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Quick and Simple Recipes for Leftover Turkey

A beautifully roasted turkey is often the centerpiece of a holiday or celebratory meal, and turkey sandwiches are inevitable — or are they? If you're looking for different ways to serve leftover turkey, try one of these recipes for classic turkey dishes that your friends and family will, um, gobble up!

Turkey and Dumplings

Here's a baked variation of a hearty farmhouse favorite made quick and simple by using buttermilk baking mix, precooked turkey, and frozen or leftover vegetables.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups homemade or canned turkey gravy

2 cups leftover cooked vegetables or frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted

3 cups (1 pound) cooked turkey, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 cup buttermilk baking mix, such as Bisquick

1/3 cup milk

2 thin scallions, white and green parts, very thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the gravy, vegetables, turkey, and poultry seasoning in a medium saucepan with a lid. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

2. Combine the baking mix, milk, scallions, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Drop by teaspoonfuls on top of the simmering stew. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Per serving: Calories 407 (From Fat 92); Fat 10g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 100mg; Sodium 926mg; Carbohydrate 36g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 41g.

Stovetop Turkey Divan

If you've ever been to at least one potluck fund-raiser, you've likely eaten some version of chicken or turkey divan. This 1930s favorite is thought to have been the creation of a popular New York City restaurant, Divan Parisien. Although no longer in business, the restaurant is immortalized by this American classic. Here's a simplified version of the dish.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

1 small onion, chopped

1 bunch broccoli, broken into small florets, stems discarded

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half

3 cups medium egg noodles, uncooked

3 cups (1 pound) cooked turkey, cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and pepper

1. In a large nonstick skillet or chicken fryer, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the red pepper, onion, and broccoli. Cook, stirring often, until the pepper and onion are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Stir in the chicken broth, half-and-half, noodles, and turkey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, 20 to 25 minutes, or until the noodles test done, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

Per serving (based on 4 servings): Calories 419 (From Fat 116); Fat 13g (Saturated 7g); Cholesterol 152mg; Sodium 377mg; Carbohydrate 32g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 44g.

Easy Turkey Tetrazzini

A fan created turkey Tetrazzini in the early twenieth century for Italian soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, who toured the United States from 1910 to 1913. Combining pasta from Tetrazzini's native Italy with the American turkey, this dish has become a favorite way for generations of Americans to use leftover turkey. This simplified recipe calls for prepared Alfredo pasta sauce instead of homemade cream sauce. You can find the prepared alfredo sauce in the refrigerated section or pasta aisle of most supermarkets. Cook the elbow macaroni al dente or Italian style, making sure it is not soft and mushy but has slight chew or bite to it when done cooking in boiling water.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter

1 scallion, sliced thin

1/2 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 container (10 ounces) Alfredo sauce

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons dry sherry

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup diced canned pimientos

3 cups (1 pound) cooked turkey, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 pound elbow pasta, cooked al dente

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the scallion slices and cook about 1 minute, or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook about 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the Alfredo sauce, milk, and sherry. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the pimientos, and turkey.

3. Lightly butter a 3-quart baking dish. Add the pasta and the turkey mixture. Mix well. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 640 (From Fat 198); Fat 22g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 147mg; Sodium 731mg; Carbohydrate 53g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 55g.

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