By Carl Hanson

It's the same thing every year. After Thanksgiving, time suddenly shifts into warp speed, rushing us toward Christmas in a blur. But here's a way to grab back some time: Make a few easy, pre-made freezer meals over the long Thanksgiving weekend. And while you're at it, put that leftover Thanksgiving turkey to work!

These easy meals turn Thanksgiving leftovers into 5-star casseroles, manicotti, enchiladas, and more! Pop them in the freezer, and you have meals for the busy work weeks ahead. Take them to work for lunch -- and be the envy of your peers -- or reserve them for quick-and-easy weeknight meals.

Some of Our Best Leftover Turkey Recipes

1. Turkey Enchiladas

Here's a deliciously different use for leftover turkey. Make the recipe as written, or take Charlotte's advice: "I was too burned out on cooking after Thanksgiving to roll all of those enchiladas. So instead I made an enchilada lasagna. Lazy, but delicious."

Turkey Enchiladas | Photo by Meredith

2. Turkey Potato Casserole

This recipe gets the most from all of your Thanksgiving leftovers. "After a holiday meal, half the work is done," says Peggikaye. "Because you usually have the mashed potatoes, green beans, and turkey. With leftovers, it's a breeze...a family favorite."

Turkey Potato Casserole | Photo by Meredith

3. Turkey Manicotti

"When you're looking for something completely different to use up those turkey leftovers, this could be it!" says Chef John. "A tender, eggy pasta-like crepe enfolds the cheesy, amazing filling. You can make the crepes and filling ahead of time."

Chef John's Turkey Manicotti | Photo by Allrecipes

4. Turkey Tamale Pie

"Even if your turkey is perfectly cooked, the reheated leftovers can be a little dry and uninteresting," says Chef John. "This tamale pie will rescue the last remnants of your bird in a significantly more exciting and flavorful way than the usual soup. There are two basic types of tamale pie, one with a cornbread topping and the other with traditional masa dough. Here, I wanted to create something that gives us the best of both, and I was very happy with how this came out. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro if desired."

5. Broccoli Chicken Divan

Here's a chicken casserole that takes well to freezing and easily converts to leftover turkey. Another classic, it combines cubed turkey with broccoli, soups, and Cheddar. For more recipes that easily convert from cooked chicken to leftover turkey, check out our Chicken Leftovers Recipes.

Broccoli Chicken Divan | Photo by Reyna

6. Turkey Tetrazzini Deluxe

Make way for the classic! Turkey, pasta, mushrooms, and peas bake up with cream of mushroom soup, sherry wine, and broth -- topped off with Cheddar cheese.

Turkey Tetrazzini | Photo by Meredith

7. Chef John's Turkey Noodle Casserole

Garam masala, spicy pepperjack cheese, and diced red peppers keep things interesting here. As Chef John explains it: "This delicious casserole is for leftover leftovers. I don't know about you, but after a few days of eating Thanksgiving leftovers, no matter how tasty they originally were, I want something that makes me forget there's even turkey in it." Watch Chef John in action:

8. Cha Cha's White Chicken Chili

For this top-rated recipe, replace the cooked chicken with leftover turkey meat. You can also swap in homemade turkey stock for the chicken broth.

Cha Cha's White Chicken Chili | Photo by MesaMa

9. Gobbler Cobbler

"Use your leftover turkey and veggies in this savory cobbler!" says Bibi. "With a tender, biscuit-like savory topping, this dish is a comforting, filling main dish that's perfect for a cool winter evening or any time!"

Photo by Bibi


Check out our collection of Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes.