Whether you've opted for a full roast turkey, or the more diminutive turkey crown and turkey breast, it's highly likely that there’ll be some meat left after the big Christmas dinner, whatever cut you choose. While the humble turkey sandwich of course has its place, the versatility of this lean, mild meat means it can work much harder. From creamy curries to stir-fries and salads, we've got plenty of ideas for using up cooked turkey and a range of other leftovers.


How to handle turkey leftovers safely

Turkey crown on a serving plate surrounded by oranges, red onion and herbs
  1. Let your cooked turkey completely cool, then refrigerate at the first opportunity – within 90 minutes is best.
  2. Don’t leave your turkey hanging around all afternoon as it may become unsafe to eat. Bear this in mind before heading for your post-feasting nap.
  3. Leftover turkey should be eaten within two days, so if you don’t think you’ll get through it in time, stick it in the freezer in portions.
  4. If you do freeze your turkey for a later date, make sure it’s wrapped properly or put in a sealed container to avoid freezer burn. It’s also good to use sticky labels to add dates and descriptions to your frozen goods.
  5. If you’re storing your leftover cooked turkey in the fridge, put it on the middle shelf along with all your other ready-to-eat foods. Save the bottom shelf for raw meat and fish.

Check out our guides on what to keep where at Christmas, how to freeze food at Christmas and what to put where in your kitchen. We also have plenty more leftover Christmas turkey recipes. Our guide on how to reheat turkey and keep it moist is also useful when using up the meat in leftovers. We also have the top 5 health benefits of turkey which details the nutritional value of this low-fat meat.

Our top 25 turkey leftover recipes

1. Leftover turkey fricassee

Pasta with turkey fricassee in a bowl

Winter is the season of comfort, so why not put your Christmas dinner leftovers to good use in this indulgent turkey fricassee? With a creamy mushroom sauce and splash of white wine, it's sure to keep those post-Christmas blues away. Ready in just 20 minutes, it's delicious served with pasta, mash or rice.

2. Turkey tikka masala

Turkey tikka masala with rice in a dish, served with naan

Spice up your leftovers and turn them into a whole new dish that the family will love. Inspired by the nation's favourite curry, this fragrant turkey tikka masala delivers layers of flavour and gentle chilli heat in a rich, creamy sauce. Rather than making a separate curry paste, we've cooked everything in one pan, so you'll have less washing up to do.

3. Next level turkey & ham pie

Turkey and ham pie with pastry decoration on top

Looking for a kitchen project to keep you occupied over the Christmas hols? This next level turkey and ham pie is not only a great use for your leftovers, but also a showstopping celebratory dish in its own right. Boost your pastry skills by making your own sage-infused shortcrust case, then generously fill with cooked meats, herbs and leeks in a creamy mustard sauce. This banquet-worthy dish is sure to please a crowd and equally delicious served warm for dinner or cold as part of a buffet spread.

More like this

Check out more leftover turkey and ham recipes.

4. Leftover turkey loaded nachos

Nachos topped with turkey, jalapenos, sour cream and spring onions

These leftover turkey-loaded nachos are a great festive party platter or move night snack. Top your nachos with turkey, jalapenos and sour cream and dig in! Great with a side of salsa or guacamole.

5. Leftover turkey grain bowls

Bowl of turkey, avocado, grains and veg

Another nourishing meal to keep you feeling good over the festive season. These gluten-free leftover turkey grain bowls are packed full of wholesome ingredients, including avocados, lentils, probiotic yogurt and a crunchy rainbow slaw. Warming spices such as za’atar and harissa balance well with a zesty tahini dressing which brings this whole dish together.

6. Spicy turkey noodles

Turkey noodles in a large wok

With so much happening over the festive period, dinner prep can be a rather rushed affair. So it really helps to have a few quick and easy dishes such as these spicy turkey noodles up your sleeve. Ready in just half an hour, this simple stir-fry combines leftover turkey with noodles, spring onions and beansprouts in a zingy soy and lime sauce. We've used a red chilli to give it some heat but you can easily omit this if catering for youngsters. Throw in extra leftover veg such as shredded sprouts or carrots to make it even more scrumptious.

Whip up more turkey stir-fry recipes.

7. Christmas leftover sandwich

Layered sandwich filled with Christmas leftovers in a white loaf

When it comes to devising the most epic Boxing Day sarnie, we think we've come pretty close to perfection. Simply hollow out a crusty loaf of bread, then layer up all your leftovers inside to make this lip-smacking Italian-style muffuletta sandwich. Cooked turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, spinach and crispy onions are all the perfect elements for your Christmas leftover sandwich. Enjoy with a handful of crispy for added crunch.

8. Leftover turkey casserole

Turkey and root veg casserole in a pot

A hearty one-pot to warm everyone up – this simple turkey casserole is ideal for using up all your Christmas leftovers, including the trimmings. Throw in any robust root vegetables, such as parsnips, carrots and celeriac. Simmered in a flavoursome honey and mustard stock, this stew is delicious served with mash or jacket potatoes.

9. Turkey curry patties

Platter filled with turkey curry patties

Raise your lunch game with these marvellously meaty turkey curry patties. With just one bite, your tastebuds will be hit with a wonderful array of herbs and spices, all encased within a soft and crispy homemade turmeric pastry. These gorgeous golden patties are perfect for the days after the big meal, or you can easily freeze them for later.

10. Roast potato, turkey, sausage & stuffing pie

Roast potato, turkey, sausage and stuffing pie in a square baking dish

There's nothing quite like a bubbling golden potato bake to welcome you at the end of a busy day. This easy roast potato, turkey, sausage & stuffing pie combines all the best bits from Christmas dinner in one. Put it together in just 10 mins and let the oven do the hard work. With a creamy mustard sauce filling and crispy cheesy topping, this comforting dish might even trump Christmas dinner itself.

11. Christmas pizza

Christmas pizza cut intro slices

Kids will love this festive pizza, topped with leftover meat and, ingeniously, a scattering of stuffing. It might not be one for Italian food purists, but it's certainly won us round.

12 . Leftover turkey & noodle soup

Turkey noodle soup in a bowl topped with chilli and coriander

This leftover turkey & noodle soup is a little like pho, a Vietnamese broth traditionally made with beef and served with a plate of zingy fresh herbs, chilli and lime on the side. The kick from the chilli is a great way to warm up on a cold winter's day.

Also try our slow cooker turkey pho for a light supper, or check out more turkey soup recipes.

13. Leftover Christmas lunch patties with gochujang mayo

Two leftover Christmas patties on a plate with gochujang mayo

Mix up all your leftover veg, stuffing and turkey meat for these delicious Christmas lunch patties. Simply add herbs and spices to elevate the flavour and enjoy. The tangy gochujang mayo adds a nice heat.

14. Turkey cacciatore with a twist

Turkey cacciatore with serving spoon, in a baking dish

This Italian-style bake will be a crowd-pleaser thanks to its cheesy breadcrumb topping and rich tomato sauce. Our easy turkey cacciatore is just the ticket when all the festive-themed food gets a bit much.

15. Korean rice pot

Korean rice bowl with fried egg

Keep things nice and light with our speedy Korean-inspired rice pot. This healthy bibimbap combines diced turkey with spinach and shredded carrots, served on a bed of rice. Top with fried eggs and nutty sesame seeds.

16. Leftover turkey korma

Bowl of leftover turkey korma topped with coriander

A gently spiced dish, with a nice creaminess to it, this leftover turkey korma is a great alternative meal to a heavy of Christmas dinner. Pair with naan or white rice and mango chutney for a taste explosion.

17. Mini turkey & cranberry pies

Mini turkey and cranberry pies, with one cut open

If you’re in charge of any post-Christmas/pre-New Year entertaining, these mini turkey and cranberry pies will keep your guests happy – just add a block of shortcrust pastry to your big grocery shop.

18. Turkey & pesto croissants

Croissants filled with turkey and pesto

Start your day right with this delicious turkey and pesto-filled croissant. Warm your croissants in the microwave or oven before filling them with your Christmas leftovers and anything else you fancy.

19. Coronation turkey with homemade chapatis

Chapatis with Coronation turkey, tomatoes and lettuce

This mildly-spiced treat will add a touch of retro charm to a Boxing Day spread. Pick up some roti flour and try your hand at these homemade chapatis with coronation turkey.

20. Leftover turkey slaw

Turn your turkey leftovers and other raw vegetable trimmings into a light and refreshing salad with a punchy lime dressing. Watch our video below and check out this guide for how to make turkey slaw.

21. Turkey cobb salad

Platter with turkey, avocado, boiled eggs, tomatoes and lettuce

We have a healthy bowl of goodness with this turkey cobb salad. Add tomatoes, boiled eggs, pancetta, avocado, chicory leaves and that leftover turkey breast for a light and creamy salad.

22. Jewelled pistachio slaw

Jewelled pistachio slaw in a salad dish with servers

A simple salad but one that packs so much flavour. Use up your leftover red cabbage, sprouts and turkey, mix up with pistachios, mint and the silky dressing; this jewelled pistachio slaw makes for a nutritious lunch and a way to prevent food waste post-Christmas.

23. Turkey pasta bake

Turkey pasta bake in a dish topped with pigs in blankets

Make this low-cost, easy and filling turkey pasta bake. It's a great midweek meal for the family. Coat in cheese and top with extra pigs in blankets for a wonderful surprise.

24. Turkey and clementine lunch bowl

Turkey and clementine lunch box

Keep to the classic festive flavours with this turkey and clementine lunch bowl. It's protein packed and a great post-workout meal. It is a way to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your balanced diet and is also rich in vitamin c and folate. Eat up leftover veg and turkey breast after Christmas so that you're free from excess food waste.

25. Turkey minestrone

Turkey minestrone in a bowl

A wintry soup is always a good choice when using up leftover meat and vegetables. This delicious turkey minestrone is simple to rustle up using storecupboard ingredients and leftover Christmas food. It's the perfect warming pick-me-up meal.

26. Leftover turkey wraps with cranberry sauce

Two halves of a wrap stuffed with turkey,

Whip up a delightful Boxing Day meal that captures the essence of Christmas in every bite. This quick lunch is a symphony of festive flavours, featuring surplus cranberry sauce, vibrant red cabbage and succulent leftover turkey. Perfect for savouring the holiday spirit even after the big day has passed.

27. Turkey & potato taquitos

Tacos filled with turkey and roast potatoes placed in a star shaped pattern topped with red onions and garlic

Transform your post-Christmas feast with these irresistible Mexican-inspired fried taquitos that use up leftover turkey and potatoes. Satisfy your culinary wanderlust as you embark on a journey of flavours, pairing these crispy delights with lettuce, soured cream, cheese, tangy pickled onions and zesty salsa. The best part? This recipe is designed for festive gatherings, generously serving up to eight people.

28. Slow-cooker turkey curry

Turkey curry with leftover vegetables topped with coriander leaves

Maximise the potential of your leftover Christmas turkey with this brilliant recipe for a wholesome, low-calorie, protein-packed slow-cooker turkey curry. It’s an eco-friendly way to make use of any roasted veg that might be hanging around.

29. Curried lentil & turkey soup with kale

Bowl of curried lentil, turkey and kale soup next to a piece of flatbread

Turn your Christmas turkey leftovers into a warm and hearty meal with our curried lentil & turkey soup, enriched with the robust goodness of kale. Not only does it bring your holiday flavours back to life, but it's also a nourishing option that won't break your calorie bank, thanks to its high fibre content. This soup masterpiece will be on your table in under an hour. Serve with freshly baked flatbreads to elevate your dining experience.

30. Bang bang turkey noodle salad

Platter of noodles topped with turkey, chillies and coriander

Breathe new life into your Christmas leftovers with a vibrant, tastebud-tingling creation. After dedicating hours to the stove and oven, there's nothing more satisfying than a refreshing, no-cook noodle salad. This culinary masterpiece graces your table in under half an hour, sparing you from the kitchen's heat. Not only does it give your leftover turkey a fresh twist, but it's also a savvy way to utilise those lingering carrots and peanuts.

Christmas leftover recipes
Leftover Christmas turkey recipes
Leftover Christmas ham recipes
Family dinner ideas for Christmas leftovers
10 ways with leftover Christmas dessert


How do you use up your leftover Christmas turkey? Leave a comment below.

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post