Leftover turkey recipes: 5 ideas for Boxing Day and beyond
This year, forgo the endless offcuts sandwiches in favour of these creative recipes for leftover turkey.
Image: Jazz Apple
Don’t fancy another cold turkey sandwich? These five warming and festive recipes are sure to help use up your leftovers, and clear some much-needed space in the fridge. Just in time to do it all again on New Year’s Day …
Read more: How to cook the perfect Christmas turkey
Trewithen Dairy’s butter turkey curry
Image: Kate Whitaker for Trewithen Dairy
Taking less than an hour to pull together, this Turkey adaptation of a popular Butter Chicken curry by Trewithen Dairy is sure to be a hit on Boxing Day. You can make the aromatic creamy sauce as mild or as spicy as you like by adjusting the quantity of chilli powder. Serve with rice, naan, and mango chutney.
- Serves 4
- 100g Trewithen Dairy Salted Butter
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp garlic paste, or 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp ginger paste, or 2.5cm piece fresh ginger peeled & finely grated
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 200g Trewithen Dairy Clotted Cream
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, ground
- 800g leftover turkey, cut into bite size pieces
- 25g Trewithen Dairy Salted Butter
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp pomegranate kernels
- Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat until melted. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until beginning to colour.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin, garam masala, coriander and chilli powder and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, salt and sugar to the pan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the onions are soft and the sauce is a dark red colour. Add a splash of water if the sauce is getting too thick.
- Tip the sauce into the bowl of a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pan and add the clotted cream and ground fenugreek seeds. Bring to a simmer, then add the turkey.
- Cover the pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes, until the turkey has heated through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.
To serve, stir in the butter and sprinkle over the chopped coriander and pomegranate kernels.
Indonesian leftover turkey satay skewers
Image: Wing Yip
Applying an Indonesian twist to your turkey leftovers, these turkey satay skewers are perfect for a buffet-style dinner in the days after Christmas. Serve with the delicious Peanut Dipping Sauce, and drizzle with fresh lime juice.
- Makes 10 satay skewers, serves 2-4
For the satay:
- 800g turkey breast steaks, cut into long strips approximately 2cm wide
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 4 tbsp ketjap manis
- 10 x 10” wooden skewers
For the peanut dipping sauce:
- ½ tsp vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large or 2 small shallots, finely diced/minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 130g crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp ketjap manis
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (to serve)
- Put all satay ingredients, except for the skewers, into a sealable sandwich bag and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight in the fridge.
- Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for one hour before using. Once the meat has been marinated, thread 1-2 strips onto each skewer by weaving the strips over and under the skewer like an accordion keeping the meat nice and compact.
- Once all the turkey strips have been even distributed between the skewers, pour any remaining marinade into a small saucepan and place over a low heat.
- You can cook the satay on a grill pan or on the BBQ. If using a grill pan, place this over a high heat and leave for a few minutes to ensure the pan is really hot. If using the BBQ, make sure that it has had ample time to heat up. Once the grill pan or BBQ is hot, careful place the satay onto the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Try not to lift them too quickly as they will stick to the grill and you won’t end up with the nice grill lines. Before turning the satay, brush with some of the leftover marinade that you have heated in the small pan. Brush the satay again once you have turned them over.
- Whilst the satay is cooking you can make the dipping sauce. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the garlic and shallot. Gently fry for 2-3 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add the dry spices to the pan and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the sauce and mix well. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the sauce has come together and is hot.
- Serve the skewers and sauce straight away with the lime wedges, which can be squeezed over just before eating.
Leftover turkey Boxing Day tart
Image: Irini Tzortzoglou
This creamy tart recipe by Irini Tzortzoglou makes use of your turkey leftovers, and provides instructions for cooking sprouts, bacon and chestnuts from scratch to also include. But feel free to make use of any of the leftover veggies you’ve got – they’re all sure to go well with the cheesy, tomato-infused filling.
- Serves 4-6
- 1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry, 320g
- 300-350g cooked turkey meat, cut in small bite-size chunks
- 150g smoked lardons or bacon, roughly chopped
- 300g Brussels sprouts
- 180g cooked chestnuts
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 100ml chicken stock
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp of sesame seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 50g grated mature cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- A pinch of chilli flakes
For the feta cream:
- 100g feta cheese
- 100g cream cheese
- 6tbsp milk
- 3 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the pastry on a baking tin lined with baking paper.
- Use a knife to gently score an inner rectangle, creating a 1.5cm wide border all round and use a fork to prick all over the inner rectangle. Beat the egg yolk with a tbsp of cold water and use it to brush the border of the tart. Sprinkle the border with the sesame and nigella seeds and bake the pastry for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 180°C.
- While the pastry is baking, bring a pan with salted water to the boil. Trim and wash the Brussels sprouts and cook in the water for 7 minutes. Drain and drop into icy water to stop them cooking further.
- Next, bring a large sauteing pan to a medium heat and add the olive oil and smoked lardons or bacon. Cook stirring all the time for 3-4 minutes until the fat of the bacon has been released. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lardons to a dish. Add the chopped onion to the oil and cook for a few minutes till translucent stirring continuously. Drain that too and put into the bowl of the bacon.
- Add the sprouts, chestnuts, stock and oregano and cook at a low heat with a lid on for 10-15 minutes till the sprouts are tender. Return the lardons and onions to the pan and add the chopped cooked turkey. Taking care not to use too much as the feta is already salty, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and stir everything.
- To make the feta cream, put all the ingredients into a small blender and blitz.
- When you take the pastry out of the oven, spoon the turkey mix within the border with the feta cream intermittently.
- Sprinkle with the grated cheddar and return to the oven. Cook for a further 15 minutes till the pastry is golden.
- Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, chilli flakes and serve.
Leftover turkey and apple pot pie
Image: Jazz Apple
Add a hint of sweetness to your savoury Boxing Day dinner with this Leftover Turkey & Jazz Apple Pot Pie. Infused with fragrant herbs, and topped with a golden puff pastry crust, it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.
- Serves 4-6
For the filling:
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 and a 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
- 3/4 cups small diced carrot
- 1 cup of small diced Jazz apples
- 3/4 cup small diced Yukon gold potatoes
- 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 3/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low sodium turkey or chicken stock
- 2 cups diced leftover turkey
For the herb bundle (wrap with butchers twine):
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 sprigs sage
- 1 bay leaf
For the seasoning:
- 25 turns of fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp milk
For the top:
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to directions
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Melt butter and add the diced carrot and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the potato, apples, and peas, sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Sprinkle flour evenly over top of vegetables and then stir to coat the vegetables in the flour. Add 2 cups of turkey or chicken stock and stir to combine. Add herb bundle and let simmer on medium/low heat for 10-15 minutes so that the gravy can thicken.
- Remove puff pastry from freezer and let soften according to directions. Remove herb bundle and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into 1 small casserole dish or divide into 4 small bowls/ramekins (oven proof) Allow the filling dishes to cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°C. Meanwhile, make an egg wash by whisking 1 egg + 1 tsp milk until thoroughly combined.
Remove filling dishes from the fridge and brush about 1 inch of the top outside of the dish with egg wash (to make the dough stick to the dish ware). Drape the puff pastry over the top of the casserole dish (cut into smaller portions for small bowls/ramekins) and trim the dough so that the dough hangs over edges about 1 inch. With a paring knife, carefully cut shallow hatch marks across the top of the dough and then brush all with the egg wash.
- Place dishes on a baking sheet tray and place in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter and serve warm.
Pho with leftover turkey
Image: Wing Yip
After the heavy nature of Christmas lunch, there’s something appealing about a slightly lighter dish to enjoy on Boxing Day. Aromatic and nutritious, Wing Yip’s Pho with leftover turkey, is a warming and festive alternative to another roast dinner.
- Serves 6
For the broth:
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, skin removed and cut into quarters
- 100g ginger, peeled and halved
- 4 whole star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1kg turkey bones plus 400g leftover trimmings
- 3 litres water
- 2 tbsp Mai Siam Fish Sauce
For the garnish:
- 500g Mai Siam Thai Rice Noodles
- 600g cooked turkey meat, cut into strips or shredded
- 60g fresh beansprouts
- 60g fresh basil
- 60g fresh mint
- 60g fresh coriander
- 3 whole red chillies, but into half lengthways or thinly sliced
- 3 limes, cut into wedges
- 6 spring onions, but into 1 inch pieces and thinly shredded
- To make the broth, heat the vegetable oil in a large stock pot over a medium-high heat and add the onion and ginger. Fry for 1-2 minutes until just starting to colour and then add the dried spices. Fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and then add the turkey bones and trimmings. Turn the heat down to low and cover the bones with the water. You might not need all of the water; you just want enough to submerge the bones.
- Gently simmer the stock for 90 minutes skimming off any impurities that rise to the top of the stock. After 90 minutes strain the stock over a large clean saucepan, through a fine sieve or a sieve lined with muslin and return to the heat. Add the fish sauce to the stock and then simmer until your stock is reduced to 1 ½ litres. Turn the heat down to low and keep the broth hot until ready to serve. Alternatively, cool down the broth and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To serve, cook the rice noodles according to the packet’s instructions and the drain thoroughly. Divide the noodles between the 6 serving bowls and then equally top with the leftover turkey meat and beansprouts.
- Ladle the hot broth over the cooked noodles, turkey meat and beansprouts. Finally, top with the fresh herbs and half of a red chilli, half of a lime and the spring onions on each bowl. Serve immediately.