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How to use leftover turkey

The big day is over, and now you have tons of turkey sitting in your fridge. There are plenty of delicious ways to use up those leftovers! Turkey sandwiches are great, but how about trying something new? Here are a few of our favorite turkey recipes to get you started.


BBQ Turkey Sandwiches and 40 Minute Buns

For the sandwich filling:

  • 6oz tomato paste + 6oz of water

  • 1 lb shredded turkey

  • 1/3-1/2 chopped onion

  • 1/4-1/3 chopped pepper - sweet or spicy

  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorn mix

  • 3-4 TBS BBQ seasoning (chili pepper, parika, garlic powder, and onion powder)

  • 1tsp chipotle pepper

Mix everything and simmer until thickened.

For the buns:

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 TBS yeast

  • 2-3 TBS sugar or other sweetener

  • 3 TBS oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1 egg, reserve some egg white for topping buns

Preheat oven to 425F.

Dissolve yeast in water. Mix in sugar and oil. Let set for 5 mins.

Mix in salt and egg.

Add just enough flour to hold it together. It should be very soft and it's OK if it's a little sticky. Knead for 2-5 mins until smooth and elastic.

Divide into 8-12 pieces. Shape them into buns about 1" thick.

Place about 3" apart on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Coat with a mixture of the remaining egg white and water. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Cover and let rise for 10-20 mins.

Once the buns have doubled in size, bake 8-12 mins. Cool, cut, and fill!


Turkey Tamales

This recipe works well with any kind of meat, so it's great for using up leftovers all year round!

Corn Husks:

Soak for 2 hours in warm to hot water, or overnight in room temp water.


  • 2 cups masa harina

  • 2 cups broth

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt or 1 TBS adobo seasoning

  • 2/3 cup lard

  • (optional) sweet corn, cooked and chopped

Beat lard with 1 TBS broth until fluffy. Add masa harina, baking soda, salt, sweet corn, and enough broth for it to mix to an easy to spread spongy dough.


  • 4 dried chili pods (Ancho, New Mexican, or Californian work well)

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 clove garlic

  • (optional) 3 bay leaves

  • 1 1/4 lbs shredded meat (turkey, chicken, pork, etc)

Simmer the first 5 ingredients for 20 mins. Blend. Add 1 cup of this sauce to the meat and bay leaves (set the rest aside for serving). Simmer the meat for another 2 hours.


Drain the corn husks. Spread the masa mixture on the larger portion of the husk about 2/3 way across and 2/3 way down. Spread about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Spoon some meat filling down the center of the masa. Fold the husk over so that the ends of the masa meet. Compress the filling and roll to about 2/3-3/4 to the end. Flip the unfilled end up into the roll and roll the remaining husk. Alternatively you can roll the whole way and then flip the bottom up - but I find they hold together on their own better the other way.

Place the rolled tamales into a steamer. Traditionally they would stand upright in the steamer with the sealed end down; however, you can steam them on their side if you are just steaming a few. Steam for 1-2 hours. Serve with remaining chili sauce.


Enchiladas Verdes

Verdes Sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 3 serrano peppers

  • 1lb tomatillos

  • 2 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups water and 1 tsp chicken bouillon)

Cook with chicken stock until softened. Blend. Cook until thickened.

Meat filling:

  • 1 cup chicken stock (or 1 cup water and 3 tsp chicken boullion)

  • cooked turkey

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp salt or adobo

  • cilantro, chopped

  • white corn tortillas

Put the turkey, 1 cup broth, adobo and bay leaves in a pan and simmer for 30 mins.

Take the bay leaves out of the meat filling. Put the filling into a corn tortilla with a little of the verdes sauce. Roll the tortilla and put onto a plate with the ends of the tortilla against the plate. Top with more verdes sauce and a little chopped cilantro. Serve!


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