This recipe was originally published in November, 2014, then updated November 2019.
Inspiration for Leftover Turkey Stew
I don’t host for Thanksgiving, so don’t have quite as many leftovers to contend with as you might. But I usually leave my folks armed with a couple of pretty well-packed containers of turkey and sides, so I do have some experience. I got in the Thanksgiving spirit earlier this month and roasted a turkey. That gave me turkey bones as well as meat to work with, so making a stew was a must! The result was this tasty Leftover Turkey and Butternut Squash Stew, perfect for sharing for the #SundaySupper focused on Thanksgiving leftovers.
Potatoes might be more common in a stew of this sort, but I had a lot of squash on hand from our fall farmshare. So I put a whole butternut squash to work in this stew with tasty results! If you had some leftover pureed squash from the Thanksgiving table, you could add that into the stew, and then add a couple of chopped potatoes for texture. This recipe is flexible–experiment with what you have on hand!
Tips for making Turkey Stew with Butternut Squash
Here are a few tips for making our leftover turkey stew; see the recipe card below for the full details.
- Homemade stock definitely enhances the flavor of the stew. I cover how to make your own in the next section.
- The recipe I give uses vegetables such as squash and carrots that cook during the stew making process. This turkey stew is also a great way to use cooked leftover vegetables. Add those in with about 10 minutes left in the cooking time.
- Once you have stock or store bought broth ready to go, the stew can be ready after about 40 minutes cooking time. But if you have time to let the stew simmer for a good hour, that will enhance the flavors.
Making your own stock for Leftover Turkey Stew
If you left someone else’s house with turkey meat, you can make the stew with some store-bought stock–skip on down to the stew recipe below! But homemade stock adds so much flavor! I describe the process for making stock with leftover chicken here, and the process is pretty similar with turkey. Here are some tips for making your own turkey stock from leftover turkey carcass and meat in a slow cooker.
- A slow cooker makes the stock making process easy.
- If you have not already done so, start by removing most of the good turkey meat that is still on the bones. Put that turkey in a container and refrigerate until you are ready to add it to the stew.
- Next break up the turkey carcass so that it can fit into the slow cooker. Add the turkey legs, wings and other bones. It’s fine if there are still bits of meat and skin on the bones.
- I followed this recipe for the original turkey dinner that provided the leftovers for this stew. I included some roasted carrots and parsnips in the roasting pan. If you also had roasted veggies along with the turkey, go ahead and add any leftovers to the crockpot.
- Cover the turkey bones with water, and set the crockpot on low for at least 12 hours. If you get the stock going the evening after your turkey dinner, you can have it going in the slow cooker a full 24 hours, finishing the process the next evening. Enjoy the great smells in your house as the turkey stock simmers!
- Finish the stock by dumping the crockpot contents through a strainer into a large pan. Pick through the turkey bones to get more meat that can be added to the stew. This can often be quite a bit, as meat hidden by skin and various bone crevices gets loosened up while the stock simmers.
More favorite leftover turkey recipes
After the recipe, there are links to some great leftover turkey recipe ideas from others in the Sunday Supper blogger group, and I also have rounded up 19 Tasty Leftover Turkey Recipes. But if you want a few quick ideas, here are a few of my favorite leftover turkey recipes:
- Leftover Turkey Pasta with Mushrooms
- Leftover Turkey Potpie (from Sugar Spun Run)
- Orzo with Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potatoes
And if you would like to try another soup with butternut, try our Butternut Squash Mushroom Soup recipe.
Wine Pairing for Turkey and Butternut Squash Stew
I’m inclined to go with Pinot Noir for turkey, and the butternut squash seals the deal! I recently had a great Pinot, paired with a fettuccine dish. I’m sure the 2016 Harper Voit Strandline Pinot Noir ($41, 14.3% ABV) I’m referencing would be great with our turkey stew, too. This Willamette Valley Pinot has raspberry fruit with notes of chocolate, and layers of delicious flavor.Print
Leftover Turkey Stew with Butternut Squash
This hearty and delicious Leftover Turkey Stew with Butternut Squash recipe is a great way to use leftover turkey! Grab a spoon and dig into this comforting stew with great fall flavors!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup green peas, frozen OK
- 4 cups or more cooked turkey, cut or shred into bit sized pieces
- 7 cups turkey or chicken stock (if you have less than 7 cups stock, add water to bring you to 7 cups of liquid).
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Soften the onions: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Add veggies: Add the carrots, butternut squash, and garlic, and sauté for about two more minutes.
- Add stock: Add the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer on medium low.
- Add turkey and simmer: After the veggies have been simmering for about 10 minutes, stir in the turkey and peas. Let the stew simmer uncovered at least 30 more minutes until the veggies are good and tender. Stir occasionally as the stew simmers, and break up a few pieces of the squash as you do to distribute the flavor throughout the liquid.
- Finish the stew: A full hour of total cooking time is ideal to really let the flavor build up. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve in a bowl along with crusty bread. Enjoy!
- You can use store bought chicken or turkey stock if needed. But if you have the leftover turkey carcass too, making your own stock is a great idea. You can follow the tips for making turkey stock in the article above the recipe, or see my method for making chicken stock here — the same process applies with turkey.
- Vary the vegetables based on what you have on hand. The recipe as presented is based on squash and other veggies that need to be cooked. If you have leftover cooked vegetables you would like to use, add them with about 10 minutes cooking time remaining. That will be just enough to heat them without getting too soft.
Keywords: leftover turkey stew, turkey stew with squash, turkey and butternut squash, turkey soup with butternut squash
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