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 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. That goes for extra stuffing and cranberry sauce, too, the more the merrier for the meals ahead.

Here are some of the favorites of our many Taste recipes for leftovers (but don’t call them leftover recipes; these are the cream of the crop!). And there is one from a new cookbook, too, “The Farmhouse Rules,” by Nancy Fuller, because, well, we all want something new to try. Happy (days after) Thanksgiving.



Makes enough for 6 individual pot pies.

Note: This crust is from “The New Midwestern Table” by Amy Thielen. You’ll need only half for 6 individual pot pies, so freeze the remaining dough for a single-crust pie, or future pot pies. (The recipe also makes a 9- to 10-inch double-crust pie of any kind.) Pot pies may be assembled 4 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until it’s time to bake.

• 2 1/2 c. flour

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut in 16 pieces

• 1 egg yolk

• Generous 1/2 c. milk, or more if needed


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the larger remaining chunks are the size of small peas.

Drop the egg yolk into a liquid measuring cup and add milk until you reach exactly 2/3 cup (you’ll use about 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon). Mix the egg yolk and milk with a fork until combined, then add it to the flour mixture all at once. Mix the dough with a fork until you can gather most of it into a ball. This is most easily done in the bowl, like packing a large snowball; if it seems any drier or more difficult than that, add another tablespoon of milk.

Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and as long as 2 days. Let dough come to room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling it.


Makes enough for 6 individual pot pies.

Note: A roasted half-breast makes about 3 to 4 cups of diced turkey. You also can substitute chicken, or use more vegetables — just make sure your total ingredients add up to 6 to 7 cups. The bacon is optional, but a nice touch. From Kim Ode.

• 3 to 4 c. diced turkey, from leftover turkey or roasted half-breast

• Vegetable oil

• 2 slices bacon (not thick-cut)

• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter

• 1 1/2 c. finely chopped yellow onion

• 4 c. chicken or turkey stock

• 1 c. small red potatoes, cut in roughly 3/4-in. dice

• 1 c. carrots, peeled, cut in roughly 3/4-in. dice

• 1/2 c. flour

• 1 1/2 tsp. salt

• Several grinds of freshly ground pepper

• 1/4 c. heavy cream

• 1 c. frozen peas

• 1/2 c. minced fresh parsley leaves


• 1 egg yolk

• 2 tsp. heavy cream

• 1/2 tsp. paprika


If you’re roasting a half-breast of turkey, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly rub turkey with oil and roast in shallow pan until temperature probe registers 170 degrees, 50 to 60 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into 3/4 inch dice. If not using immediately, keep refrigerated.

Cook bacon, if using, until crisp. Remove to paper towels to cool, then crumble.

In a large saucepan, melt butter, then add onion and sauté over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.

While the onions are cooking, heat the stock to just boiling. Add potatoes and carrots to the stock and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly tender. Turn off heat. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.

To the softened onions, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Add the hot stock to the onions and simmer until thick, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

Stir in salt, pepper and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Add turkey, potatoes, carrots, peas and parsley, stirring to mix well. Check for proper seasoning. Remove from heat.

To assemble pot pies: Divide the filling among 6 (8-ounce) ovenproof ramekins or straight-sided dishes no more than 4 inches wide. Crumble bacon and divide among the pies. (If there’s any leftover filling, serve it on toast!)

To prepare glaze: In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with 2 teaspoons cream. Set aside.

Remove crust dough from plastic wrap (remember: you took it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes ago), and place on lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 10- by 16-inch rectangle. With a knife or pizza cutter, cut six (5-inch) squares. (You’ll use the remaining inch of pastry to make decorative leaves.)

With a small brush or your finger, brush the rim of each bowl with beaten egg yolk, then drape pastry over the filling, pressing gently on rim to seal. Brush the entire surface of pastry with egg glaze.

With a sharp paring knife, cut small leaf shapes from the remaining dough, using the blade to press “veins” into the surface. Arrange 2 or 3 leaves on each pie. Stir paprika into the remaining egg glaze, then paint the leaves with this tinted mixture.

Place pies on a rimmed baking sheet; this will catch any possible drips. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the filling is bubbling hot.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 656 Fat 39 g Sodium 1025 mg

Carbohydrates 44 g Saturated fat 23 g Calcium 92 mg

Protein 32 g Cholesterol 200 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 3 lean meat, 6 fat.

Leftover Turkey Time Sandwiches

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Note: From “Farmhouse Rules,” by Nancy Fuller.

• 2 tbsp. mayonnaise

• 2 tbsp. leftover cranberry sauce

• 1 tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

• 4 slices sturdy country white bread or rye

• 4 slices leftover turkey

• 1/2 c. leftover stuffing

• 4 slices avocado

• 4 thin slices sharp Cheddar or Brie cheese (or whatever is in the refrigerator)


In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, cranberry sauce and mustard.

Spread butter on one side of all the bread slices. Flip 2 slices of bread, buttered sides down, in a skillet. Spread each with a little of the cranberry mayo.

Layer the turkey on top, then the stuffing, avocado and cheese. Spread a little more of the cranberry spread on top of the cheese.

Add the second slices of bread, turn the heat to medium and place the skillet on the burner. Grill until the sandwiches are golden on both sides, about 4 minutes.

Cut the sandwiches in half and serve with the remaining cranberry mayo sauce.

Nutrition information per sandwich:

Calories 680 Fat 42 g Sodium 1,060 mg

Carbohydrates 42 g Saturated fat 18 g Calcium 306 mg

Protein 33 g Cholesterol 120 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 4 medium-fat meat, 4 ½ fat.


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

• 1 1/2 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

Carbohydrates 12 g Saturated fat 2 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 to 6.

Note: Don’t hesitate to toss leftover vegetables into this vibrant curry — green beans, roast squash, roast Brussels sprouts. Serve over reheated wild rice (if you have it) and garnish with a little toasted coconut and cranberry salsa. To toast coconut: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut out on a baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 to 5 minutes. From Beth Dooley.

• 6 large shallots, coarsely chopped

• 4 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1-in. piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated

• 3 tbsp. water, or more as needed

• 2 tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil

• 2 tbsp. curry powder, or more to taste

• 1 (14-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk

• 1 1/2 c. turkey or chicken stock

• 1 small jalapeño, seeded

• 1 cinnamon stick

• 2 whole cloves

• 2 c. diced cooked turkey

• 1 to 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, to taste

• 1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

• 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted (see Note)

• Cranberry Salsa, for garnish (see recipe)


In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, purée the shallots, garlic and ginger and enough water to make a paste.

Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium-low heat and add the shallot paste and cook for just 1 minute. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, jalapeño, cinnamon stick and cloves, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Remove and discard the chile, cinnamon stick and cloves. Stir in the turkey and continue simmering until hot. Stir in the lime juice. Serve garnished with the cilantro, toasted coconut and cranberry salsa.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings without salsa:

Calories 340 Fat 26 g Sodium 170 mg

Carbohydrates 14 g Saturated fat 21 g Calcium 41 mg

Protein 17 g Cholesterol 48 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges: 1 other carb, 2 ½ medium-fat meat, 2 ½ fat.


Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Note: From Beth Dooley.

• 1 c. fresh cranberries

• 1 small apple, cored and chopped

• 1 to 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, to taste

• 1 to 2 tbsp. brown sugar, to taste


Put the cranberries and apple into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Grind the cranberries and apples together, add the lime juice and sugar to taste.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:

Calories 15 Fat 0 g Sodium 1 mg

Carbohydrates 4 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 3 mg

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: free food.