3 Delicious Leftover Turkey Recipes

Published On December 3, 2013 | By Christa Schueler | Food, Holiday, Recipes

Thanksgiving has to be one of the busiest eating days of the year – – the shopping, the food prepping, the house cleaning ….and the list goes on and on. And after the food is eaten and the guests are gone, there’s nothing but a huge mess and tons of leftovers. Most of what’s leftover is turkey….lots and lots of turkey. But don’t fret as Recess has 3 delicious leftover turkey recipes brought to us by Veria Living, The Organized Cook and Target’s A Bullseye View.

Turkey-Ginger Panini – Veria Living


Veria Living, the national health and wellness TV network, has many nutritious and super yummy recipes on their site Veria.com, and this one is no exception. A perfect lunch using leftover turkey meat, Turkey-Ginger Panini is also low in fat and calories which is awesome since we all ate a tad too much on Thanksgiving. Am I right? For more healthy recipes from Veria Living, check out their website, Veria.com.


2 tablespoons pickled ginger, finely chopped
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup cranberry chutney or relish
1/2 pound freshly roasted turkey breast, sliced
4 slices whole grain sandwich bread
2 tablespoons coconut oil


Preheat a panini press, griddle or grill pan. In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese and pickled ginger.
Spread a slice of bread with ginger-cream cheese mixture, and then top the cream cheese with a few slices of turkey breast.
Evenly spread another slice of bread with cranberry relish and place on top of the turkey.
Lightly brush the outsides of the sandwich with coconut oil and place on the grill pan.
Press the sandwich down and weigh it down with something heavy, like a cast iron pan  (You can also try a brick wrapped in aluminum foil, a full tea kettle, or a plate with a few heavy cans on top!).
Grill sandwich, flipping once, until the is golden brown, the turkey is warm, and the cream cheese is melted.

Green Chile Cilantro Penne – The Organized Cook

Green Chile

The Organized Cook is known for her quick and easy (and super delicious) leftover recipes. Her Green Chile Cilantro Penne is also a great recipe for those who are tired of eating plain old turkey (like my family). So switch it up in the kitchen with this spicy dish! For more creative meals, check out The Organized Cook’s website.


Leftover Thanksgiving turkey
Penne pasta- 1 pound
Canned whole green chiles- 4 7oz. cans (or 1 bulk can), not drained
Queso Fresco cheese- 1 round
Cilantro- 1 bundle, leaves pulled from stems with one “twist-and-pull”


Boil pasta in salted water until tender.
In blender, combine green chiles (not drained), most of the cheese leaving out about a fourth to crumble on top, and cilantro.
Blend on medium until it becomes a sauce; do not over-blend; be careful not to puree it.
Drain water from pasta and return pasta to warm pan over medium-high heat.
Add sauce to pasta and toss.
Serve topped with turkey and crumbled cheese.

Cheddar Bacon Turkey Burger – A Bullseye View

Turkey Burger

You may remember this recipe from our Summer Thanksgiving article. It’s still one of our favorites! You can use this recipe by making your own ground turkey with your leftovers; all you need is a food processor and sheer determination. We also suggest making this burger using an indoor grill or pan unless you enjoy grilling in the cold.


20 oz. lean ground turkey
1 cup Market Pantry Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 strips fully cooked turkey bacon, chopped
4 hamburger buns
Toppings: barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato


Mix turkey, cheese and bacon in medium bowl.  Form into 4 patties, 3/4-inch thick each.
Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet on medium heat, and add patties. Cook about 5 minutes, until brown on bottom; turn over. Cook 5 to 6 minutes longer until fully cooked.
Serve on buns with desired toppings.

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About The Author

UNLV graduate, wife, mother of three, blogger and aspiring novelist, Christa Schueler brings her writing, editing and research skills to Recess. As an advocate for education and health reform and a 25 year Las Vegas resident, Christa understands the need for providing a platform and a "voice" for women in Southern Nevada. Despite Las Vegas being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Christa has seen continual lack of community connection and strives to change that. Now, she's joined the sandbox revolution!

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