Leftover turkey ideas

THIS is the time of year when there is leftover turkey in the fridge. What’s to be done with it? If you’ve had enough of cold slices with cold stuffing and cold bread sauce, it can be sliced and put in the freezer and used within a few weeks, or you can make a savoury white sauce and serve it as blanquette of turkey.

Alternatively, you could mince or finely chop brown and white turkey meat together and make turkey meatballs. This recipe was inspired by seeing one for beef meatballs which were cooked in tomato sauce.

Turkey balls in tomato sauce.

Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce   

Serves 4


500g minced turkey meat (cooked or raw)

2 tbsps of fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 finely chopped sage leaf, or 1 tsp dried sage

Salt & black pepper

1 large egg, beaten

For tomato sauce

1 onion, chopped (approx. 200g)

1 clove of garlic, crushed

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp maple syrup


Mix turkey and seasoning together in a bowl, add breadcrumbs and beaten egg, then, on a floured surface, shape the mixture into 20 balls.

Bring the sauce ingredients to the boil, lower the heat and carefully add the turkey meatballs in the sauce.

Cover and simmer gently for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Once cooked, place meatballs in warmed serving dish and cover with the tomato sauce.

If you prefer, you can use the same ingredients to make turkey burgers. Just use a tablespoon to make eight burger shapes and gently fry them, 10 minutes on each side, in a lightly oiled frying pan. See photo below.

Turkey burgers


Date, banana and walnut cookies

So you can’t stand mince pies either?

Your alternative could be these date, banana and walnut cookies. They also happen to be sugar-, dairy- and gluten-free.

There is no hard pastry and no mincemeat or bitter orange peel anywhere near them.

You can eat them all year round too, and not just at Christmas.

 Date, banana & walnut cookies

Makes approx. 18-20


85g dried dates, finely chopped

85g walnuts, finely chopped

3 medium bananas (skin-off weight approx. 225g)

2 cups of oats (buy gluten-free oats if you wish to)

3 tbsps veg oil, such as extra-virgin olive oil mixed with linseed oil

1 tsp vanilla essence


Mix everything together really well and put tablespoons of the mixture onto an oiled or lined baking sheet.

Flatten them down a bit (they won’t spread while cooking because there is no egg/S-R flour/bicarb) and bake for about 20 mins max.

Leave to cool before storing in box in fridge.

They soften rather nicely after a day in their box.

I particularly like this recipe because, not only do the cookies taste good, but you only need to wash up one bowl and one spoon.