10 Leftover Turkey Meals to Freeze for Quick Weeknight Dinners
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 put your leftover Thanksgiving turkey to work while you're at it! These easy meals turn Thanksgiving leftovers into 5-star casseroles, manicotti, enchiladas, and more! Pop them in the freezer, and take them out for quick weeknight dinners during the busy weeks ahead.
"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."
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."
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 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."
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.
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."
Turkey Chili with Leftover Turkey
This tasty turkey chili recipe puts your leftover turkey to good use, pairing it with black beans, crushed tomatoes, and lots of chili spices. "This was fantastic and may be my new favorite recipe for left over turkey," raves shufflesf15.
"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!"
Thanksgiving Leftover Shepherd's Pie
This recipe reinterprets Thanksgiving dinner as a meat pie! It features leftover turkey, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. "You can layer in cranberry sauce and stuffing, if desired," says Who Has the Thyme, who submitted the recipe.
Broccoli Chicken or Turkey Divan
Here's a casserole that takes well to freezing and, although it calls for chicken, 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.