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26 Dec 2020

Four leftover turkey recipes you have to try this Christmas

Including a tasty Thai curry and a Greek dish from a former MasterChef winner
Turkey, spinach and feta gratin

With many of us having smaller gatherings this Christmas, you might find yourself with more turkey leftovers than usual.

But if you're tiring of the traditional turkey sandwich, we've rounded up four recipes to inspire you, provided by chefs and cookery experts.

Their suggestions include fresh, Thai-inspired dishes that will delight your palate after days of heavy food and a delicious Greek turkey, spinach and feta gratin.

See our best food and drink rated by our consumer tasting panel including sweet potato fries, tomato pasta sauce and gravy granules.

1. Turkey, spinach and feta gratin topped with filo pastry

Irini Tzortzoglou - MasterChef winner 2019

Turkey, spinach and feta gratin topped with filo p


For the turkey:

  • 800g cooked turkey (diced)
  • 150ml bread sauce
  • 1 bunch of parsley (finely chopped)
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon

For the spinach:

  • 1kg fresh spinach (washed, drained and roughly chopped)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 3 tbsp dill (finely chopped)
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 200g feta cheese
  • Pinch of nutmeg

For the bechamel sauce:

  • 750ml milk
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g feta cheese (optional)
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg

To serve (optional):

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • A few filo shards made from one or two sheets of filo (depending on size), brushed with butter and baked at 180°C for 10-15 minutes until golden


  1. Blitz the bread sauce with the chopped parsley, lemon juice and zest in a small blender and add to a bowl with the chopped turkey. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Keep to the side.
  2. Bring a large saucepan to a medium heat and add the olive oil. Sweat the white onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent and add the chopped spring onions. Cook for a further minute before adding the dill and the spinach. You may need to add the spinach in batches. Top with the lid, reduce the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid, give everything a good stir and increase the heat to allow some of the spinach liquid to evaporate.
  4. Strain the spinach in a fine sieve, pressing with a spoon to get rid of the liquid. You can gather the liquid and set it aside to use in a risotto or soup. Transfer the spinach to a bowl and leave to cool.
  5. Crumble the feta cheese in the spinach mix, season with pepper and a little salt, taking into account that the feta is salty already.
  6. To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the flour and stir with a whisk for a couple of minutes. Gradually add the milk and incorporate it each time before adding more, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
  7. When the bechamel bubbles, remove it from the heat. Add the egg yolks, the feta, nutmeg, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and mix thoroughly. Cover the surface with cling film if not using immediately, to avoid a skin forming.
  8. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  9. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of bechamel in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Add half the turkey pieces and follow with the spinach mix. Top with the remaining turkey and spoon over the bechamel sauce. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the bechamel is golden.
  10. Leave to cool a little, sprinkle with the crushed filo and sesame seeds and serve.

Find out whichfoods you can and can't freeze.

2. Glass noodle salad with mixed vegetables and turkey in green chilli dressing

Ian Kittichai - chef, restaurateur and cookbook writer

Glass Noodle Salad with Mixed Vegetables and Turke


For the salad (serves one):

  • 70g Thai glass noodles (soaked in water)
  • 80g turkey (cooked, reheated, cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 30g shimeji mushroom or any mild-flavoured mushroom (thinly sliced and blanched in boiling water for 15 seconds)
  • 1 salad tomato (in wedges)
  • Half a shallot (finely sliced)
  • 10g Thai celery or Chinese, young or regular celery (sliced)
  • 1 spring onion (sliced)
  • Sprinkle of mint leaves

For the green chilli dressing (12-16 servings):

  • 100g mild green chillies
  • Sprinkle of coriander roots or coriander stems
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 40g sugar
  • 125ml lime juice
  • 135ml Thai fish sauce


  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the noodles and cook for a minute.
  2. Place noodles into iced water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  3. Blend all the dressing ingredients together.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine noodles, turkey, mushrooms and three tablespoons of green chilli dressing per portion.
  5. Add tomato wedges, shallot, celery, spring onion and mint leaves; mix until combined.

Use one of our best freezer bags to store your leftovers.

3. Turkey Thai green curry

Saiphin Moore - chef and founder of Rosa's Thai Cafe

Turkey Thai Green Curry


  • 500g boneless turkey (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp Thai green curry paste
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 lime leaves (torn)
  • 100g pea aubergines
  • 100g Thai aubergines, cut into quarters (or purple aubergines, cut into chunks)
  • 150g cooked bamboo shoots (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Handful of basil leaves

To serve:

  • Steamed rice
  • 2 red spur chillies (diagonally sliced)
  • Sprigs of basil


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a high heat and add the curry paste. Stir-fry for 10 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add half the coconut milk. Cook for about 2 minutes until the oil splits and rises to the surface.
  3. Add the remaining coconut milk, the palm sugar and fish sauce, and season with a pinch of salt. Stir in the lime leaves and add the turkey to the pan. Add the pea aubergines, Thai aubergines and the bamboo shoots. Cook over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Stir in the basil leaves.
  5. Ladle into serving bowls, garnish each one with some sliced chilli and a sprig of basil. Serve with steamed rice.

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4. Turkey tray bake with fragrant spices

Jeff Baker - Farmison & Co executive development chef

Turkey Tray Bake with Fragrant Spices

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 750g sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 500g butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 400g cooked turkey meat (white & brown)
  • 1 bunch spring onions (sliced)
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Sea salt
  • 150ml light poultry stock
  • 2 tbsp chicken schmaltz (rendered fat) or olive oil
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • Sour cream to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C fan assisted or 220°C without a fan.
  2. Put the sweet potatoes, squash and spring onions into a large shallow roasting pan and sprinkle with the spices, lime zest, garlic, salt and stock.
  3. Drizzle over the chicken schmaltz or olive oil then bake for 45 minutes or until just cooked.
  4. Mix the turkey and lime juice into the pan, carefully toss everything together then bake for a further 10 minutes, making sure the turkey is fully heated through.
  5. Finish with a sprinkle of coriander and a dollop of sour cream.

See expert top tips on how to make the most of leftover food including Yorkshire puddings, cake and tortilla chips.