Recipe: Thanksgiving leftovers -- creative uses for turkey

by Julie Snyder

Creative Uses for Leftover TurkeyAre you feeling like that Thanksgiving turkey has taken up roots in your home? Have you started hearing gobbles as you enter the kitchen?

We've searched through cookbooks, talked with family and friends and searched the web for creative recipes for those leftovers hanging around your 'frig or freezer.

Give them a try. You've nothing to lose but that mound of turkey snickering from behind the refrigerator door and much to gain -- quick nutritious meals and an appreciative group of foodies.

Creative uses for Thanksgiving turkey leftovers

Mix it up into a main dish

Thankful for Turkey Jambalaya: While poultry isn't a common jambalaya ingredient, it should be! Turkey's gaminess compliments the Andouille and holds its own against the Cajun spices. This recipe alone will make you grateful that you cooked up a somewhat larger than needed bird.

Turkey Enchiladas: Have you served enough turkey sandwiches to drive your family over the edge or to the nearest fast food joint? Take heart. You can use up that turkey that seems "oh so very unturkey-like" that tempts even the most "weary of leftovers" souls.

Bake it up

Turkey and Mashed Potato Frittata: It boggles the mind. How can anyone be hungry after that meal yesterday? Surprisingly, they are. So you dig through the fridge and find raw vegetables from the appetizer table, cheese slices, a dab of mashed potatoes, and of course, turkey. There's one thing to go with that combination -- throw them together and bake up a frittata.

Baked Turkey Sandwiches Supreme: that lifts the leftover turkey sandwich to a whole new level of yumminess! They go together quickly, use up a ton of holiday leftovers and convince the crowd that you've made something brand new. Give it a try!

Simmer it in a soup

Turkey Chili: It's tasty, healthy, versatile and easy! This chili's a snap to throw together; just open up a few cans of bean for a meal in a hurry. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the old-fashioned flavor of a chili that has cooked away on the stove for hours.

Turkey Butternut Stew: Between Thanksgiving Day and black Friday, holiday fun may have you wishing for an energy recharge. A bowl full of this hearty stew satisfies your cravings and dishes up a generous serving of protein, vitamins A and C and fiber.

Serve it in a salad

After a heavy holiday meal, a light salad hits the spot. Satisfy yourself with one of these recipes:

Turkey Apple Pie Salad: Serve it as a main dish or an appetizer. You can enjoy the salad on rolls, in wraps, or as a spread with crackers.

Fiesta Salad -- Party in a Pan! Although the recipe calls for boneless chicken breasts, you can enjoy this party with your Thanksgiving leftovers. Instead of cooking up the chicken, coat 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey with the seasonings and serve it up.

Does your family typically make use of leftovers or do you generally toss 'em out?

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.