We all know that half the joy of Thanksgiving comes from spending time with our loved ones. The other half is the food, which lasts for longer than just Turkey Day.
While we all enjoy eating the remains of the best meal of the year, it's nice to change it up a little. Let's face it, eating plain turkey for days on end can get boring.
Here are some ideas for what to do with your leftover turkey.
1. Freeze it
No matter what you're planning on doing with your turkey after the holidays, put it in freezer-safe Ziploc bags and freeze it. You'll be able to use it for months instead of days, so you won't need to fear it going bad before you get around to using it.
2. Turkey sandwich
This go-to meal shouldn't really need too much of an explanation— just grab some bread and throw on some turkey, along with whatever else you like.
3. Gobbler cakes
Somebody was creative enough to put a spin on crab cakes and use turkey instead. In fact, the recipe is quick and easy – only three steps:
- Mix a large egg, 2 cups of cooked stuffing (which is probably also left over), 1.25 cups of chopped cooked turkey, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (optional) in a bowl.
- Form eight patties that are each about 1/2 inch thick. You can also coat the patties with crushed cornflakes if you want, but it isn't required.
- Heat the patties in a skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. Each side should take three to four minutes and should be golden brown when done.
You can top these with various sauces or eat them plain, but it's recommended to douse them with cranberry sauce and gravy.
4. Turkey pop tarts
Photo courtesy of ehow.com
They're easy to make and a really fun mix between a turkey sandwich and a pot pie.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Start out with pie dough (you can either make it yourself or buy from the store), roll it out to about 1/8 of an inch thick, and cut it into squares that are 7 inches by 5 inches.
- On a square of dough, put some turkey bits and other leftovers in the middle. You can use mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Whatever you use, put only about 2 tablespoons of combined ingredients into each pop tart. Take a second square of dough and lay it over the small mound of ingredients, then press the edges of dough together (this can be done with either your fingers or a fork).
- Put the pop tarts on a baking sheet and poke a few holes in the top of each one with a fork or toothpick. Beat an egg and a spoonful of water in a bowl and paint the egg wash onto each pop tart (if you don't have a brush for this, you can also do it with your fingers).
- Lastly, put them in the oven and let them cook until golden brown (this should take between 25 and 30 minutes). Once they're out of the oven, let them cool down a little, then serve them with gravy or other leftover toppings.
5. Dog treats
If you're at the point when you just can't handle eating another bite of anything made of turkey, you can turn those leftovers into treats for your pet.
- Preheat your over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put 2 cups of chopped turkey (you can also throw in a little bit of stuffing or vegetables if you have any left) and 1 egg into a food processor and add water until it's the consistency of a thick gravy or paste.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and slowly add flour (preferably whole wheat, barley or oat flour), working it into a soft dough.
- Roll out the dough cut it into strips or use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes (make sure they aren't too big). Put them on a baking sheet and bake until they're golden (about 20 minutes).
- Once golden, don't take them out of the oven. Instead, leave them in to let them dry out – the drier they are, the longer they'll last.