Rejuvenate leftover turkey

By Margie Mansure (

Article Published: Nov. 28, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 28, 2013
Rejuvenate leftover turkey

To keep your food safe, don’t leave it out at room temperature to nibble on. Leftovers need to be cooled to 40 degrees or refrigerated as soon as possible.

Photo submitted

Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s nothing like spending time with family and friends and partaking in the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

My family enjoys turkey with all the accompaniments for at least two days, plus turkey sandwiches. But eventually, palates crave other flavors.

To keep your food safe, don’t leave it out at room temperature to nibble on. Leftovers need to be cooled to 40 degrees or refrigerated as soon as possible. Cut turkey meat off the carcass to store in shallow containers or plastic bags. Here are a couple of recipes that will rejuvenate your leftover turkey. These recipes serve eight. I like to freeze at least half, which is so convenient to heat up on busy evenings during the holiday season.

Turkey Noodle Bake

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
4 ounces light cream cheese
1 cup low fat sour cream
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Dash of garlic powder
8 cooked whole grain lasagna noodles
Vegetable cooking spray
3 cups diced cooked turkey
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Combine cottage cheese, cream cheese and sour cream in a medium bowl; beat at high speed of a mixer until well-blended. Stir in onion, bell pepper, and 1/4 cup parsley; set aside. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Gradually add milk and broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Remove from heat; set sauce aside. Arrange four noodles in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with half of cottage cheese mixture, half of turkey and half of sauce. Repeat layers, ending with sauce. Combine breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons parsley and paprika; sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Turkey Butternut Chili with White Beans

1 butternut squash
¼ cup olive oil
2 chopped onions
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons chili powder
Big pinch cinnamon
6 cups diced turkey
32 ounces chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes
2 diced red or green bell peppers
3 tablespoons white raisins
2 cans white beans, such as great northern or navy
1 can garbonzo beans
1 tablespoon powdered cocoa

Quarter the butternut squash, remove the seeds and microwave in a Corningware type dish, covered, for six to nine minutes, or until the squash is partially tender. Once cooled enough, peel and cut into 1-inch chucks and set aside. In a soup pot, sauté onions and garlic in oil until soft. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, squash, chili powder and cinnamon. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Add bell pepper, raisins, beans turkey and cocoa. Simmer for at least 15 more minutes. Great topped with a little cheddar cheese.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. For more information, email, or call (828) 264-3061.

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