Are they leftovers if you plan for them? Not that it matters to the Thanksgiving cook, but the term "leftovers" sounds so haphazard, as though they just happened spontaneously and weren't intended. Not in my kitchen. I plan for extra turkey on Thanksgiving so I can make some of my favorite post-feast meals, whether it's sandwiches, soup, chili or anything else that strikes my fancy.



Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

Note: A hearty Italian soup that uses leftover turkey or chicken. Adapted from Spice Islands.

• 1 (49.5 oz.) can chicken broth

• 2 c. sliced carrots, fresh or frozen

• 2 c. frozen cheese-filled tortellini

• 1 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced

• 2 c. cooked turkey or chicken, diced

• 3 tbsp. minced fresh onion, or 1 tbsp. minced dry onion

• 11/2 tsp. garlic salt

• 1 tsp. dried tarragon

• 1/4 tsp. black pepper

• 2 tbsp. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese


Bring chicken broth to boil in a stock pot or Dutch oven. Add carrots and bring to a second boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender-crisp, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Add tortellini, mushrooms, turkey, onion, garlic salt, tarragon and pepper; simmer 10 to 12 minutes. Do not let soup boil. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each serving.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 160 Fat 5 g Sodium 1,216 mg Saturated fat 2 g

Carbohydrates 12 g Calcium 88 mg

Protein 16 g Cholesterol 67 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 2 lean meat.



Serves 4.

Note: From "Comfort Food Fix," by Ellie Krieger.

• 1/3 c. plain Greek-style nonfat yogurt

• 2 tbsp. ketchup

• 1 tbsp. mayonnaise

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped sweet or savory pickle

• 1 tsp. white wine vinegar

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 8 slices pumpernickel bread

• 12 oz. turkey breast, thinly sliced

• 1 c. sauerkraut, squeezed of excess liquid (about 4 oz.)

• 4 thin slices Swiss cheese (2 oz. total)

• Olive oil cooking spray


In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, ketchup, mayo, pickle, vinegar and black pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of this dressing on each slice of bread. Divide turkey among 4 of the slices, then top each with1/4 cup sauerkraut and 1 slice cheese. Top each with another slice of bread, dressing side down.

Spray a medium cast-iron or nonstick skillet liberally with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Place one sandwich in the skillet, spray top with cooking spray, and weight down with another heavy skillet or teakettle filled partially with water. Grill until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 376 Fat 11 g Sodium 900 mg Saturated fat 4 g

Carbohydrates 33 g Calcium 225 mg

Protein 36 g Cholesterol 88 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 4 lean meat.



Serves 4.

Note: Adapted from Jennie-O Store Kitchens.

• 4 pieces of pita bread

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

• 11/2 c. leftover turkey, cut in chunks

• 1 small yellow pepper, thinly sliced

• 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

• 1/2 tsp. crushed dried chiles

• 1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/4 c. loosely packed small basil leaves


Heat broiler. Brush top of each pita bread with oil. Sprinkle with garlic. Top with cheese, turkey, yellow pepper, tomatoes, ground pepper, crushed chiles and Parmesan cheese.

Place pitas under broiler and cook about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp. Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 370 Fat 15 g Sodium 625 mg Saturated fat 6 g

Carbohydrates 31 g Calcium 250 mg

Protein 29 g Cholesterol 75 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 3 medium-fat meat.



Makes about 10 cups.

Note: From the Jennie-O Turkey Store Kitchens.

• 2 c. leftover turkey, chopped

• 1 c. onion, coarsely chopped

• 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-in. cubes

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced, if desired

• 1 tbsp. chili powder

• 11/2 tsp. ground cumin

• 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander

• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

• 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram leaves

• 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, if desired

• 2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans of low sodium whole tomatoes, coursely chopped

• 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce

• 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

• 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

• 1/4 c. low-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded


In a large stockpot, combine turkey, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, jalapeño peppers, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, marjoram and red pepper flakes. Simmer 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and cilantro. Cook 10 more minutes. Top with cheese.

Nutrition information per 1-cup serving:

Calories 128 Fat 2 g Sodium 328 mg Saturated fat 1 g

Carbohydrates 15 g Calcium 89 mg

Protein 13 g Cholesterol 28 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 1/2 lean meat.



Serves 10.

Note: From "The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook."

Pot pie filling

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1 medium rutabaga (l lb.), peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces

• 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces

• 1 large onion (12 oz.), chopped

• 1 lb. all-purpose potatoes (3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces

• 2 large ribs celery, chopped

•3/4 tsp. salt, divided

• 1 lb. cooked turkey or chicken, cut into 1/2-in. pieces (4 c.)

• 1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen peas

• 1 (141/2- oz.) can chicken broth

• 1 c. milk

• 1/4 c. flour

• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

• 1/8 tsp. dried thyme

Cornmeal crust

•11/2 c. flour

•1/4 c. cornmeal

•3/4 tsp. salt

•2/3 c. vegetable shortening

• 1 egg, beaten


Prepare pot pie filling: In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add rutabaga, carrots and onion and cook 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes, celery and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until rutabaga is tender-crisp, about 10 minutes longer. Spoon into 9- by 13-inch baking dish; add turkey and peas.

In 2-quart saucepan, heat broth to boiling. Meanwhile, in small bowl, blend milk and flour until smooth. Stir milk mixture into broth; add pepper, thyme and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to boiling over high heat, stirring. Stir sauce into chicken-vegetable mixture in baking dish.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

To make cornmeal crust: In large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal and 3/4 teaspoon salt. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in vegetable shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 6 to 7 tablespoons cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over flour mixture, mixing with fork after each addition until dough is just moist enough to hold together.

On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough into rectangle 4 inches larger than top of baking dish. Arrange dough rectangle over filling; trim edge, leaving 1-inch overhang. Fold overhang under; flute. Brush crust with some beaten egg. Cut several slits in crust to allow steam to escape during baking.

Place pot pie on foil-lined cookie sheet to catch any drips. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. During last 10 minutes of baking, cover edges of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 410 Fat 19 g Sodium 680 mg Saturated fat 5 g

Carbohydrates 40 g Calcium 89 mg

Protein 21 g Cholesterol 61 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 2 bread/starch, 1 1/2 lean meat, 3 fat.