Thanksgiving leftover recipe: Corn chowder with spiced turkey

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Use leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make this corn chowder with Mexican spiced turkey.
The best part of Thanksgiving dinner is Thanksgiving leftovers!  Instead of one Thanksgiving meal, you get two or three. Sometimes you get four or five or ten, which isn't always as fantastic. Let's face it, no matter how much a person loves turkey and gravy, after about the third meal in a row, it's time for something different. 

The problem is those Thanksgiving leftovers aren't going anywhere and unless you want them in the garbage they need to be eaten. The challenge then becomes how to make something that uses the building blocks of turkey day dinner, but have it taste completely different. One dish that accomplishes that is this corn chowder with Mexican spiced turkey.

Corn Chowder with Spiced Turkey

This Thanksgiving leftover recipe assumes that you have turkey and corn (or corn and oysters) sitting around in your refrigerator. If you don't have corn, you can certainly cook up some corn and use it in this recipe. If you don't have turkey, most other meats will work, although you might consider not sautéing them so that their flavor is not covered up by the spices.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups whole kernel corn, cooked
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound leftover turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder


  1. Bring the butter to room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, this will allow it to melt quicker.
  2. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté the onions for about 14 minutes, or until they start to brown and get sweet.
  3. Add the corn and stir it around the pot a few times to get it hot, then add the cream. Reduce the heat to medium. The soup can be served once the cream has started to simmer; however, the longer you cook the cream, the thicker the soup will become and the more the flavor will develop. You can also blend the soup if you like.
  4. While the soup is cooking, get a skillet hot over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil. When it is hot, add the turkey, then the garlic, and then the cayenne and chili powder. When the turkey is hot, it can be served.
  5. Serve the soup in bowls topped with the turkey.