When you have leftover turkey or chicken in the fridge, try these Leftover Turkey Recipes to keep your family happy while not wasting perfectly good food. One of the best things about cooking a large turkey for the holidays is the leftovers you can use to make dinner easier later in the week!
If you are like our family, we ALWAYS have way too much food at holidays and family gatherings. Usually because we LOVE appetizers and snack our way up until the main course. Our sister, Beth, brought this Cold Crab Party Dip with Shrimp to Thanksgiving this year and it was delicious!
However, we are all OK with that because that means LEFTOVERS for everyone! Our mom pulls out her Ziploc bags, Cool Whip containers and has even purchased a set of new Rubbermaid containers to send food home with all of us (we are a family of 4 daughters plus husbands and 10 kids).
Crock Pot Turkey Breast Recipes
While we love a good roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, we don’t want to have to go through all of that when we want turkey other times of the year. That’s where a turkey breast in the slow cooker come in!
It’s so easy to just throw one in and walk away. When we come back a few hours later, it’s ready to go! Plus, making a turkey breast in the slow cooker results in a moist turkey breast. We have several crock pot turkey breast recipes on the blog, and we love them all.
The first is the one our mom uses – Mom’s Crock Pot Turkey Breast. It’s a crock pot turkey breast recipe from frozen, meaning there’s no need to thaw the turkey breast beforehand.
If you would rather start with a thawed turkey breast, try our Slow Cooker Turkey Breast!
Our last turkey breast recipe includes our favorite thanksgiving side—cranberry sauce. Try this Crock Pot Cranberry Turkey Breast recipe for a flavorful main course.
Helpful Tips for Crock Pot Turkey Breast
What does a turkey breast typically weight?
There’s quite a bit of variance in the standard weight of a turkey breast, averaging anywhere from 3 to 8 pounds. The weight will vastly change the desired cook time. A dry turkey breast is a result of over-cooking, even in the crock pot.
What’s the proper internal temperature of a turkey breast?
According to the FDA, a turkey breast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to prevent foodborne illness. To properly test the temperature of a turkey breast, insert a food thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The easiest way to do this is to use a digital thermometer.
Now that you’ve conquered a turkey beast in the slow cooker, what are you going to do with all those leftovers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Leftover Turkey Recipes
So when there is just too much turkey to enjoy as sandwiches or just cold from the fridge, Barbara and I have gathered up some of our favorite ways to use leftover turkey.
We have even substituted leftover turkey for the chicken in some of the recipes found here on our blog. You can definitely use leftover roasted (or rotisserie) chicken in these too.
Thai Chicken (or Turkey) Wraps – Cube up a couple cups of leftover turkey and add some garlic salt and pepper. Throw it in the skillet once the veggies are done to warm the turkey up and you are good to go.
Easy Crock Pot Chicken (or Turkey) Chili – Cube or shred a couple cups of leftover turkey, add it to the salsa, beans and cheese. Cook for 30 minutes to an hour on high (until it’s warmed through). Stir to incorporate cheese and enjoy!
We love all of these recipes with turkey or chicken and we know your family will love them too.
What can I do with leftover turkey carcass?
As soon as you’ve pulled all the turkey meat from the turkey carcass, store it up in a resealable bag and refrigerate or freeze for later. Boiling the turkey carcass in water with carrots, celery and onions will make a delicious turkey stock that can be used for soups. Or swap the homemade turkey broth for chicken broth in any recipe.
Try using the leftover turkey and homemade turkey broth in our favorite Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup. Turkey is an easy substitute for chicken in any recipe.
What to do with leftover turkey skins?
Grandma would say not to waste any part of a turkey, even the turkey skin. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F, season the turkey skins with salt and pepper, and place on a baking dish. Roast in the preheated oven until the skins are brown and crispy. Watch closely to make sure you don’t burn the skins. This is an awesome treat that even the kids will love.
Can leftover turkey be frozen?
Absolutely. We recommend removing the turkey bones and skin first. Pack the chopped or shredded turkey in an airtight container or resealable bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Can I save turkey that has been left out overnight?
NO! This could very likely lead to a foodborne illness. To be safe, do not keep turkey that has been out at room temperature for more than 4 hours. Once Thanksgiving dinner is done, do yourself a favor and put the food away properly in the refrigerator.