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Friday Five: 5 Lunchbox-friendly Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Jessica Hannan - TeachHUB

We all know that the second best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers... but when you find yourself stuck with 10 pounds of turkey, you can only eat so many plain ol' turkey sandwiches. Here are 5 luchbox-friendly alternatives to leftover turkey on white bread.

Turkey Cranberry Green Chile Sandwich

2 slices bread, your choice (we used French bread)
1-2 slices Swiss cheese (or any cheese you like)
2-3 roasted Hatch green chiles, peeled and seeded
2-3 slices turkey breast
1/4 cup cranberry sauce

Heat a skillet on medium flame. Butter one side of each piece of bread and place the buttered side down on the skillet. Lay the cheese on top of one slice of bread, then layer the green chiles on top of the cheese. Place the turkey on top of the other slice of bread. Monitor the bread bottoms – they should turn golden, but not black. Meanwhile, the cheese should be melting too. Ideally, you want the cheese to be melted when the bread has turned a deep golden brown. Remove the sandwich from the pan and spread cranberry sauce on the turkey (or under the turkey – we like it on our bread). Serve hot. Makes one sandwich.


Turkey, Cranberry & Stuffing Wrap

Filled with stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce and turkey, this is the perfect wrap for your Thanksgiving leftovers ... or anytime.


2 ounces tukey
1/2 cup Stuffing
2 Tablespoons Cranberry Sauce
1 Wrap
1 leaf Green Leaf Lettuce


Lay the wrap out on the counter. Spread with cranberry sauce. Top with the turkey, prepared stuffing, and stuffing. Top with lettuce and wrap. Slice and wrap in a sandwich wrap to serve. **We used prepared ingredients but you can use homemade stuffing, canned chicken and even cranberry sauce.


Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini

1 (16 ounce) packageuncooked spaghetti
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups chopped cooked turkey


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and place in the prepared baking dish.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Mix in chicken broth and milk. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in about 1 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, and remove from heat.
Mix chicken broth mixture and turkey with spaghetti. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until surface is lightly browned.

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas


2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
1 onion, chopped
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
24 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
4 cups cooked turkey, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the cheese, onion, and black olives.
In a small skillet, heat enough oil to lightly coat one tortilla, and cook until soft. Remove and dip in enchilada sauce to coat.
Add turkey and cheese mixture to center of tortilla, roll and place in the prepared dish. Repeat until bottom layer of pan is covered with enchiladas. Spread enough sauce over bottom layer to cover.
Repeat process with a second layer; spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.


Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

1 pie crust
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded (or both!)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
splash of white wine (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
Frozen peas (optional)
Fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.)
Add turkey and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Splash in wine (you can leave this out if you’d like.) Pour in cream. (May add frozen peas at this point if you’d like.)
Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and fresh or dried thyme to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs.
Pour mixture into a casserole dish or deep pie pan.
Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using.
Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust.
Bake for 30 minutes or until very golden and bubbly.
Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.

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