Leftover Turkey Recipe for Easy, Healthy Burgers

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

If the thought of another turkey sandwich or turkey pot pie is enough to send you running from the kitchen, here is a leftover turkey recipe for burgers that’s easy, healthy, and one that can also use up some other leftovers you may have from the big day.


Leftover turkey goes well with other leftovers in burgers

Along with the leftover turkey, what other leftovers are hidden in those plastic containers and bags in your refrigerator? If you have any leftover raw vegetables from your relish tray, including celery, carrots, or broccoli, get ready to chop them up for this recipe. Do you have a handful or two of unsalted nuts available? They can come in handy as well.

If you still have a portion of stuffing or yams (not candied) in the refrigerator, they can be used as well. Succotash? Bring it on. Here is a recipe for leftover turkey that could help you clear out your refrigerator!

The Great Leftover Turkey Burgers
2 cups of leftover turkey, ground in a food processor
1 cup leftover stuffing, mashed yams, and/or succotash
½ cup finely chopped raw carrots, celery, broccoli, bell peppers—leftovers from your relish tray
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup ground nuts (salted are okay, but then leave out the added salt)
¼ tsp salt


Use a food processor to grind the turkey and finely chop the raw vegetables and nuts. The stuffing, yams, and/or succotash should be mashed as well. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Form patties with the mixture. Use a large skillet and spray with spray-on oil. Once the skillet is hot, place the patties on the skillet and brown them on each side, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Serve on buns or on a plate with a salad or a bowl of soup.

An incredible amount of food is thrown away every year around the world. In the United Kingdom alone, for example, 7.2 million tons of food is thrown away each year. A study from the University of Arizona reported that 40 to 50% of food ready for harvest never gets eaten, and that Americans waste 14% of their food purchases.

A simple recipe like the one here, which uses leftover turkey and other leftovers from a large meal, can be put together with little effort whenever there are leftovers in your refrigerator. Better utilization of food and leftovers can save money and perhaps even make you a more creative cook!

Jones T. Study on food waste. University of Arizona
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