Sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest news and offers!

Food From The Hills: Our Favourite Recipes for Turkey Leftovers

It's the last article in our Food from The Hills series before Christmas, and in true waste-not-want-not style, we know that when it comes to the bird, there's bound to be leftovers next week. Whilst some of us will be choosing a crown or smaller cut in order to reduce our wastage, there is always an assumption that there will be some meat for at least a turkey sarnie on Boxing Day! However, there's much more flexibility to this high-protein, lean meat than a sandwich.

Did you know that last Christmas the UK consumed around 10 million turkeys altogether over the festive period? That's around 76% of UK families serving up a roast turkey as their main Christmas meal, and after the washing up is done and we are left channel-hopping with full stomachs, there will be a plate of leftover meat in almost all of those fridges!

I've mentioned the humble turkey sandwhich already (cranberry and stuffing definitely a must in my books), but as I have mentioned, there's much more bolder flavours that this bird can handle including a good curry! As with the notion of all recipes vs leftovers, these are intended to be taken as a guide ony, and a 'handful of this, with a handful of that' approach is advised!

Turkey Noodle Soup

If you are feeling a little hungover or the bugs of the season are bringing your down, this hot, healthy and light noodle soup fromBBC Good Food will make you feel better in no time.


  • 1.2l low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 140g medium egg noodles
  • 200g/7oz shredded, cooked turkey
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 bunch spring onions sliced, white and green parts separated


  • Bring the stock to the boil and throw in the carrots. Boil for 4 mins, then add the noodles and simmer for 3 mins. Stir in the turkey, peas and the white part of the spring onions, heat for 1 min or until everything is hot through. Ladle into bowls, scatter with the green part of the onions to serve.

Turkey Chilli

If you are after something hearty and spicy, but need an alternative to the traditional Boxing Day curry, Good Housekeeping suggests a good Chilli. Serve with nachos, rice and fresh guacamole!


  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 dried ancho chilli
  • 400 ml passata
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 195g tin sweetcorn, drained


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the mince. Cook, breaking it up as it cooks until it is browned all over, around 10min. Turn the heat down and add the onion. Cook for 5min until beginning to soften, season lightly. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for a further 2min.
  2. Add the cumin, paprika and sugar to the onions and cook for 5min. Stir in the tomato puree and cider vinegar and cook for 2min before pouring in the passata and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and cook for 20min. Tip in the kidney beans, sweetcorn and chocolate and cook for another 20-30min until the sauce is reduced. Season to taste and serve.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Finally, Jamie Oliver introduces us to his fabulous Sloppy Joes. He says “The sloppy Joe is so much more than a sandwich or a burger, and giving it the Christmas treatment means we’re taking that bun filled with delicious pulled meat and crunchy exciting veg, served with gravy for dunking, to the next level.”


  • 200 g leftover cooked higher-welfare turkey meat
  • 200 ml leftover higher-welfare turkey gravy
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple
  • ½ a red onion
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 gherkins
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 4 seeded wholemeal buns

for the BBQ sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon HP sauce
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • 1 splash of Worcestershire sauce


  1. Shred and pull apart your leftover turkey meat and place in a small pan with a splash of water and 4 tablespoons of gravy. Pop a lid on and place on the lowest heat for 10 minutes to warm through.
  2. Warm the rest of the gravy in a separate pan, ready to use it for dunking later.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and finely shred the carrot, matchstick the apple, peel and finely slice the red onion, and pick and slice the mint leaves. Place it all in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of pickling liquid from your gherkin jar.
  4. Finely slice the gherkins, using a crinkle-cut knife if you’ve got one, and the chilli, add to the bowl, mix well, lightly season and put aside.
  5. Mix all the BBQ sauce ingredients together.
  6. Split and toast your buns, then spread the BBQ sauce inside them, top and bottom. Pile your pulled turkey on the bun bases, drizzle with a little gravy and top with some of that tasty slaw. Pop the bun lids on, and you’re away.
  7. Serve the rest of the gravy on the side for a naughty dunk, along with any leftover slaw.

How good do they sound!? I wouldn't blame you for forgoing seconds just to ensure that there are leftovers available for those recipes! I would love to know, do you have a go-to leftovers recipe or tradition?

About the author: Laura Cutress

Laura is the owner and director of Anchor & Dash, brand development and marketing agency. She believes that everyone deserves an online presence which makes them feel proud. Her mission statement is simple: building business through creative, authentic and inspiring digital marketing. If you would like to chat more about growing your brand, talk to her over at , on Facebook, or her personal favourite, Instagram.

More about the author

More from the author

Comments on Food From The Hills: Our Favourite Recipes for Turkey Leftovers

    Leave a comment

    Login to comment

    Sign up today

    Get the latest from The Hills...

    Get all the latest blog posts, features of the week, exclusive offers straight into your email inbox.

    Join the


    They’re hidden in the hills…

    Add your beautiful business to our community and join other rural makers, creators, crafters and brands in our directory and business services.

    Join the directory

    Login Required

    Sorry, but the post you want to read is for registered members only.

    Login below to try again or register an account

    Login Register

    Login Required

    Sorry, but the post you want to read is for Premium & Business members only.

    Login below to try again or register for a Premium or Business account

    Login Register

    Login Required

    Sorry, but the post you want to read is for Business members only.

    Login below to try again or register for a Business account

    Login Register