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5 recipes for leftover Christmas turkey

Turkey is a must-have on Christmas Day, but it's an enormous bird! There will inevitably be leftovers from your festive feast, and it would be a shame to see all your hard work in the kitchen go to waste. Luckily, turkey meat is a beautiful ingredient for several wholesome recipes. These dishes will give you the chance to take it easy after a hectic Christmas. They are simple, and you can take shortcuts without compromising on flavour. These dishes are perfect for Boxing Day snacks or family meals that will use up any festive foods leftover.

Turkey is a must-have on Christmas Day, but it's an enormous bird! There will inevitably be leftovers from your festive feast, and it would be a shame to see all your hard work in the kitchen go to waste. Luckily, turkey meat is a beautiful ingredient for several wholesome recipes. These dishes will give you the chance to take it easy after a hectic Christmas. They are simple, and you can take shortcuts without compromising on flavour. These dishes are perfect for Boxing Day snacks or family meals that will use up any festive foods leftover.

Turkey & spring onion wraps

Wraps are perfect for a boxing day get-together. They're yummy, easy to eat, and your leftovers are the perfect ingredients for these daytime snacks. This recipe will serve four people but cut down or beef up the recipe as you need.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp garlic mayonnaise 
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto
  • 4 curly lettuce leaves
  • 1 x handful baby spinach, chopped
  • 250g chilled cooked turkey, pulled apart
  • 6 x spring onions, chopped
  • 12cm chunk cucumber, sliced longways
  • 4 x plain soft white tortillas

Method

  1. Mix the mayonnaise and the basil pesto until well the mix is green in colour.
  2. Layout the tortillas on separate plates.
  3. Spread the mic over the one side of the tortilla.
  4. Evenly divide the turkey, lettuce leaves, baby spinach, turkey, spring onions, and cucumber.
  5. Fold the tortillas over the ingredients and enjoy with your hands.

Tip: Arrange the fillings down the middle of the tortilla to make it easier to fold over.

Turkey & parsnip curry

This is an excellent recipe for the middle of the week after Christmas. With all the extra flavours of a curry, it won't feel like you're eating turkey for the millionth time. This dish is homely and the perfect way to get the best out of your leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 500g parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 400g tinned, chopped tomatoes
  • 1½ cups of water
  • 500g/1lb boneless cooked turkey, cut into chunks
  • 150g low-fat natural yoghurt
  • 300g cooked basmati rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper

Method

  1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions. Fry on a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and slightly coloured.
  3. Add the parsnips and stir well for about 8 minutes, or until they are slightly softer.
  4. Stir in the curry paste so that the onions and parsnips are well covered.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes and water.
  6. Stir well and bring to the boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer and then cover with a lid.
  8. Leave the curry to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until the parsnips are cooked through and soft.
  9. Add the turkey and stir it into the curry.
  10. Put the lid on again and leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  11. Serve with basmati rice and a tablespoon of yoghurt on the side.

After the hard work you put into Christmas dinner, you deserve a break from the kitchen. Use a premade curry sauce if you like; we won't tell anyone! Using a curry sauce means you won't have to cook the onions and the tomatoes. Just throw the parsnips in the sauce with some water, and you're all set! Ready-cooked microwavable basmati rice will also save you a saucepan for washing up and is one less thing to worry about burning.

Turkey-ham-avocado toasted cheese

If you've got leftover cheese from the post-dinner cheese board, leftover gammon or ham and any excess turkey, then this indulgent snack is perfect for you. These moreish toasties are great for light family lunches and will use up most of the leftovers from Christmas dinner. This recipe is for one sandwich, so adjust the number of ingredients as you need to.

Ingredients

  • 3 x leftover ham or gammon
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 x slices bread
  • 2 x slices leftover roast turkey
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • As many pieces of leftover cheese as you want
  • Butter for the bread

Method

  1. Heat a pan on the stove.
  2. Spread butter on one side of both slices of bread.
  3. On the side with no butter, place the ham, cheese turkey and avocado.
  4. Close the sandwich with the buttered side of the other slice of bread facing up.
  5. Place the sandwich in the heated pan and cover with a lid until the one side of the sandwich is golden brown.
  6. Flip the sandwich. Cook the other side until golden brown and until the cheese has melted.
  7. Slice the sandwich in half and enjoy!

This recipe is also great with crispy bacon! Cooking the sandwich in the same pan adds flavour to the dish, too.

Creamy turkey and mushroom penne

Leftover turkey is an excellent substitute for chicken, so if you're at a loss how to use the meat, replace the roast chicken ingredient with roasted turkey. This creamy pasta dish is the perfect example and is an excellent mid-week dinner. Use any remaining white wine in this dish to give it an extra bit of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 75g chopped chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 x medium onion, diced
  • 2 x cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of mixed Italian herbs
  • 250g leftover roast turkey
  • 5 tbsp double thick cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 50ml white wine
  • 300g penne pasta

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a deep pan.
  2. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions have slightly softened.
  3. Add the white wine and reduce for about 7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil. Add olive oil and salt to the pot. This is for cooking the pasta later.
  5. Add the mushrooms and the mixed herbs and stir until the mushrooms are soft.
  6. Add the cream, salt and pepper and bring the dish to a simmer.
  7. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, add the penne to the pot of boiling water and cook until the penne is slightly underdone.
  9. Add the turkey to the creamy mixture and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  10. Once the penne is cooked drain it through a colander.
  11. Remove the lid from the simmering dish and add the penne.
  12. Serve in bowls and enjoy!

This Italian-style dish will warm you up from the inside out and takes about 30 minutes in total to prepare. Quick, easy and satisfying, this dish will do your turkey justice!

Waste not want not

Throwing away food is one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when you've taken the time to prepare something like a Christmas turkey. These recipes should inspire you to use your leftovers. Experiment with your leftover meats and other remaining components to make the most out of what may otherwise be thrown away.

Zara Tunnicliffe

Zara Tunnicliffe

Writing has allowed Zara to learn about topics and explore further those that interest her. Zara creates a range promotional copy for events as well as content for a variety of websites and social media platforms. Zara always look forward to researching interesting topics and sharing them with others through her writing.