Turkey Leftovers and a Turkey Cacciatore Recipe

When my mom and I made the Thanksgiving turkey roast video, I found I had a lot of extra outtakes after editing, and one of those included a discussion of leftovers. So I figured this weekend would be a good time to share Mom’s recipe for a cacciatore using leftover turkey.

Here’s the short video with our leftovers discussion and then the recipe follows below.


DP: What do you like to do with leftover turkey when you have some?
NP: Oh, leftovers are the best part. First of all, when I’m done carving the turkey and I’ve strained the broth out, I put the carcass and the giblets and I start my soup. So I cook that down and then after dinner I take the leftovers and I sort them up into two cup packages. I save some big slices for sandwiches but the rest of it usually in two cup packages because most casseroles will tell you about two cups.
DP: Okay.
NP: So that’s where I go from there. And we like to make chicken cacciatore, chicken tetrazzini.
DP: Just with turkey?
NP: Yeah and all the recipes always say chicken. Around here turkey goes! You know, we love turkey. You freeze it. It doesn’t go bad. It can freeze for a long time if you really seal it when you wrap it, you know, and put it in the freezer. And same with the broth. If you don’t make soup right away you can save that into one quart containers and freeze it. And then you can take your leftover turkey and your leftover broth and make soup if you want or make another casserole.
DP: Just freeze it in yogurt containers or something like that?
NP: Something like that. Anything that’s sturdy. And that’s what we do.

Cacciatore originally was a rustic style of food. In many contemporary interpretations it has evolved into a more complicated preparation. But at its origin, it was a meal prepared by a hunter. Think of bold chunks of vegetables, a limited range of ingredients, and a simple and probably not over-long simmer over a fire as everyone hungrily waits for their food to be ready.

Leftover Turkey Cacciatore

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Nancy Perozzi


  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Sliced Peppers
  • 2 cups Sliced Onions
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms (such as baby bella)
  • 1 lb cooked turkey leftovers
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp dried organo
  • 4 to 5 cups crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • ¼ cup red wine


  • In a large saucepan or a heavy bottomed pot, add olive oil and set stove to medium heat.
  • Saute peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms for 3 minutes.
  • Add turkey, salt, pepper, and oregano and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes.


Most cacciatores involve braising meat in the sauce, but since this uses turkey leftovers, the meal comes together quickly with only the need to warm the meat. If you are serving it over pasta or rice, be sure to have that ready beforehand.

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