What to Do with Turkey Leftovers

With Thanksgiving dinner over, there’s still enough turkey to feed an army. What do you do?

My favorite thing after Thanksgiving is a turkey sandwich on good white bread with real mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Another favorite is turkey soup. The big bird generally gets served only once a year, so I always buy one larger than needed, primarily to have leftovers.

Should you have a lot left, I suggest you carve off as much of the white meat as possible and use it for sandwiches or turkey tetrazzini. Then, use the carcass and legs for turkey broth and soup. You’ll need a very large pot, with the capacity for 6 quarts. If you don’t have time right away to use the leftovers, freeze them. You won’t want to waste the opportunity to make a wonderful broth.


Turkey broth
Yields 4-½ quarts (approximately) 
1 turkey carcass
6 quarts of water
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
2 leeks
3 cloves of garlic
9 sprigs of parsley
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon of ground pepper

Turkey Soup
2 tablespoons of butter
6 large carrots, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, slice in ¼ inch pieces
leftover wild rice
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
2 to 3 quarts of broth
Leftover turkey cut into bite size pieces




Separate the legs and the wings from the body of the turkey and cut the body in half. By doing this, the leftover bird will fit more easily into the soup pot. Pour the water into the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for an hour. Cool. Once the pot cools enough to handle, drain broth through a colander and then pick the meat off of the bones to use in your soup. Be sure to get the thin little bones that are in the legs. You can use the broth for soup or freeze it for later use.


Melt the butter in the bottom of a 3-½ quart pot. Cook the carrots for 3 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the celery and onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the broth and season with salt and pepper and then add the turkey. Simmer for 15 minutes and then it’s ready.

This might be too much soup, depending on the size of your family, so what you don’t think you’ll use right away, put it in containers that would serve two and freeze for another day.