Is it possible to make ten meals with one turkey? Indeed. I just made it happen. What a great way to stretch the grocery budget!
In an effort to save grocery money, I’ve been brainstorming ways to use the food I have in my freezer and to make it stretch as far as possible. It turns out that one turkey stretches really, really far! (Unless you host 25 people for Thanksgiving. Then you get one or two meals out of one turkey.)
But say you took advantage of holiday sales on turkeys and got an extra one or two to eat throughout the year after the holidays were over. How far could you stretch that bird?
Ten meals, perhaps? Even five is a great return on your turkey investment.
How to stretch that turkey!
I had a 20-pound turkey taking up room in my freezer. I decided in August to thaw it and smoke it on our Traeger. Delish!
Matt pulled all the meat off the bones for me (one of my least favorite jobs) and it produced two 9×13 inch dishes full of cooked meat.
At the time of this turkey extravaganza, there were eight kids at home (one has since headed back to college). Plus we fed a few extras here and there. Still, we were able to make ten meals with one bird! Because this was such a cost-effective and tasty way to feed so many people, I plan to stock up on turkeys this November when they go on sale!!
NOTE: We didn’t eat these meals one right after another. I froze quite a bit of the turkey in meal-sized portions to pull out and use as needed. So not only did this save money but having the pre-cooked meat saved time. Win-win!
How I made ten meals with one turkey
You’ll notice as you read my meal descriptions below that we were able to make our turkey stretch by eating only small amounts of it with each meal. We’ve found that it’s better to enjoy meat as a secondary dish, filling up instead on plenty of fruit and veggie side dishes to stretch the meat and stretch the budget. Fruits and veggies are actually a super inexpensive way to stretch your grocery budget!
Here’s the turkey meal breakdown:
Meal #1: We ate freshly smoked turkey with a lot of side dishes.
Meal #2: We ate some bites of leftover cold turkey in a chef salad. A little bit of meat is all we needed.
Meal #3: We made lunch plates filled with warm turkey with ranch for dipping, plus fruits and veggies.
Meal #4: We ate turkey sandwiches on rolls. It doesn’t take a lot of turkey to make a sandwich on a roll. We got out lots of different condiment options to make our sandwiches fun. Plus we had chips with guacamole and watermelon.
Meal #5: Right after we smoked and boned the turkey, I used the turkey bones and skin to make a huge batch of broth. I used some of the broth to make a simple noodle soup. I didn’t add any turkey to the soup, but instead boiled noodles in the flavorful, rich broth along with added veggies to make our meal.
Meal #6: I made a big pot of stir-fried veggies and tossed in a few pieces of shredded turkey.
Meal #7: I used some of the turkey broth to make rich potato soup. Incredibly good!
Meal #8: I made gravy with some of the broth (Matt’s request!). We then made mashed potatoes doused and enjoyed them with turkey gravy.
Meal #9: I made quesadillas for lunch with cheese, spinach, and bits of turkey.
Meal #10: We warmed the remaining turkey and served with it barbecue sauce for dipping, plus leftover cheesy potatoes and veggies.
As you can see, not every meal includes actual turkey. But the broth made from the turkey bones and skin is super nourishing and flavorful. That’s why I feel just fine about skipping meat in those meals. We are still completely satisfied. And if you take a look here at how I make broth, you’ll see how veggie-packed it is.
How many meals can you make with one turkey?
Too funny! I am planning to thaw my turkey this week to get it out of the freezer, making room for deer season. I was planning to make turkey pot pie, turkey rice soup and broth and hoping to also have left over meat to freeze for future meals too!
I’m intimated by smoking the turkey! Do you have a recipe or website you followed for that?
Dorthy McConnel says
oh I miss having a freezer! I used to do this back in the day and I really would love to do it again. Turkeys are so delicious and provide tons of meals for us.