With Thanksgiving just behind us, many of us likely have lots of turkey leftovers taking up space in the fridge. Transform that leftover turkey into this delicious and easy recipe for turkey and noodles in under 30 minutes right on your stovetop. Plus, you can use up all that celery and onions you had on hand for the dressing or stuffing.
While I am not the normal Thanksgiving day cook, I do love a good smoked turkey and have also made a crock pot turkey breast. When I make either of these, I always have leftover turkey. Repurposing my leftovers is sort of my jam.
Beef and noodles and chicken and noodles are two recipes my family is always on board for eating. So after I smoked a turkey and had so many leftovers I decided to try using the leftovers in turkey and noodles.
Ingredients for Leftover Turkey and Noodles
The ingredients for turkey and noodles are very similar to that of chicken and noodles.
- Leftover Turkey Meat - Dark and white turkey meat will work just fine in this recipe. Whatever you have leftover, chop up and use in this recipe.
- Onions - Sweet onions or white onions work the best for this. They add more flavor to the dish.
- Celery - Celery can be omitted if you are really against it. It changes the texture and gives it an earthy flavor. Plus, if you have some leftovers in the fridge from Thanksgiving recipes, it is a great way to use it up.
- Garlic - Garlic is a must for me but can also be left out if you don't love garlic. I always have garlic bulbs on hand but minced jar garlic would work too.
- Butter - Fat is flavor. Grab the stick of butter to cook those onions and celery in.
- Cream of chicken soup - Cream of chicken obviously works the best but the cream of celery could be used in a pinch.
- Chicken Broth - Chicken broth or Better than Bouillon plus water can also work. If you have leftover turkey broth from Thanksgiving, use it in this recipe.
- Wide Noodles - Reames frozen noodles are what I recommend but dry wide noodles work as well.
- Garlic Pepper - This is a great combination of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Buy a large bottle, because you will use it in a lot of recipes. Garlic salt and ground pepper is also a great substitute.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Instructions - How to Make Turkey and Noodles with Leftover Turkey
Start by grabbing a large Dutch Oven or soup pot to make this turkey and noolde recipe in. I love an extra large pot for making soups or noodle recipes like this one. Start this recipe by chopping up the celery, onions, and garlic.
Drop the holy trinity of cooking into the Dutch oven along with butter. Sauté until the onions just begin to soften.
Then add the chopped or shredded turkey to the sauteed vegetables. Pour in one can of the cream of chicken soup after 2-3 minutes of the turkey cooking.
Then slowly stir in the chicken broth. Keep stirring to dissolve the cream of chicken soup before adding the second can. Stir to combine to form a watery sauce. Add the garlic pepper to your taste preference.
Finally, add the egg noodles to the pot once the mixture begins to boil. Stir to combine. Once it begins to boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the noodles are cooked.
My family loves any meat and noodle concoction over mashed potatoes. By no means do you need to do this, but if you have leftover mashed potatoes, why wouldn't you just go ahead and serve the homemade turkey and noodles over reheated mashed potatoes.
Hint: Feel free to make this when you are cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner while the turkey is still warm and then you don't have to cook again the day after Thanksgiving.
I know some of you may want to make this with a few substitutions based on dietary needs or preferences. Here are some common substitutions I get asked about.
- Without Cream of Chicken Soup - instead of cream of chicken soup, combine a cup and half of milk with two tablespoons of cornstarch. Pour this into the turkey and chicken broth combination in place of the soup. You can also make a roux with flour in the butter in veggies to form a thickening agent before adding the broth and milk.
- Gluten Free Noodles - use gluten free noodles and the above cornstarch and milk combination for a gluten free version of the turkey and noodles.
This turkey and noodles recipe is a great base recipe to add more ingredients or even turn it into a soup very easily. Regardless of how you change it up, it will still be able to use up those thanksgiving leftovers.
- Carrots - add carrots to this recipe if you want additional vegetables.
- Turkey Noodle Soup - Doube the broth to make this aa turkey noodle soup.
- Herbs - add any of those herbs like thyme, parsley, or sage to the recipe for even more flavors.
See this crock pot chicken and noodles on Beyer Eats and Drinks for the slow cooker cooking method.
Essential Kitchen Equipment
When you want to make sure you have all the right things to pull off this turkey and noodles recipe, be sure to check out my favorite kitchen items and pointers on which tools and ingredients to stock your cabinets.
These leftover turkey and noodles absolutely are great the next day or two. They also freeze well for a great weeknight meal in the future.
- Refrigerating Leftovers - Store in an airtight container. When you reheat, you may need to stir in a little water to thin out again. The noodles will absorb the liquid in the fridge.
- Freezing Leftovers - Place the turkey and noodles in a freezer bag and lay flat. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw completely and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. Add more water as necessary for consistency.
If you made a whole turkey for thanksgiving and still have the neck and giblets from the inside of the turkey, they can used to make turkey broth. Just cook the parts with water completely covering them for 20 minutes and drain then.
Yes, you can freeze turkey and noodles. After the turkey and noodles have cooled, freeze for up to three months in a freezer-safe bag.
If you have frozen cooked turkey that you want to use in this recipe, you can absolutely use precooked frozen turkey in trukey and noodles.
More Ideas for Using Leftovers.
Looking for other recipes that repurpose leftovers? Try these:
More Casserole Ideas
These are a few of my favorite chicken casseroles that use leftover chicken that could easily use turkey as a substitute:
Crock Pot Chicken and Noodles
- Dutch Oven
- 2 pounds Turkey Cooked and Choppedd
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons garlic pepper seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup
- 2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken
- 4 cups water
- 16 ounces frozen egg noodles
- Chop the onions, celery, and garlic. Place chopped vegetables in the Dutch Oven along with 2 tablespoons of butter3 cloves garlic, 1 onion, 2 celery stalks
- Stir the chopped chicken into the vegetables once the onions begin to soften. Cook for 2-3 minutes.2 pounds Turkey, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons garlic pepper seasoning
- Add a can of the cream of chicken soup and stir to coat the turkey. Add the Better than Bouillon and water. Stir to combine with the ingreidnets and then add the second can of cream of chicken soup. Season with garlic pepper.
- Finally add the wide noodles. Stir to mix together.16 ounces frozen egg noodles
- Cover and then cook on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occationally.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed to your flavor preference.
- Serve over mashed potatoes.