“6 of the best” recipes for leftover turkey

The day after the night before…

Thanksgiving food is delicious: the pies, the green bean casserole, the stuffing, the turkey. It’s impossible not to over cater in a normal year, resulting in piles of leftovers to eat in front of the TV or constantly graze on through the week. Which is pretty much a part of the tradition: cold cuts of meat and cheeses, turkey curry, bubble and squeak (although that may just be a British thing!).

But this year, restrictions probably mean that fewer people were gathered around the table, meaning even more leftover turkey. We hate waste at Anything But Sandwiches, so we’ve collected six delicious lunch recipes to help you use up your leftover turkey, without boring you senseless!

Spicy Turkey Tacos
Spicy Turkey Tacos

When it comes to the best excuse to shovel delicious guacamole and sour cream into our mouths, we choose tacos every time!

Making up this spicy mix will breathe new life into the turkey you’re now not sure what to do with.

Serves: 4


300g cooked diced turkey

1 small onion, chopped

1 chili, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika of chipotle powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice of 1 lime

Taco shells

Toppings of your choice (guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese, salsa, or all of them – yum!)

What to prep:

You can make up the meat mix in advance and put it in the fridge for later, or the next day.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the turkey pieces, onion, pepper, chili, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Add in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, paprika or chipotle, salt, pepper and lime juice. Heat through.

When you’re hungry:

Take your turkey mixture, put it in the taco shells and top with anything you like!

Try not to make too much of a mess!

Turkey fried rice
Turkey fried rice

Why bother with a takeaway when you have the ability to cook a delicious and speedy meal like this without anyone having to go out to fetch it?

You can throw in whatever veg you have lying around, to add colour and all those extra yummy nutrients!

Serves: 2


1 egg

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp groundnut oil (olive, coconut or rapeseed oil will also work here)

200g cold cooked brown rice (or you can use whatever rice you have in the fridge)

100g cooked shredded turkey

3 tbsp chopped spring onions, chopped

2 handfuls of frozen peas

What to prep:

This recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover rice. If you don’t think you’re going to have any leftover rice (you may be the only person in the Western world to be able to cook exactly the right amount of rice for a meal, in which case, you’re probably a witch.), then you can make some up during the week and pop it in the fridge to cool ready for the yummy fried rice.

Take 60g of dried rice and put it in a saucepan with enough water to come up an inch above the top of the rice.

Bring it to the boil over a high heat and boil until all the surface rice has evaporated (around 15minutes).

Put on a lid, reduce the heat to it’s lowest level and cook for another 15 minutes (try not to lift the lid!).

Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

When you’re hungry:

Mix the beaten egg, sesame oil and half of the salt.

Heat a wok until its really hot, add the groundnut (or alternative) oil.

When the oil is beginning to smoke, add the cold rice and stir for 1 minute.

Add the turkey, the rest of the salt and the spring onions and stir-fry for 3 minutes

Add the egg mixture, mix all the ingredients together and stir-fry for 2 minutes until the egg has cooked.


Turkey ramen bowl
Turkey ramen bowl

A familiar recipe here, but it tastes just as good with your leftover turkey as it does with pork steaks, you just don’t need to cook the meat for as long.

With the ginger and garlic, this is also great for your digestion…should you have been over-indulging recently…

Serves: 4


1.5 litres of chicken stock

1 thumb of ginger, grated (or chopped really small)

2 garlic cloves, crushed or diced

1 or 2 red chillies (depending on your preference)

500g roasted shredded turkey

2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks

2 handfuls of kale, sliced and stalks removed

200g noodles

4 soft boiled eggs


What to prep:

Absolutely nothing! Although you can buy pre-prepared crushed garlic and ginger from most supermarkets if you can’t face fiddling about with it in the middle of the day.

When you’re hungry:

Put the chicken stock in a large, thick-bottomed pan to boil. Add the ginger, garlic, chillies and carrots and cook for 3 minutes.

While you’re waiting boil the eggs (7 minutes from boiling is about perfect)

Add the noodles, shredded turkey, and kale and cook for another 4 minutes until the noodles are just done.

Taste and season

Ladle into bowls, and add the, cut in half, boiled egg on top.

Turkey buddha bowl with spicy mango sauce
Turkey buddha bowl with spicy mango sauce

If you’re after something fresher than your standard turkey curry, something to convince you that it is actually summer – even though it’s dark at 5pm, then this buddha bowl is for you.

Tangy, spicy mango sauce is such a great taste to combine with plainer turkey, and the rice will keep you full until tea, when you may want to eat more of it!

Serves: 2


For the mango dressing:

1 cup of diced mango (fresh or frozen)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp coconut milk

1 tsp honey

A pinch of cayenne

For the buddha bowl:

1 cup of roasted sweet potato

1 1/2 cups of roasted broccoli

1 1/2 cups roasted turkey

1 cup spinach or kale

1 sliced avocado

1 mango, cubed

1 cup of cooked rice (we prefer brown)

What to prep:

You’re dealing with leftover turkey here, and if you’ve also got leftover potatoes, then great!

Otherwise, peel and chop a sweet potato , roll it lightly in oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast it in the oven at 200 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the potato is soft.

When there’s 20 minutes left, add the broccoli too.

You can also make the mango sauce in advance.

Put all of the sauce ingredients in a blender, and mix until smooth.

When you’re hungry:

Place the rice in your bow, add the greens.

Top with the roasted potatoes, avocado, broccoli, turkey and mango.

Drizzle over the mango sauce

Serve immediately!

Turkey and kale rice bowl
Turkey and kale rice bowl

We’ve served up short grain brown rice with pan-fried prawns before, but we love it so much that we’ve spotted another opportunity to enjoy it whilst using up more of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Whether you have an extra serving of pumpkin pie afterwards is completely up to you – we won’t tell anyone.

Serves: 4


1 cup of short grain brown rice

3 cups of water

500g of cooked turkey

1 bunch of kale

1 1/12 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

4 tbsp soy sauce

1 bell pepper, diced

1 large beetroot, peeled and diced

4 radishes, sliced

2 spring onions, chopped

3 tbsp shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)

What to prep:

Bring your thanksgiving turkey leftovers along.

Alternatively, roast 500g turkey or chicken for 20 minutes at 200 degrees. (if you cover it with foil, or an oven-proof lid then it will stay moist.)

You can use the short grain brown rice you have waiting in the fridge if you’ve read our fridge prep article (LINK).

Alternatively, place the rice in a saucepan with the water and cook according to the packet instructions.

Remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves a bit smaller (but not too small).

Dry the leaves well as this makes the chips crispier.

Toss the kale in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil and 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce.

Lay the leaves out on a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes.

At the same time, toss the beetroot in 1/2 tbsp olive oil, lay that out on a baking try and bake for 15 minutes.

(You can put the turkey, beetroot and kale all in the oven at the same time, just pay attention to the cooking times!)

When you’re hungry:

Mix the rice, shredded turkey, radishes, spring onions, sliced pepper, rest of the soy sauce and coconut all in a bowl.

Top with the kale chips.

Turkey, pear, and rocket salad
Turkey, pear, and rocket salad

We love fruit in salads, the unexpected sweetness makes the whole dish more interesting. The parmesan cheese shaved over the top gives you the saltiness that will stop you reaching for crisps once you’ve finished, and the toasted walnuts provide just enough crunch.

All in all, this is the perfect, light yet filling, lunch for the day after all the pies!

Serves: 4


450g shredded roasted turkey

6 cups of rocket (or arugula if you’re from across the pond)

2 pears, thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, diced

1/4 cup of toasted walnuts

Parmesan shavings

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

What to prep:

Bring along your leftover turkey!

If you don’t have any then grill turkey or chicken breasts in some olive oil, salt and pepper for around 10 minutes per side until cooked through, then shred.

When you’re hungry:

Put the rocket in a bowl and toss with a little salt and pepper.

Add the turkey, sliced pears, walnuts, diced celery and then top with parmesan shavings.

Drizzle over the lemon juice and the olive oil.