Easy recipes for the newbie cook, the beginner in the kitchen, the nervous novice: we all had to start somewhere, and you can start right here.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Leftover Turkey Recipes – Episode Two

If you cooked your turkey on Christmas Day, you are now reaching the limits of it being safe to use: three days or so is about the rule for cooked meats, although bigger pieces last longer than slices.  Hopefully, you were well prepared and have already stripped the carcass, made a stock, and got the portions of meat into the freezer.

The first recipe is, in fact, several recipes in one.  Once again, quantities are not given: it’s down to what you have left, and who you’re feeding.  And you can adapt the recipes to any leftover meat.

Leftover Turkey Meatballs and Burgers

Leftover turkey meat, minced in a food processor or shredded very finely with a knife.
Breadcrumbs – roughly a quarter of the quantity of turkey
Small onion, diced very fine
Garlic clove, diced very fine (optional)
A dash of worcestershire sauce
A dash of tomato ketchup/catsup or tomato puree
A dash of mustard, any kind that you like
A couple of pinches of finely chopped herbs of your preference
Plenty of salt and pepper
One or two eggs, beaten


Mix all the ingredients except the egg together until well-amalgamated.  Add just enough of the egg so the mixture holds together.  Form the mixture into patties for burgers, or into balls.

Treat the patties as you would any burger, fried or grilled, and perhaps served on a floury bun with a little salad, mayonnaise and mustard.  Fry the meatballs gently in a little oil until browned, then serve with fresh vegetables,  salad, or add to a pasta sauce.

Turkey Tortillas

As turkey originates from Central America, it seems appropriate to end with a Mexican-style dish.  You don’t have to use all the ingredients, and it’s often best to put them out in little dishes and let your diners make their own custom-made fillings.

Leftover turkey meat, shredded, diced, or even long slices from the breast
Tortilla wraps
Whatever salad ingredients you like
Some sour cream, crème fraiche, or greek-style yoghurt
Chilli sauce, homemade or bought
Guacamole – home-made or bought
Grated cheese
Refried beans (frijoles refritos) – you can make your own with previously cooked beans, which you reheat in a frying pan with a little oil, onion and chilli.  Or you can use them from a tin.


Reheat the turkey, the beans and warm the tortillas.

To assemble:

On each tortilla, put a smear of sour cream, guacamole and chilli to your preference
Add a little salad, refried beans and turkey meat.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.  Roll up and eat.

Hopefully, as mentioned above, you will have frozen down your leftover turkey in suitable portions for future use.  Even the greatest turkey lover will be pretty fed up with it by now – bookmark these recipes, and come back to them at a later date.

There are still lots of potential recipes for leftover turkey that I haven’t even mentioned: the ever popular (or should I say clichéd) turkey curry, creamy turkey soup, turkey casserole etc etc.  The possibilities are endless…

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