Our family LOVES Thanksgiving – in fact, we love the autumn in general. Kids are back to school, football season starts, the air is cool and crisp, it’s all good. Of course we have a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and there is usually lots let over. After extended family members head home with their “care packages” of leftover turkey, squash, Mom’s great stuffing and Auntie’s delicious desserts, we usually still have turkey leftover.
Using Your Leftover Turkey
Luckily there are many frugal turkey recipes that make great use of leftover turkey, and even some very good inexpensive thanksgiving recipes that can be used for your main holiday dinner. The basics remain the same; turkey and vegetables in a creamy sauce with seasonings and a yummy topping. Some leftover turkey pot pie recipes use crescent rolls or stuffing for toppings, other use biscuits, and still others call for homemade pastry. Pan pies or pot pies are easily made in a casserole or oven-safe glass dish, and turkey leftovers can be transformed into other casserole recipes by mixing rice or cooked pasta into the cream turkey mixture and topping it all with shredded cheddar cheese instead of pastry. Use this recipe as a starting point for your own version of turkey pot pie – happy cooking!
Turkey Pot Pie Recipe Ingredients
2 tablespoons of garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup low sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 tbsp zesty Italian salad dressing
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
3 cups mixed frozen vegetables (I use the corn, peas and carrots mix)
1/2 cup cranberries (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded or bite-sized chopped turkey pieces
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup frozen hash browns
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tin Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, unrolled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, brown the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in the mushroom soup and salad dressing. Any sort of Italian-style salad dressing will do – this works with the sundried-tomato and the creamy Italian dressing as well. Add the pepper and thyme and vegetables, stirring between additions. Frozen vegetables have enough moisture in them to create a nice creamy base, but if you are using fresh vegetables add 1/4 cup of milk, chicken stock or water to the mixture. Add cranberries if you are using them. My kids don’t like it when I do this but I thought it was a superb addition. Finally, add in your turkey bits, lemon juice and hash browns and heat through. The hash browns stretch this dish a little further; leave them out if you want a creamier turkey pot pie.
At this point you can freeze the turkey pot pie base mixture for later use – it freezes very well. It can be frozen when it is completely put together, but I use the crescent rolls and I find that they don’t freeze well in their uncooked state.
Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 glass lasagna dish OR a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the mixture, and then top with crescent rolls, stuffing, Bisquick or homemade pastry. Sprinkle with dried parsley or brush with egg white if you would like a glistening top to your leftover turkey pot pie. Bake for about 25 minutes.
This recipe makes 4 to 6 good sized servings of leftover turkey pot pie.