you can take advantage of having deliciously leftover turkey lying around after Thanksgiving. Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep those leftovers for all kinds of future turkey needs:

  • Chop the cooked turkey and freeze it for future use in enchiladas, tacos, nachos, casseroles, pasta, soup, stew or salads.
  • Once the meaty portions are gone, you can freeze the turkey bones to add flavor to vegetables such as green beans or dry beans.
  • You can freeze cooked chopped turkey in one or two-cup portions in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bags three to four months.
  • The turkey carcass also makes a good starter for broth to keep on hand. Simply cover the carcass with water and simmer with celery, carrot, onion and potato. Once the broth cools, you can store it in the freezer in airtight quart-size containers or fill ice cube trays for easy use, one cube at a time. Label and date the container—properly stored the broth can be frozen for six to eight months.

These leftover suggestions are simple and easy ways to put extra turkey to good use in savory dishes beyond sandwiches. Butterball also has some advice on how to best store your leftovers.

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