Thanksgiving is great, but finding new and different ways to use up the leftovers can be a bit of a challenge (and also an opportunity to be creative). I had an idea for a turkey cranberry chipotle turkey enchilada and went looking for cranberry chipotle salsa or even some cranberry relish. The store had the salsa, but I didn’t want to buy a whole jar (and end up with more leftovers to use up). They also had relish, but I realized I’d never use it all up, so I created my own instead.
I took the last of the leftover turkey, some dried cranberries, and chipotle salsa to make cranberry chipotle turkey enchiladas. A few weeks ago, those tortillas were “crepes“, but this time I decided to use them as intended on the package!
I used dried cranberries and added that to the salsa, but if you still have cranberry relish that would work beautifully too (or if you plan to have more turkey for another holiday). Or, bookmark this and use it next year.
It’s pretty simple. just warm up the turkey, heat the tortilla in some oil, add the rest of the ingredients, and roll it up into an enchilada.
Cranberry chipotle turkey enchilada with shredded cheese and cabbage.
3-4 craisins, chopped, or about 1/2 tsp cranberry relish
1T chipotle salsa
2 T cooking oil
1 -2 slices of turkey, shredded
1/4 C shredded mild cheese
1 leaf cabbage (chiffonade)*
Mix the craisins (or the relish) and salsa together in a small bowl.
Heat oil in pan and reheat the turkey. Once it's hot, remove the turkey and set aside.
Put the tortilla in the pan, and cook 30 seconds or so per side, flipping with kitchen tongs.
Return the turkey to the pan and top with the shredded cheese.
Cook a minute or twp to melt the cheese.
Remove the tortilla from the pan, add the cabbage, and top with the cranberry /salsa mixture.
Roll it up to make an enchilada.
To make the chiffonade, just roll up the cabbage leaf into a cigar shape, and then slice pieces off the end. You'll end up with shredded cabbage.
Use a mild cheese, such as Monterey Jack.
Tools and Ingredients for Turkey Cranberry Chipotle Enchiladas
OXO Good Grips Box Grater Much as I love my zester/microplane, there are some jobs that require a different tool. A box grater can slice or shred food better than a zester can. Use this to shred or slice cheese, carrots, onions, and potatoes or to coarsely grate citrus peels (use the microplane for finer results).
This particular grater comes with its own marked storage container, so you can measure while you’re grating and just make exactly the amount you need.
I don’t like the old-style non-stick pans, but I confess I am enjoying using my ceramic pan. I can make eggs, enchiladas, frittatas, and many other things without worrying about it sticking and it cleans up easily. So far, the coating has held up beautifully. I don’t have this exact pan, but if I had seen the red I would have gotten that one in a New York minute. Do keep the heat a bit lower than you would with a stainless steel pan, and be careful if you have a glass top stove.
This recipe for sweet and sour turkey meatballs with jelly and chili sauce is comfort food that’s grown up and gone to the big city.
When I was a kid, my grandma used to make those classic grape jelly meatballs. Kind of sweet, but comforting and simple. As my tastes have gotten more sophisticated, I wanted something with more complex and “grownup” flavor: not quite as sweet, a little more sour, and with a bit of a spicy kick.
I replaced the grape jelly with no sugar strawberry jam (it’s sweetened only with juice, there’s no sugar or artificial sweetener), then added chili sauce, a bit of Tabasco and apple juice and got sweet and sour turkey meatballs.
My parents were visiting one day, and decided to stay for dinner. I had ground turkey and the rest of the ingredients in the fridge. I whipped up a batch of these, and I swear you’d think they’d never eaten before. Dad was sopping up the sauce with bread. Heck, he practically licked the plate! Maybe I should have called these “lick the plate clean sweet and sour meatballs.”
You make this recipe in two stages, first the meatballs, and then the sauce. Put the meatballs in the oven for a few minutes to keep them from falling apart when you add them to the sauce.
Sweet and sour jelly turkey meatballs. Easy to make and you can eat one serving and freeze the rest for another time.
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup oatmeal, ground up in a mini-chopper (or use breadcrumbs)
2T apple cider
salt and pepper
Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 large can tomato sauce (the 15 oz size)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 T chili sauce
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the meatballs, combine turkey, egg, oatmeal (or bread crumbs), cider and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix everything thoroughly.
Form the mixture into meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter. Place the meatballs in a shallow roasting pan or a cookie sheet.
Put the meatballs in the oven and bake for five minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking, start the sauce.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir to combine the ingredients. When the meatballs are finished baking, remove them from the oven and set them down in a convenient spot.
Gently lift the meatballs out of the pan and place them into the pot of sauce.
Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes until the meatballs are done. Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning (sweetness or sourness) as necessary.
Serve with rice or bread (for sopping up the sauce)
Check your tomato sauce to see if it has sugar or corn syrup. If it does, you may need to add more lemon juice.
I use all fruit jam (no added sweetener). Use more lemon, or less jam, if yours has sugar or added sweeteners.
Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs with Jelly and Chili Sauce Substitutions and Variations
Use beef instead of turkey
Replace the oatmeal with breadcrumbs
Try cranberry juice instead of apple cider (it will be a bit more tart)
Experiment with different jam flavors: strawberry, raspberry, four-fruit, sour cherry (you could even go back to good old grape)
Tools and Ingredients for This Recipe
St. Dalfour Strawberry Conserves This jam (technically conserves) is sweetened only with juice. There’s no sugar and no artificial sweeteners. The other thing I like about it is that there aren’t any extra thickeners added (like maltodextrin) to bulk it up.
Black & Decker 2-Speed Food Chopper with 3-Cup Bowl I’m not sure which I use more, this chopper or the immersion blender. If you make the recipe with oatmeal, this little gadget is great for grinding it up. It’s also good for chopping onions, potatoes, or whipping up a small batch of pesto. The bowl doubles as a storage bowl (it comes with its own lid).
OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop Ever hear of a cookie scoop? I hadn’t, until recently. Ice cream sure, but not cookies. The more I think about it the more uses I come up with.
It would be great for meatballs, cookies, or the perfect scoop of tuna, egg, or potato salad. It has a soft handle that’s easy to grip (it was originally developed for someone with arthritis, but it works well for everyone). Dishwasher safe too.
Every year after the holidays are over, we all end up with lots of leftover turkey. Lots and lots of it. I’ve made a lot of the “standard” leftover turkey soup, with potatoes and carrots and broccoli. This time I wanted something with more zip. I had some turkey (naturally), some tomatoes, lime, and of course spices, so I decided to go for a south of the border flavor. So, spicy leftover turkey soup was born.
Ironically, a friend (who translates books from English to Spanish) once told me there are no turkeys in South America, which made her job rather difficult when she had to translate some turkey recipes.
I suppose that makes this not strictly authentic Mexican food. Authentic or not, the tangy lime, the spicy cayenne, and the cool sour cream make the soup flavorful, rich, and satisfying.
2 T vegetable oil, or enough to cover the bottom of a medium saucepan
1 small onion, chopped (or about a quarter of a large one)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 C beans
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1/2 can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 juice lime
salt and pepper
3 C water
1/4 turkey carcass (if it's not after Thanksgiving, use a turkey thigh)
1/4C mild shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 T sour cream or Greek yogurt
Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan.
Add the onions and saute for a few minutes until slightly softened.
Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
Once that's softened, add the remaining ingredients (except for the toppings). Simmer one hour and then remove the turkey carcass. Let it cool for a minute or two (so you can handle it). Pick off any remaining meat and discard the bones.
Pour into a bowl and top with sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and cheese.
This makes about three or four servings, depending how hungry you are. Eat one and freeze the rest in individual containers.
Quick and Easy Spicy Leftover Turkey Soup Substitutions and Variations
Since recipes are often meant to be guidelines, and since we don’t always have the exact ingredients handy, here are some substitutions:
If you don’t have a turkey carcass, use turkey thighs, depending on size, one or two should do it.
I used navy beans for the soup, you could use white kidney beans or pinto beans
Replace the diced tomatoes with 1/2 C peeled tomatoes (and smush them up)
Add a handful of frozen corn
Top with crumbled tortilla chips, or cut up some tortillas, fry them, and sprinkle them on top of the soup for extra crunch.
This easy leftover turkey soup recipe is great for a chilly spring or fall day.
It’s also a good way to use up cooked turkey after a holiday (just add the turkey during the final cooking stage).
Note: You’ll need a Dutch oven for this (since the pot has to go first on the stove, and then in the oven). If you don’t have one, use a soup pot and make the whole thing on the stove.
If you don’t have any leftover turkey handy, use turkey thighs instead.
I had seen some boneless turkey thighs in the store, and bought them without really having a plan in mind for what to do with them.
I went searching on the internet for turkey soup and found a recipe for turkey stew, but that wasn’t quite what I wanted. Plus, I didn’t have all the ingredients (since I hadn’t known I was going to make it!)
The original recipe called for celery, turnips, and rutabaga (I’ve never met a rutabaga), none of which I had on hand.
So, I figured I would improvise and use what I did have to make soup.
A quick look in the pantry and fridge, turned up some potatoes, plus the turkey, a package of frozen veggies, and an open bottle of Riesling. The original recipe also called for Herbs de Provence, which I didn’t have either, so I threw together some basil, tarragon, and thyme.
It came out really well! And, as a bonus, it warmed up my apartment beautifully.
This is a small batch recipe, and makes about 4-6 portions. Eat one and freeze the rest. Or, keep eating it all week (so you don’t have to cook again).
1 quart chicken broth (you can replace some of this with white wine, which is what I did)
2-3 cups mixed frozen vegetables (I used broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower)
3 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon dried herbs (thyme, basil, and tarragon)
freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Cut the turkey thighs (I used boneless), into smaller pieces and sprinkle them with salt.
Brown the pieces gently in the oil. Once they've browned, remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, and cook on low heat for about five minutes or so, until they become translucent. Then put the turkey back in the pot.
Add the salt to the pot, half of the chicken broth, and the wine (if using). Bring the mixture to a simmer. Once it's hot, cover it, and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook it for an hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven, and add the potatoes, the dried herbs, and the remaining chicken stock.
Note: If you're using leftover, cooked turkey add it to the pot now.
Put the pot back in the oven and cook another 30 minutes or so.
Add the frozen veggies, and cook another 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Chicken noodle, spiced lentil, chickpea and chorizo, plus 497 other options. The clear instructions give you the option of making your own broth or stock from scratch, or using bullion or store-bought stock. The Daily Soup Cookbook
Sadly, the Daily Soup is gone, but you can still feast on their Yucatan Chicken Lime soup, chicken barley, and Moroccan chicken curry. If you want to venture beyond chicken, there’s always Lamb, Rosemary, and Artichoke stew.
Chicken noodle soup, chicken soup with tortillas and avocado, and my favorite kind of non-chicken soup: french onion. There’s a famous story in our family about onion soup. The first time my brother and I tried it at a restaurant we each demanded a full bowl. Mom said we could have it— after dinner. So, we had soup for dessert. Two bowls.