What To Do With Leftover Turkey?

Why, make Turkey a la Josie, of course! Every year after Thanksgiving, my Mother-in-Law, Josie, serves up a mean Turkey a la King. Only she said it wasn’t the real Turkey a la King, just her version of it. Her kids always called it Turkey a la Josie. To this day, I don’t know what “real” turkey a la king is. I do know that everyone in my house will eat Turkey a la Josie without complaint, thus making it a winner to me. Shocking really, because it doesn’t look like much, and there are vegetables and things touching the turkey. But, the boys gobble it up every time. (No pun intended.)

I think this is something my grandfather would have called sh*t-on-a-shingle, post World War II. Um…I don’t know why I felt the need to tell you that.  Grandpa had a lot of colorful phrases. We’ll just save those for another post. Moving on!

Turkey a la Josie!

2C. cooked turkey breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 Tbs. all-purpose flour

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

2 C. 2% milk

1 C. frozen peas (optional)

Start by chopping 2 cups of cooked, leftover turkey. White meat or dark–it’s up to you.

And if you are using the frozen peas, put them in a cup to thaw out while you are working. I have to practically barricade the kitchen when I get out the frozen peas. My boys love to eat frozen peas! Frozen corn, too. Weird.

Like all good recipes, this one starts with butter.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Once the butter gets nice & bubbly, toss in the flour, salt, and pepper. This is the basis for the sauce. Stir it around until the butter absorbs all of the flour. Continue to stir and cook the flour mixture for another minute. That extra minute of cooking with take away a bit of the “floury” taste in the sauce.

After a minute, add the milk all at once. Stir the milk to blend in the flour until smooth.

Continue to heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. If it starts to boil before it thickens, lower the heat. The sauce is thick enough when it will coat the spoon and slowly run off.  Congradulations! You’ve just made a basic white sauce, otherwise known as a roux.

Add the peas and chopped turkey to the roux. Stir it around a bit to make sure the turkey and peas are evenly coated. Turn the heat to low, and let it all warm up for a few minutes. If the sauce seems too chunky, and not pourable, go ahead and add a bit more milk to loosen it up. Taste the sauce and add more salt & pepper, if needed.

Decision point: what to serve this chunky bit of decadence on? My MIL suggests egg noodles, croissants, or leftover dinner rolls. I think it’d be right tasty over biscuits. You know, like biscuits & gravy, but with turkey instead of sausage? Who’s with me? Bueller?

Most times, we serve it up on toasted whole wheat sandwich bread. Boring, I know, but still quite good. Just toast a slice of your favorite bread.

And ladle all the goodness right on top. This is an open-faced-knife-and-fork kind of meal. Any other way would just be…messy.

There ya have it! Turkey a la Josie. Try it with your leftover turkey!

Turkey a la Josie


4 Servings


2C. cooked turkey breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 Tbs. all-purpose flour

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

2 C. 2% milk

1 C. frozen peas, thawed and drained (optional)


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Cook flour mixture for 1 minute.
  3. Add the all of the milk to the flour mixture, whisking until smooth.
  4. Raise heat to medium and cook until thickened; stirring constantly.
  5. Once sauce has thickened, stir in turkey and peas,  and heat through.
  6. To serve: ladle over toasted bread, cooked egg noodles, or biscuits.


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  1. says

    Love this idea. Otherwise soup, sandwiches and pot-pie are pretty much your only other options.

    Maybe if we cooked a turkey more than once a year, we’d be more clever about the whole affair. But really, why mess with a good thing?

  2. says

    this reminds me a lot of a dish I grew up eating back east…Creamed Chicken on….waffles! yep, waffles. And don’t knock it til you’ve tried it :) I think I’ll try making your turkey mixture here and puttin it over savory waffles…yum!
    cathy b.


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