Turkey Leftovers

 Leftover Turkey?

Here are some options of what to do with it…

breaking down the turkeyI hope your Thanksgiving was filled with people you love, scrumptious food that filled your belly and lots of laughter when you gathered to feast.

We had delicious and moist Turkey along with a spread of traditional Eats and some new sides. It was altogether incredible!


cranberries as they begin to pop
cranberries as they begin to pop as I made cranberry sauce with a surprise

Before Thanksgiving was over, I was already thinking about what to do with our leftovers.

And not just eating the same things again and again for several days.


But ways to reinvent the leftovers. Because lets face it, after a day of the same thing turkey looses it’s appeal to me.

Do you feel the same way?

Microwave the turkey leftovers? NO WAY!

When it comes to reheating Thanksgiving leftovers, there are 2 things I will not  microwave:

turkey and macaroni & cheese.

I will use the microwave to reheat most of the leftovers but not the turkey and definitely not for the macaroni and cheese.

My preferred way to reheat turkey is to take cold gravy in a pan (add a little stock or water if needed) and bring that to a simmer. After it simmers, I place the cold turkey into that warm liquid to heat up.

So I knock out 2 reheats in 1 pot when I do it this way. And I haven’t dried out my turkey.

This is the best way to reheat turkey leftovers

I like to reheat the macaroni and cheese similarly.

I simmer a little bit of milk and a pinch of salt & pepper. To help it return to it’s cheesiness, I will sprinkle a little cheese to the warm milk. Add the mac & cheese when the milk simmers. Stir gently and in no time it’s ready!

Reinvent Turkey Leftovers

The first thing that came to mind before Thursday came around was: I’ve got to make my Tex-Mex Chicken Pot Pie recipe but with leftover turkey instead!

Chicken Pot Pie
Tex-Mex Chicken Pot Pie

Same recipe with the same deliciousness! I’m just adding a new protein: leftover turkey.

Do you feel like you need to reinvent your leftovers, too?

Or are you okay with finishing up the leftovers and being done with it?

The next day I don’t want to reinvent the leftovers.

But I feel like I need to at some point so it doesn’t seem like we are eating turkey in the morning, turkey in the evening, turkey at suppertime.

Here are some ideas I am toying with since we have a lot of leftovers:

  • Turkey quesadillas or turkey nachos (because there are lots of football games for the next few days…)
  • Potato Pancakes for breakfast or dinner
  • Stuffing muffins come to mind
  • Shepard’s pie with turkey and mashed potatoes

What about you-how are you going to tackle your leftovers?

I hope that you will give my Tex-Mex Pot Pie recipe a try with your leftover turkey! If you do, please let me know how it turns out.

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ingredients for pot pie

Forgot to add the black beans!


Pictured are the ingredients but I forgot to add the black beans here. I added them before I topped with my homemade pie crust and baked it

Tex Mex Chicken Pot Pie
Use leftover turkey for Tex Mex Chicken Pot Pie

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with a delicious feast surrounded by people who love & appreciate you.


Serves 6-8

Turkey Leftovers into Tex-Mex Turkey Pot Pie

This is modified from my original recipe for Tex-Mex Chicken Pot Pie

45 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

1 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 prepared pie crust (or 1 sheet puff pastry thawed)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp high temp oil (coconut, vegetable, etc)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color, I usually go for a light colored pepper)
  • 4 garlic cloves freshly grated
  • 1 fresh Serrano pepper chopped (if this is too spicy take seeds out or use a milder pepper or leave it out)
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 packets of Sazon Goya con Culantro Y Achiote (found in your Ethnic section)
  • 1/3 cup homemade sofrito (see Puerto Rican Sofrito recipe)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups of turkey or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 4 oz can mild or spicy hatch chiles (or green chilies-whatever you can find)
  • 1 25 oz can hominy (like Juanita’s this brand is packaged as 25 oz)
  • 2 cups Black Beans (I don’t use canned but by all means go for it if you do!)
  • 1 cup cooked barley (or 1/2 cup more if using quinoa or bulgur wheat-prepare according to package)
  • 1-1/2 lbs of leftover turkey (you can use pre-cooked chicken)
  • 1/3 cup green onions (plus for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped (plus for garnish)
  • ½ cup of half & half (or whole milk of choice)
  • 1 egg for wash (or ¼ cup of egg product & water)


  1. Preheat oven 400
  2. If I’ve made my pastry dough, I roll out length of my dish. Lay on parchment and put back in the fridge to stay cold. If I’m using store bought puff pastry, make sure it is thawed & roll out to be ready but kept cold until needed.
  3. Grease a 9 x 13 dish
  4. Prepare barley (or quinoa or bulgur wheat). Rinse black beans if using canned or jarred product.
  5. In a large heavy duty pot, on about med-high heat add oil and cook onion, bell peppers, serreano pepper until onions are translucent. Add salt & pepper, garlic (do not let it brown) cook for another minute.
  6. Add butter. After butter is melted add flour. Cook to get rid of the raw taste a minute or so (it’s okay to let it cook but do not burn your flour).
  7. Add the stock and sofrito- allow to thicken and stir as needed.
  8. Add seasonings, barley, black beans, hominy, green chiles. Allow to come to a simmer and reduce heat to medium, stir as needed cooking for about 15 minutes. Add your leftover turkey, green onion and cilantro. And one last taste for any needed salt & pepper.
  9. Allow to cool if you have time (about 15-20 minutes) and pour into prepared casserole dish. Depending on how deep your dish is you may need to put a sheet pan underneath if your pan isn’t deep. If you allow this to cool before you place pastry dough I find the dough wants to puff up more. Brush with egg wash and salt & pepper.
  10. Bake about 25 minutes or until your dough is golden brown; turn 180 degrees half way through cooking.
  11. I know it’s hard to do but allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving and garnish with cilantro and green onion.
  12. Hope you love reinventing your turkey leftovers and enjoy this labor of love!
Cuisine: Tex-Mex | Recipe Type: Moderate if making puff pastry or pie crust-otherwise this is easy


Prep Time includes making a pie crust. Feel free to use a frozen puff pastry dough or roll out a pie crust from a tube or box! This recipe is modified from my original Tex-Mex Chicken Pot Pie.


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