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Left Over Turkey Ideas That Rock!

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Looking for a Few Leftover Turkey Ideas? - Do you have some leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the fridge? If you can't think of anything to make with the leftovers besides a turkey sandwich on white bread with mayo then keep reading. I have a few ideas that may help you turn those scraps of leftover turkey into a tasty dish that will please everyone.

My Uncle David suggested his favorite of Thanks giving soup! "You can toss in leftover turkey, veggies and even gravy as the base for your soup broth." What a great idea!

The great thing is that the turkey in all of these recipes is already cooked. Hence the term "leftover." Just because it's a leftover ingredient does not mean that you are losing flavor. In fact, you are gaining flavor with the natural taste of the turkey in addition to the additional spices and seasonings that were used while cooking. The main thing is that these ideas are easy... what could be better than that?

Leftover Turkey Salad - Do you have a favorite recipe for chicken salad? If so, that leftover turkey would sure taste good as a substitute for your normal chicken. Add a flavor packed bun or your favorite slice of bread and you're ready to go!

Leftover Turkey Tacos - Turn that left over container of turkey into your version of a Tex-Mex Taco. Every Mexican restaurant has a chicken taco on the menu, why not use turkey. Just add some prepackaged taco seasoning to a skillet with some water and chopped onions and toss de-boned turkey pieces. Stir in green peppers, jalapenos and more for color and flavor. Choose soft or hard shells or go for burritos or even chimichangas and nachos!

Grilled Turkey Pizza - Yep, a grilled leftover turkey pizza. The Thanksgiving flavor associated with a turkey really lends itself to grilled pizza. Here's how - use a prepared pre-cooked pizza crust or Italian bread style pizza. Try a white sauce, your favorite cheese and additional toppings of your choice. Remember, the turkey and crust are done. All you have to do is select your cheese and additional toppings and fire up the grill, toss it on and cook until the cheese is melted. Don't worry, the oven works as well.

Turkey Philly - I'm a sucker for a good Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. French loaf bun, grilled onions and peppers, melted cheese and a cold beverage. Why not try your favorite recipe for a good cheese steak sandwich using some leftover deboned Thanksgiving turkey?

Tailgate Slider - A slider is a mini cheeseburger with a wide assortment of toppings served up on small buns or rolls in a sticky finger food bite sized package. My recipe combines a mini burger patty made from a combination of ground beef and ground Italian sausage. Why not add in fine chopped left over turkey to the mix. And, when you don't have any leftover turkey you can use ground turkey. Make them at home sans toppings, cover with foil, heat up at the tailgate party and let your guests add their favorite toppings.

Turkey Chili or Burgoo - Nothing says cool or fall weather like a big pot of chili. Adding leftover turkey can only add some additional flavor. You can use your recipe for traditional chili with or without beans and just toss in your leftover turkey. If you have a recipe for White Poultry Chili you can use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey in place of chicken.

Quiche or Pot Pie - A hearty fall pot pie or quiche is always a great way to get your family to the dinner table on a cool night. Using your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving is a great way to add some additional flavor to your regular recipes.

Turkey Jalapeno Poppers - I must admit, this is one of my favorite dishes. It works when you are making stuffed bell peppers or sliced and stuffed Jalapeno peppers. In the case of bell peppers simply use fine chopped leftover turkey in place of ground beef. Here's how you can use leftover turkey with stuffed jalapeno peppers. First use latex or protective gloves. Slice 20 whole jalapenos in half lengthwise. In a bowl combine 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese with 1 cup of fine chopped (almost minced) ground turkey and a few dashes of steak sauce and maybe a few sprinkles of real bacon bits. If desired, you can blanch the pepper slices for a minute or two, then spoon equal amounts of the turkey cheese stuffing into each pepper slice. Grill or bake until cheese bubbles and has some nice golden spots. That's dang good tailgate finger food

There are countless ways you can use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey in a wide variety of recipes. I hope you enjoy these suggestions and please let me know about any ideas you have. I promise I won't tell anyone... except for our readers!

Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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