Is that foiled-wrapped mound staring at you and taking up much-needed space in your refrigerator? Do you have resealable bags of turkey in your freezer without any real plan for using them?

Turn that leftover turkey into tasty meals your family will love so much you'll serve them January through October too.



Turkey Tetrazzini

Tetrazzini is one of my all-time favorite home-cooked meals. Our family had this for dinner often as I was growing up, but I never got tired of the creamy white sauce and buttery bread crumbs.

1 cup mushrooms, sliced (fresh or canned)

5 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 cups milk

¼ cup dry white wine

2 cups julienned strips cooked turkey (or chicken)

1/3 cup broken spaghetti, cooked

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup buttered fresh bread crumbs

Saute mushrooms lightly in 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet. Remove from pan. Melt remaining butter or margarine in the skillet, stir in flour, salt and pepper, cook, stirring constantly until bubbly. Whisk in milk; continue cooking and stirring until sauce thicken, then boil 1 minute. Stir in wine, turkey, cooked spaghetti, and mushrooms. Spoon mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, then the buttered bread crumbs. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.

Note: To make buttered bread crumbs either a) add a pat of butter to blender or food processor while making bread crumbs or b) after bread crumbs have been made, toss crumbs with melted butter.



Red and White Turkey Chili

For turkey with a Southwestern kick, try a bowl of steaming turkey chili. This recipe is perfect for a cold day that ends with a warm night.

1 can (15 to 16 oz) great northern beans, drained 1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained 2 cans (4.5 oz each) chopped green chiles (undrained) 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

3 1/2 cups chicken broth or turkey stock

2 lbs bite size turkey (about 6 cups)

1 cup frozen white shoepeg corn, thawed

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1 lime, cut into wedges, if desired

In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, mix great northern beans, kidney beans, turkey, chiles, onion, garlic, cumin, red pepper, and broth. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.

Add corn to cooker. In small bowl, mix flour and water; stir into turkey mixture. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and slightly thickened. Serve individual servings with lime wedges for squeezing juice over chili.

Makes 6 servings (1½ cups each)



Curried Turkey Stir Fry

For a unique twist on leftover turkey, try a quick stir fry with Asian flair.

1 3/4 cups uncooked instant brown rice

2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3 cups cooked turkey

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

2 cups small broccoli flowerets

1 1/4 cups chicken broth

4 teaspoons cornstarch

4 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook brown rice as directed on package, using water and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and broccoli. Cook 2 minutes. Add turkey to skillet.

In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Stir into turkey and vegetables. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Serve over brown rice.

Makes 4 servings



Pesto, Turkey and Pasta

Who knew turkey could be Italian? Add some store bought pesto and Presto! dinner is done!

3 cups uncooked farfalle (bow-tie) pasta

2 cups cubed cooked turkey breasts

1/2 cup basil pesto

1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted red bell peppers

sliced ripe olives, if desired

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package in 3-quart saucepan. Mix hot cooked pasta, turkey, pesto and bell peppers in same saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until hot. Garnish with olives.



Wild Rice and Turkey Casserole

This recipe is super simple and would work equally well for turkey, chicken or pheasant.

2 cups cut-up cooked turkey or chicken

2 1/4 cups boiling water

1/3 cup milk

1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 package (6 oz) seasoned long grain and wild rice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients, including seasoning packet from rice mix, in ungreased 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until liquid is absorbed.