Thanksgiving meals keep on giving

Recipes to use up that turkey that will nourish you for the shopping ahead

Savory Southwestern Turkey Pie. Shot in Robins on Friday, November 10, 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Savory Southwestern Turkey Pie. Shot in Robins on Friday, November 10, 2017. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

After the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal of roast turkey and all the trimmings comes the time for facing what to do with the leftover turkey. While turkey sandwiches are usually acceptable for one meal, we usually like to have our leftover turkey prepared with some different flavor combinations.

I have developed some recipes to tempt your taste buds for the next several days. I have a savory pie, a soup and a casserole. First is a pie — Savory Southwestern Turkey Pie with Cheddar Crust. It has an easy-to-make pat-in-the-pan crust, so it’s extra easy. The filling is a tasty combination of onion, peppers and turkey seasoned with cumin and oregano, then layered with sour cream, corn, black beans, salsa and cheddar cheese. I look forward to making this every year after Thanksgiving Your family will gobble up this simple pie.

With only 31 more shopping days until Christmas, the rush begins Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I also have created a recipe for a hot and hearty turkey soup that will satisfy shoppers (and benchwarmers) everywhere. Creamy Wild Rice, Turkey and Mushroom Soup combines leftover turkey with both white and wild rice, sauteed mushrooms, onion, celery and garlic.

While others are unloading the packages from the car, you can start supper. In about 40 minutes, you all can be sitting down to enjoy this warm, wonderful “day-after” soup.

My recipe for Thanksgiving “TLC” combines turkey with bacon, scallions and cheese. It has a creamy, easy-to-make sauce to hold it all together. I’ve topped it with strips of biscuit dough, that are brushed with a buttery-garlic sauce right after the casserole is baked.

I hope you’ll make one or more of my recipes this weekend. Enjoy Thanksgiving today with your family or friends. Remind yourself of all the blessings and special people in your life. As Americans, we have so much to be thankful for. What are you most thankful for this year?

l Nina Swan-Kohler is a culinary professional, recipe developer, cookbook author and cooking school director/instructor. She teaches cooking classes in her Robins home. For a copy of Nina’s cooking class schedule or for more information, email or visit


Savory Southwestern Turkey Pie with Cheddar Crust

Makes 8 servings.

Cheddar Pastry Crust

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted


1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped (red or green, or a combination)

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 cups cubed leftover cooked turkey breast

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup dairy sour cream

1 can (16 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup chunky salsa (8 ounce)

1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray. Add cornmeal to coat bottom of pie plate; set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour, 1 cup cheese, salt and butter until crumbly (you may need to used your fingers). Press into bottom and up sides of pie plate; set aside.

Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, cook and stir onion and pepper in butter over medium heat until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add turkey, cumin, oregano and salt. Cook and stir 2 minutes over medium heat to combine flavors. Pour turkey mixture into prepared crust. Layer sour cream, black beans, corn and salsa over turkey mixture. Bake on lowest oven rack at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Top with 1 cup cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Source: Nina Swan-Kohler

Creamy Wild Rice, Turkey and Mushroom Soup

Makes 8 servings.

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 cups thinly sliced celery

1 package (8 ounce) fresh mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon extra light olive oil

1/2 cup uncooked white rice

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice

1 carton (32 ounce) chicken broth

1 package (2.75 ounce) peppered or country gravy mix

3 1/2 cups milk

2 cups coarsely chopped leftover turkey

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground pepper or to taste

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook and stir onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add white and wild rice; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth; heat to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until wild rice is tender.

Return to a boil. Dissolve gravy mix in milk; stir into boiling mixture. Add turkey, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until thickened slightly and heated through.

(This soup tends to thicken as you keep it warm, so add more broth, water or milk, as needed.)

Note: Since roasted turkey freezes well, you may want to freeze some and prepare one of my recipes later.

Source: Nina Swan-Kohler

Thanksgiving “TLC”

(Turkey Leftovers Casserole)

Makes 8 servings.

Your family will appreciate the “tender loving care” you take to make this hearty and tasty casserole using leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.

4 to 5 cups cubed leftover cooked turkey

6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1 cup chopped scallions

1 package (2.75 ounce) country gravy mix

3/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese (4 ounce)

Cheesy Herb Biscuit Strips

2 1/4 cups baking mix

2/3 cup finely shredded Colby-Jack

1/2 cup milk

1 can (4 ounce) diced green chilies (undrained)


2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine turkey, bacon and onions; set aside.

Prepare gravy mix according to package directions. Stir in mayonnaise and cheese until well blended. Pour over turkey mixture; stir to coat.

Pour into a 13x9x2-inch-baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine baking mix, cheese, milk and chilies. Stir until mixture forms a ball. Turn out onto surface dusted with flour. Knead seven to 10 times. Roll out to 13x9-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 1-inch strips. Gently place strips of dough over turkey mixture to make a lattice design.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until biscuit lattice is golden brown and turkey mixture is bubbly.

In small bowl, combine butter, parsley and garlic powder; brush on top of biscuit lattice.


Source: Nina Swan-Kohler



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