Food & Drink

Readers are generous with recipes for turkey and more

Barbara Harper Bach said one of her favorite Thanksgiving-leftover recipes is turkey salad. She said she learned the recipe at a Southern Living cooking school in the 1970s.
Barbara Harper Bach said one of her favorite Thanksgiving-leftover recipes is turkey salad. She said she learned the recipe at a Southern Living cooking school in the 1970s. Amy Wallot

It's Thanksgiving. And that generally means a big meal with multiple side dishes and desserts, but it often also means leftovers. And in a month, your Christmas feast will probably have the same results.

There is a bright side: Cooking plenty means there'll be enough food to last a week.

We asked readers for recipes for using holiday leftovers, and Brian King of Lexington sent three. He created a recipe for country ham sliders as a way to use up leftover ham.

"If you have leftover country ham (or even regular ham) from your Thanksgiving dinner, try making some sliders," King said. "Here is a recipe I posted on our blog ( for just this very reason. We used Hawaiian Slimmwiches for the buns, but leftover dinner rolls would make a great substitute. And some of these would be great with some leftover gravy drizzled on top."Country ham and Swiss with bourbon mustard slider

Bourbon mustard:

11/4 cups dark Karo syrup

1 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup bourbon

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dry mustard

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Hamburger buns

Country ham steak slice

Swiss cheese slices

Whisk mustard ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, lower heat, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken. Cool to room temperature before serving, it will thicken as it cools. Makes 2 cups.

Lightly toast the bun in the oven. Fry the ham in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes each side. Cut ham into pieces to fit the bottom bun, and top with Swiss cheese. Toast open-faced in the oven to melt the cheese. Add generous portion of bourbon mustard and cover with the top bun.

Bourbon glazed country ham and pepper Jack slider


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Country ham steak slice

Pepper Jack cheese (sliced)

Romaine lettuce (optional)

Lightly toast the bun in the oven. In a heated skillet, add butter and melt. Add bourbon, brown sugar and syrup, and stir until blended (It might bubble a bit). Fry the ham in the glaze for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.

Cut ham into pieces to fit the bottom bun, and top with pepper jack cheese. Toast open-faced in the oven to melt the cheese.

Barbara Harper Bach of Lexington said, "This is one of the tastiest recipes I have ever had, and I learned it at a Southern Living cooking school in the '70s.The chutney is what makes it, so if you have your own homemade chutney, you are in luck. Major Grey's is delicious in it also."

Turkey grape salad

1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained

2½ cups chopped cooked turkey

1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and sliced

1 cup seedless green or purple grapes, halved

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup Miracle Whip

1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup chopped chutney (Major Grey's)

Chopped chives or green onion tops

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Combine pineapple, turkey, water chestnuts, grapes, celery and almonds. Add two tablespoons reserved juice to remaining ingredients, except chives, and pour over turkey mixture. Toss. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (about one hour). Serve in mounds on lettuce leaves, and sprinkle with chives.

Pam Taylor of Lexington said her favorite recipe for turkey leftovers is the bleu cheese turkey pasta that has been published in the food section several times at reader request. "Please include it again," she said.

Bleu cheese turkey pasta

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons bleu cheese

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups broccoli florets

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup red pepper, cut into 2-by-1/4 inch cubes

2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch strips

8 ounces egg noodles, cooked, drained and kept warm

3 tablespoons walnuts

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, bleu cheese, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, stir-fry broccoli in hot oil one minute; add pepper cubes and continue to cook for one minute; add turkey and cook 30 seconds.

Remove from heat. In large bowl, toss turkey/vegetable mixture, noodles and bleu cheese dressing. Top with walnuts and serve warm.

Adine Cathey of Monticello adds leftover turkey to "the old standard macaroni and cheese."

Very cheesy turkey mac and cheese

4 cups macaroni

1 stick butter

1/2 block of Kroger Nice and Easy soft cheese

1/2 cup milk

11/2 cups cooked turkey, chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, and add butter and cheese. Remove from heat. Stir until cheese is completely melted. Add milk and return to heat. Cook until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Add turkey, onion, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour into a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish. Cover with croutons and cheese. Bake about 15 minutes, until mixture is heated through and cheddar cheese has melted.

Ruth Finch of Mayslick said this recipe has been handed down through her family.

Impossible turkey pie

2 cups cut-up turkey or chicken

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1 can (4.5 ounce) sliced mushrooms, drained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded natural Swiss cheese

11/2 cups milk

3/4 cup Bisquick

3 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle turkey, onions, mushrooms, salt and cheese in pie plate. In a medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients until smooth (15 seconds on high in blender or 1 minute with hand mixer). Pour over turkey mixture in pie plate. Bake until golden-brown (knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean), 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Refrigerate remaining pie.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cathy Hillard of Lexington said, "My family loves to eat the turkey leftovers with gravy and all the fixings. But we like things spicy, and this is a great way to use it for sandwiches."

Spicy turkey salad

5 cups cooked turkey, chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 to 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, diced and seeded

3 tablespoons sweet or dill pickle relish

1/2 to 3/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 cup light mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning

Horseradish, optional

In a large bowl, mix the turkey, red pepper, celery, jalapeño, pickle relish, onion and mayonnaise. Season with cilantro, salt and steak seasoning. You can add a little horseradish for a little more kick. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Elaine Hiatt of Lexington uses leftover turkey to make hot Brown casseroles. "My family, especially my grandchildren, love this casserole," she said.

Hot Brown casserole

1/4 cup margarine

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 chicken bouillon cubes

6 slices bread, toasted



Shredded low fat cheddar cheese

6 slices tomato (Roma)

6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Melt margarine in pan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook one minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened and bubbly. Set aside.

Place toast in buttered 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Top each slice of bread with turkey and ham. Spoon white sauce over meat. Layer cheese, tomato and crumbled bacon over sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Ruth Duncan of Lexington shares a recipe for meat casserole.

Meat casserole

2 cups leftover turkey, ham or chicken, chopped

1 can (103/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup

1/2 can milk

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

11/2 cups shredded cheese

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas

1 jar (2 ounces) chopped pimentos

1 package (81/2 ounces) Jiffy muffin mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix turkey, ham or chicken with mushroom soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce and cheese. Cook peas in microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Add to turkey mixture along with pimentos. Pour into a 10-inch-square baking dish. Prepare muffin mix according to package directions, but do not bake. Pour Jiffy mixture over turkey mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Turkey tetrazzini is a favorite of Cheryl Keenan of Lexington.

Turkey tetrazzini

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 stalk of celery, chopped

2 cups cooked turkey, chopped

1 can (103/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup

1 can milk (use soup can)

1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked and drained

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in skillet and sauté onion and celery. Combine turkey, soup (diluted with milk), sautéed vegetables, spaghetti, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.