Turkey Time: Now and Later

November 20, 2023 | Jody Gatewood

Thanksgiving turkey

Hardcore turkey season is upon us, so how can you make the most of this famous holiday bird? With some planning, you can enjoy all parts for many weeks after the main event. I hate to leave good food “on the table”, so to speak!

  • Neck and giblets- As you prepare the turkey for roasting, remove the wrapped parts from inside of the bird. Unwrap and simmer those parts in a pot of water; use the broth and any other parts you like in stuffing or gravy. Maybe you are a gizzard and liver-lover, and if so, enjoy them!
  • Roasted turkey meat- Use leftover meat in soups, casseroles, tacos, sandwiches, salads, enchiladas, add it to macaroni and cheese, or get creative. I’m looking forward to a post-holiday tortilla wrap, complete with turkey, slaw, and cranberry sauce! Chop and freeze leftover turkey for easy and quick recipes. Check out these ideas for leftover turkey meat on our Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website.
  • Turkey Bones- Bag and then refrigerate the bones within two hours of removing the turkey from the oven. Use the refrigerated bones within 3-4 days or freeze them for longer storage. When you are up for the task, place the bones in a large pot and cover with water. Add carrots, celery, and onions if you like. Simmer for three or more hours and then strain to make delicious homemade stock. Refrigerate any stock that you plan to use within the next four days. For long-term storage, cool and freeze right away.

Back to my thoughts on roasted turkey;  there are no rules about breakfast! It’s never too early for mashed potatoes and gravy for a great start to your day. I’m one of those pizza or tacos for breakfast gals. Speaking of breakfast, I need to make another batch of Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos! I’ll bet those would be great with added turkey.


Judy Dittmar is a Registered Dietitian who loves cooking for family and friends. Sharing tips, tricks, and recipes brings her joy. Outside of the kitchen, she likes active outdoor time and gardening.

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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