7 Low-Effort Recipes To Use Up All That Leftover Turkey!

Thanksgiving is almost here!  And there are all sorts of questions going through people’s heads as they get ready for the big day; “Where is Uncle Phil’s family going to sleep?”, “Who is bringing the pies?”, “What time do we need to start cooking the turkey?” and “What is our battle plan for Walmart on black Friday?”

These and 20 other questions are always flying around just a few days before the big T-day, but there’s one question nobody thinks about until they’re cleaning up from dinner on Thursday.  “What the heck are we going to do with all this left-over turkey?!?”

Well fear no more, here are 7 great low-effort recipes to help you get rid of all that left-over turkey after the big day!  Some of these recipes are our own inventions, and some are ones we’ve found on the internet and sort of adopted.  But they’re all guaranteed to fill up your tummy and empty out your fridge after the holidays!

  1. The Turkey Sandwich: This must be on the list! You just can’t go wrong with a good turkey sandwich.  It’s a classic, and enjoyed by many for days (or even weeks by some) after thanksgiving dinner.

TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 0-1 min. MAKES: 1 serving


                Cooked Turkey Meat

                Bread (I use left over dinner rolls from thanksgiving)




This should be fairly self-explanatory.  Take two pieces of bread, add condiments to taste and add cheese and turkey, heat the turkey using a microwave or convection toaster if you like.  Eat and enjoy!

Turkey sandwich

(This recipe courtesy of Mom’s everywhere, Photo courtesy of mainefoodandlifestyle.com)

  1. Turkey Soup: This is a great low effort recipe for thanksgiving leftovers, just put it on the stove and walk away. Plus nothing beats a hot bowl of soup after a game of flag football out in the cold with the entire family the day after thanksgiving.

TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours 35 min. MAKES: 8-10 servings


                1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 10- to 12-pound turkey)

                2 quarts water

                1 medium onion, cut into wedges

                1/2 teaspoon salt

                2 bay leaves

                1 cup chopped carrots

                1 cup uncooked long grain rice

                1/3 cup chopped celery

                1/4 cup chopped onion

                1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted


Place the turkey carcass in a stockpot; add the water, onion, salt and bay leaves. Slowly bring to a boil over low heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Remove carcass; cool. Strain broth and skim fat. Discard onion and bay leaves. Return broth to the pan. Add the carrots, rice, celery and chopped onion; cover and simmer until rice and vegetables are tender.

Remove turkey from bones; discard bones and cut turkey into bite-size pieces. Add turkey and cream soup to broth; heat through. Yield: 8-10 servings (about 2 quarts).


     Turkey Soup

(This recipe courtesy of tasteofhome.com here)


  1. Turkey and Dumplings: One of my family favorites, relatively quick, very filling and good for people who don’t think to keep the carcass of the turkey after they are done carving it.

TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 45 minutes. MAKES: 3-4 servings



      1 ½ lbs cooked turkey meat

                32oz chicken broth (canned, boxed or from bullion)

                1 ½ cup chopped carrots

                1 cup chopped celery

                2-3 bay leaves

                Salt to taste

                1 tsp ground pepper


                1 cup all-purpose flour

                2 tsp baking powder

                1 tsp white sugar

                ½ tsp salt

                1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes

                1 Tbsp. Margarine or butter

                ½ cup Milk


Shred or cube the turkey meat.  In a medium pot, put the broth, turkey, carrots and celery.  Add the salt and pepper and stir until mixed.  Add the bay leaves on top, try not to stir around the bay leaves too much as you will want to remove them later, if you stir too hard you will break them up in the soup.  Heat over medium-high heat to a gentle boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  Carefully remove the bay leaves with a slotted spoon or fork.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the dumplings.  Mix in the margarine until crumbly, add milk and stir into a soft dough.  Bring the soup to a boil and drop in the dough by spoonful on top of the soup, try to evenly cover the top of the soup.  Boil, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly, the dumplings should be puffy and moist and have soaked up most of the broth so the soup should be a very thick stew at this point.  Serve by scooping dumplings into bowls and ladling the stew on top.


Turkey and Dumplings

                    (This recipe courtesy of the Bell Family)


  1. Shepherd’s Pie: Another one of my favorites, you can use up of all kinds of leftovers with this recipe, not just the turkey!  I always cook my shepherd’s pie in a Dutch Oven because I have a deep and abiding love of all things Dutch Oven cooked.  But a casserole dish in an oven at 350 will work just fine.

TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 20 minutes. MAKES: 8-10 servings


                2 lbs cooked Turkey Meat (shredded or cubed)

                2 cups Gravy

                1 cup green beans

                1 cup chopped carrots

                1 cup peas

                3 cups mashed potatoes

                1 ½ cup shredded cheese


If you are doing this Dutch Oven style, you need to have at least a 12” oven.  Start by igniting 20-25 pieces of charcoal (do this outside please).  Place a piece of aluminum foil on the ground (for easy cleanup) and once the charcoal has reached temperature place 10-12 pieces on the foil in a circle, evenly spaced to cover the whole surface area of the bottom of the oven.  Place the oven over the coals and evenly space the remaining 10-12 pieces on top of the lid.

For an indoor oven, preheat the oven to 350 and get out a large 9×13 casserole dish.

In the Dutch Oven (or casserole dish), mix together the turkey, gravy and vegetables.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of this mixture and top with cheese.  Replace the lid on the Dutch Oven or cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the gravy starts to bubble.  Remove from heat and serve.


Dutch oven Shepherds pie

(This recipe courtesy of the Bell Family)


  1. Creamy Turkey Enchiladas: This is a new one for us this year, my wife makes a mean creamy chicken enchilada so we decided this year we’re going to mix it up and switch up the bird in her recipe after the big day.  I can’t wait to try it personally, and while this recipe will be new for us, its Mamma recipe is a tried and true family favorite.

TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 20-25 min. MAKES: 8-10 servings


2 lbs Cooked turkey meat (shredded)

16 oz Cream Cheese (softened)

1 4oz can diced chiles

1 20oz can enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese

1 package tortillas


Mix the shredded turkey, cream cheese, chiles and half of the enchilada sauce in a bowl for the filling.  Spoon the filling into the tortillas, rolling them up and laying them down touching side by side in a 9×13 pan.  Cover the enchiladas with the remainder of the sauce and top with the shredded cheese.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Let set for 5 minutes and serve.


Chicken Enchiladas

(This recipe courtesy of the Bell Family)


  1. Cheddar Turkey Casserole:  Mac-n-cheese mixed with turkey in under an hour?  Where do I sign up?  This creamy casserole dish will be a big hit with everyone at the table!

TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. MAKES: 6 servings


                4 cups uncooked spiral pasta

                1 garlic clove, minced

                3 tablespoons butter

                3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

                1 teaspoon salt

                ¼ teaspoon prepared mustard

                ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

                ¼ teaspoon pepper

                2 cups 2% milk

                1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

                2 cups cubed cooked turkey

                2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

                ½ cup slivered almonds


Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, sauté garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt, mustard, thyme and pepper. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Drain pasta; place in a large bowl. Toss with turkey, vegetables and cheese sauce.

Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until heated through.


Cheddar Turkey Casserole

(This recipe courtesy of tasteofhome.com here)


  1. Turkey Pot Pie: This is a rich, creamy, and delicious way to use up some of the left-over turkey. This pot pie makes a warm inviting meal for the whole family to enjoy.

TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 56 min. MAKES: 8 servings


¼ cup butter

½ cup chopped onion

 ½ cup chopped mushrooms

 1 tablespoon minced garlic

 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

 ½ teaspoon dried sage

 ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

 1 ½ cups prepared turkey gravy

 ½ cup water

 ½ cup milk

 1 (14 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained

 3 cups cooked turkey, cubed

 salt and ground black pepper to taste (optional)

 1 pastry for a 10-inch double crust pie


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onions, mushrooms, and garlic; cook until tender, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, sage, and thyme until blended. Pour in the gravy, water, and milk, stirring to blend. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the turkey and vegetables, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Line a 10 inch pie plate with the bottom crust. Pour in the turkey mixture. Cover with the top crust. Seal and crimp the edges. Pierce top crust in a few places with a fork. Cover the edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil strips, and bake until crust is golden, about 20 minutes more. Remove from oven, and rest 10 minutes before serving.


Turkey Pot Pie

(This recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com here)

Ski Report: Lolo Peak 11/15

Winter has arrived, and the Bitterroot Range is at its early stages of being ski friendly again. With about 6-8″ at ~6,000ft and 18-20″ in wind protected areas at ~8,000 we are well on our way to a solid year. For our tour, we took to the prestine and pretty easy to reach, Lolo Peak for a short 9 mile ~4,000 vertical ft tour. For more adventurous tours, to include Trapper Peak couloir, visit MontanaEscapades.com


Lolo Peak TH, on a crisp 5 degree morning
Those familiar, the shortcut has enough snow cover to save you time!
Atop Carlton Ridge with the beginnings of Mormon Peak to the right, and N. Lolo Peak center. The true summit of Lolo Peak lies just east behind it.

After a brisk skin up to Carlton Ridge we scanned the clearly wind spanked east face of N. Lolo Peak. There was hope though! Although the peak has zero ski tracks, we convinced ourselves there was a small path that might support Lolo Peak’s first decent of the year.

Mike making the last push to Lolo Peak, with Carlton Lake below.
The true summit, and vastly less visited portion of Lolo Peak.

We did a tour to Lolo Peak proper last year: http://www.montanaescapades.com/2013/11/lolo-peak-trifecta.html

Sweeney Peak looking dapper
2014-11-15 12.27.59
The skiing got better the lower we went, but going slow was the plan as there were plenty of underlying rocks.




2014-11-15 12.58.51






We are sitting pretty for a great year. Although there wasn’t much of a base layer on this tour, the warm weather over the weekend should be just enough to set up a great foundation. There is just one more weekend before one can make use of the Mormon road since it’ll be gated Dec. 1st until May 15th. Otherwise you’ll be stuck using the Mill Creek TH, which is quite the stretch of the legs.

The Griz Quiz

Have you grown up a Griz fan? Think you know a lot about Montana Grizzly Football? Wanna put your knowledge and skills to the test? Take the Griz Quiz and find out just how much you know about your University of Montana football team!!


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12 Things My Best Friend Taught Me After She Was Gone

On July 10th, 2013 my best friend was in a single car accident that took her life at the age of 20. It has been about a year and four months since Janae Moore left us, and still so many hearts are broken.  Janae Moore was such an outstanding human being. She worked hard in the classroom and on the court. Janae played basketball at Dickinson State University after high school. She was in the honors program and was always volunteering her time. When she was not at school or practice, you could usually find Janae with her friends and family. She loved to laugh and oh my gosh was her laugh one you would never forget. I’ve heard Janae’s laugh be called many different things such as boisterous, cackle, roar, and howl, but one word I would use to describe it is, infectious. Janae was a very determined and goal-oriented person. She was very competitive and never backed down. She was humble and gracious. She was the type of girl everyone loved. Janae was not just my best friend, I considered her my sister, my hero, and my partner in crime. The day Janae passed away my life changed forever. My best friend was gone and there was absolutely nothing I could do to get her back.

Janae has taught me a lot in the last 16 months. Here are a few of the ones that I think are most important.

1. I had to accept what had happened.

I didn’t want to believe what had happened, I knew I couldn’t live without my best friend. I wanted her back, and I thought that if I tried hard enough that maybe I could bring her back. I had to learn to accept what had happened, only then could I really start my grieving process.


The basketball team putting flowers on Janae’s crash site.

2. Planning your best friend’s funeral doesn’t have to be all sad.

Planning a funeral can be hard.  There can be arguments between family members and between friends. It is much easier to make funeral a celebration of that person’s life, and that’s exactly what we did.

The one thing Janae truly loved to do was to play basketball, and our high school team was very close. We all got together and made a PowerPoint with the many many pictures we all had of Janae, with some of her favorite music to go along. We all decided that we could not wear black to Janae’s funeral, she never would have allowed that, so we all wore matching t-shirts, Jordan shorts, and bandanas, a few of Janae’s favorite things. We came up with a plan that when they brought the casket into the funeral, Janae would be announced just like she was at a basketball game, one last time. Right before the casket was going to be wheeled down the aisle, the Chicago Bulls theme song started to play, and Janae was announced, “STANDING AT 5 FEET 10 INCHES TALL, #34 FOR THE EAGLES AND #30 FOR THE BLUEHAWKS, FOR THE LAST TIME ON HER HOME COURT, JAANNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAEEEEE MOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRREE!” It gave the crowd goose bumps, and I couldn’t help but smile at that moment because I knew Janae wouldn’t have had it any other way.


Janae fighting for the ball.

3. Getting professional help does not mean you have failed.

Going through something so traumatic can really take a toll on someone. I thought that I was psychotic and crazy if I needed professional help, so I refused it at every turn. Talking to someone about what you are going through can be very helpful; however, I will say that you have to find the right psychiatrist. You need to have a connection with someone before you trust them with your feelings, so try a few different people out and make sure you are comfortable.


Janae and her precious niece, Ainsleigh.

4. It never helps to dwell on things someone didn’t get to experience. Smile about the things they did experience.

I could sit and cry for hours about the things that Janae never got to experience: her 21st birthday, her wedding, having kids. The list goes on and on. All thinking about these things does is hurt you even more. Instead, talk about the things they did get to experience. Talk about things they accomplished, people they met, places they got to go, the memories they made.


Janae taking in the scenery at one favorite places, Rock Creek.

5. Live your life, don’t just be along for the ride.

Don’t hold grudges. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Don’t fret over finances. Do the things you want to do. Take every opportunity. Travel if you want to travel. Smile as often as you can, and spend time with the people you love. Your life could be done at any moment, so don’t waste any more time.

One of my favorite quotes is from a Rom-Com Janae and I loved to watch, Cinderella Story. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” You have to cease opportunities even if you are scared. People don’t like change because it is scary, but change is usually for the better if we would just take a chance on it.



6. Everyone deals with grief differently, and one way is not necessarily better than any other.

A few months after Janae passed it seemed like everyone had moved on with their lives. I felt like everyone had forgotten about Janae, and I was upset. I thought that maybe I should be okay too, when I clearly was not. Everyone grieves differently and everyone takes a different amount of time to grieve. Some people need some space and time to think, while others don’t want to be left alone. Some people won’t eat or sleep for days, while others will want to fill the whole in their heart with food and loads of sleep. Don’t let anyone tell you when you should be okay, or how you should be dealing with the grieving process. Find what ever is comfortable for you and do that.

I found comfort in my family and friends, but they can’t be there every second of every bad day. That’s why I bought my own journal and started writing about my feelings. Getting everything out and down on paper helped me sort through my feelings. I was also very scared that I was going to forget all of the fun memories I had with my best friend, so writing down all the memories I could think of made me feel more comfortable.


Janae and her best friend from college, Dawne.

7. Daily reminders can be difficult at first, but they make you smile instead of cry after awhile.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Janae, and I’m positive it will be like that for the rest of my life. I spent so much time with Janae that there are so many different things that remind me of her. Whether it be a song, a movie, something someone says, or the “shrine” of pictures I have of her in my room, there is something that strikes up Janae in my head every single day, and I love that now. Some days I smile because I knew her, and other days I cry because I miss her, either way, the crying days got to be less and less over time. I’m not going to lie to you, losing someone that close to you so young truly feels like you got stabbed in the heart for about the first year or so. It’s not easy, but I promise you it gets better. You learn to stop crying because it’s over and start smiling because it happened, and though that pain of knowing my best friend is gone will never go away for good, the joy of having spent my youth growing up with such an amazing human being is much stronger now.



Janae and her good friend Colten.

8. I had to get over my fears, and stick up for myself.

Janae always had my back. When someone said something mean to me behind my back or face to face, Janae was always the first one to pipe up and stick up for me. Let’s just say she usually won the argument too. I have always been a “people pleaser.” I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like upsetting anyone. I put other people’s wants and needs far ahead of my own. This quality can seem like a good one sometimes, but it really tears down your self confidence and your self worth. After Janae passed I knew I would have to start sticking up for myself, and making myself happy instead of others sometimes. Janae taught me to love myself for who I am and not care about what other people thought. I know that all sounds cliche, but it’s true.



Janae and her roommates at Dickinson.

9.I had to get better at keeping in contact with friends and family.

Janae was always getting on me about keeping in touch because I’m terrible at it. All of my friends will tell you that I am not very timely with texting them back. I knew I had to start making an effort to change this bad habit. This is one thing I am still working on. I try to make time to call or text my friends when I feel like ‘it’s been awhile.’ This I had to do not only for myself, but for others as well. I know there are a lot of people out there that are still grieving for Janae. I want to keep in touch with the people close to me. I want to do a better job of calling all of Janae’s family and friends just to let them know I’m thinking about them because I really am always thinking about them. Life is very busy, we all know that, but we have to make time for the important things and people in our lives. It’s always nice to know that you have someone to talk to just in case.



Janae with her three siblings Jozi, Josh, and Jennifer.

10. I learned that in life you GET to make choices.

One big thing I learned is that you can choose to turn a bad day around. Just because a day started off badly doesn’t mean it has to be that way all day. Sometimes just putting a smile on your face will put you in a better mood. During my grieving process, I had to make the choice between staying home and crying all day and getting outside and enjoying my life. For a long time I chose to stay home and cry, but after awhile I realized how foolish I was being. I wanted to live my life and being cooped up at home was not going to help. You have to make choices every single day. Try your hardest to always make the choice to be happy. Life is too short to be mad all the time.



Janae, in her Elf costume of course, with her parents on Christmas.

11. I have the best friend in the entire world, and not one can tell me I’m wrong because for once, I know I’m right.

Janae was one of those friends that did everything right. Janae was the one person who knew more about me than I knew about myself.  She was ALWAYS there for me, and she was always teaching me. I was never EVER bored when I was with her. Most importantly, she never lied to me. This meant that Janae always told the truth, whether or not it was going to hurt my feelings. She didn’t believe in dancing around things. She was very blunt and got straight to the point. There were times I wasn’t so happy with the things she told me, but I respected her opinion above anyone else’s. She was blunt, but she also had the kindest heart. She wanted to see everyone around her succeed. She pushed people beyond what they thought they could do. She knew this was the only way to improve. Janae was a life-long friend that I will forever miss. I know she will be with me at every point in my life forever and ever. Which leads to my final point.


Janae and myself during one of the last times we got to see each other.

12. I learned that Janae is not truly “gone.”

Janae will always be remembered through her family, friends, and community. She will live on through the things she accomplished and the people she knew. I know I will see Janae again, and I know that she will never really have left me. She will always be by my side just like she promised she would be. I love you forever and always Jan <3.

I made this Flipagram a few months ago on Janae’s 22nd birthday. Alive by Krewella was one of Janae’s favorite songs, and she loved to sing it loud and proud. Hope you enjoy!