Monthly Archives: November 2013

Soup-er Ideas for Turkey Leftovers

Turkey Salsa Soup recipe

Turkey Salsa Soup

Give new life to Thanksgiving turkey leftovers with these turkey soup recipes. They start with the same basic ingredients of 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth and 2 cups of chopped, cooked turkey. Each recipe makes about 2 quarts or 4 2-cup servings.

turkey salsa soup

Turkey Salsa Soup recipe

Turkey Salsa Soup

Combine 16 oz. (2 cups) mild, chunky salsa; 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn; 2 (15 oz.) cans black soybeans, rinsed, drained; 2 cups chopped, cooked turkey; and 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, top with grated cheddar cheese.

tURKEY mASHED Potato soup

Turkey Mashed Potato Soup Recipe

Turkey Mashed Potato Soup

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté over medium to medium-high heat in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil: 1 chopped, sweet, yellow onion and 1 cup thinly sliced carrots until the onion is translucent and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth, 3 cups mashed potatoes, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves; continue cooking and stir until broth is smooth. Add 2 cups chopped, cooked turkey; continue cooking on medium heat until mixture starts to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until mixtures is heated through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


The USDA Food Service and Inspection Service advises the following for storing  turkey leftovers:

  • Discard any turkey, stuffing, and gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.
  • Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
  • If freezing leftovers, use within 2 to 6 months for best quality.

serving soup – safely

Make a large batch of soup and enjoy some for another meal. Many soups, with the possible exception of seafood soups, may taste better the next day! For best safety and quality, plan to eat refrigerated soup within 3 to 4 days or freeze it. And avoid letting soup set at room temperature for more than TWO hours.

Don’t put a large pot of hot soup directly into your refrigerator. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it would take an 8-inch stock pot of steaming chicken soup 24 HOURS to cool to a safe temperature in your refrigerator. To be safe:

  • To speed cooling, transfer soup to shallow containers, making sure soup is no more than TWO inches deep. Refrigerate promptly. You can place loosely covered foods in the refrigerator while still warm; cover when food is completely cooled.
  • When serving soup a second time, reheat it until it’s steaming hot throughout, at least 165 degrees F.

Visit my Thanksgiving Pinterest Board for more general Thanksgiving tips plus more ideas for using turkey leftovers.

Review the leftover section if you’re not sure how long you can store turkey leftovers in the refrigerator.

Slow Cooker Meals

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew (slow cooker recipe)

Imagine walking into your kitchen after a busy day and being greeted by the scent of cinnamon, garlic and onions signaling “dinner is ready!”

Unless you have a cook at home who prepares meals for you, using a slow cooker is the easiest way to achieve this state of well-being!

Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew is one of my favorite slow cooker meals. I just measure, chop and toss in everything at the same time. (Source: Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association)

As you search out slow cooker recipes, here are some tips for optimum nutrition and taste.

If you can’t find reduced sodium or “no salt added” canned dry beans, rinse and drain canned beans. This will remove about 40 percent of the salt content.


Rinse and drain canned, cooked dry beans to reduce sodium content

If a recipe calls for spices or herbs you may not use much, purchase small  containers to save money. The smaller sizes will also help you use the seasonings by their recommended usage date, when they will be most fresh.


Buy small containers of spice you are likely to use less often

Cut foods into similar size pieces. This ensures they will finish cooking at the same time.


Cut foods into similar sizes for even cooking

Look for broths and stocks that are lower in salt. The flavor of the ingredients may shine through more if a food isn’t so heavily salted. You can pass the salt shaker and let people decide for themselves.

Beef broth label

Look for foods lower in added salt

For more tips on cooking with a slow cooker, check out this self-paced slide show:

NOTE: If you are getting this information through your email, you may have to click through to the web version to view the slide show.