Cathie Campbell

What to do with leftover turkey

A popular way to use leftover turkey is to make delicious sandwiches.
A popular way to use leftover turkey is to make delicious sandwiches. Wikimedia Commons

A lot of people say they always have too much turkey left over from their Thanksgiving meal. Once in a while, I do too, but most of the time, after I give leftover packages to guests, that isn’t a problem. If you end up with more turkey than you expected, here are a few ideas for using it up. I am grateful for a lot of things, one being that I have all of you, my kitchen friends. Peace to each of you and all your families.

Turkey salad sandwiches

The addition of dried cherries and toasted almonds really kick this recipe up a notch. I have found that the mayonnaise made with olive oil is a good choice and is tasty, too.

 1/4 cup slivered almonds (about 1 ounce)

 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt

3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

1 teaspoon ground fresh ginger

 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

 3/4 cup thinly sliced celery

 1/4 cup chopped red onion

 1/4 cup dried cherries

 1/4 cup golden raisins

About half a pound of leftover turkey breast, cubed

4 6-inch whole wheat pita rounds, cut in half

1. In a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat, toast the slivered almonds, just lightly. Stir or shake as they brown; this should take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, ginger and red pepper flakes. Add toasted almonds, celery, red onion, dried cherries, golden raisins and the turkey meat; stir until mixture is well combined. Spoon about  1/3 cup of the sandwich filling into each pita half. Makes 4 servings (2 pita halves each).

Southwestern turkey soup

1  1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey

4 cups vegetable broth

1 can (28-oz.) whole peeled tomatoes

1 can (4-oz.) chopped green chiles

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon lime juice

 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 avocado, diced

 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro (or put a bit of fresh in if you prefer)

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a large pot over medium heat, mix the turkey meat, broth, canned tomatoes, green chiles, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and lime juice. Season with cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

2. Add the cubed avocado and cilantro and simmer another 20 minutes. Ladle into serving bowls and top with the shredded cheese. Makes about 6 servings.

Turkey pot pie

As usual, when I say flour, I mean all-purpose flour, unless otherwise noted.

1 medium onion, chopped

 1/3 cup butter

 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1  3/4 cup chicken or turkey broth

 2/3 cup milk

2 cups cubed, cooked turkey

1 cup (4-oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese

2 cups frozen peas and carrots mixture

For pastry:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons celery seed

1 teaspoon salt

 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Milk, optional

1. For the filling: In a saucepan over medium heat, saute chopped onion in the butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually add broth and milk (it can help if the liquids are preheated), whisking or stirring. Cook mixture about 2 minutes, stirring well, until it has thickened. Add the cubed turkey, shredded cheese and the peas and carrots. Cook until the cheese has melted; set aside.

2. For the crust: Preheat oven to 375. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, celery seed and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add enough cold water to make a ball out of the dough.

3. Cut the dough in half and roll out each half as you would for a fruit pie; place one half into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the crust until it is even with the plate edges.

4. Place hot turkey filling over the top of the bottom crust and place the top crust over, then seal and flute the edges. Cut slits in the top of the crust and if desired, brush with a bit of milk.

5. Bake pot pie in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Makes 6 servings.

Quick and easy turkey casserole with biscuits

I like to add some corn, carrots and potatoes to this, even though the potatoes take a little more time.

1 can (10  3/4 -oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 cup chopped leftover turkey

1 can (4-oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained

 1/2 cup frozen peas

 1/4 cup milk

Dash each ground cumin, dried basil and thyme

1 tube (12-oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, or your favorite kind

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine condensed soup, turkey meat, mushrooms, peas, milk, cumin, basil and thyme.

2. Pour mixture into a greased, 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan. Separate the biscuits and lay the over the top of the filling. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the biscuits turn golden brown. Makes 4 to 5 servings.