If you want a tasty way of using up some of your leftover Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey then this turkey ragu is perfect. Serve it with pasta, potatoes or rice and you can even freeze it for when you want an easy meal next month!
As much as we look forward to eating the turkey on Christmas Day, I find that there's only so much turkey everyone wants to eat. Then I'm stuck between not wanting to waste food and wanting to serve food that makes everyone happy.
I know there are lots of ways of using up a turkey but I find giving everyone a break and then getting the turkey meals out again a few weeks later actually means we enjoy them more. So, you don't just need to eat this leftover turkey ragu in December, you can eat it at any time!
This turkey ragu is slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver's Winter Ragu. I made it with turkey but you could use any leftover Christmas meat and even a mixture of meats.
Of course, if you celebrate Thanksgiving then this turkey ragu would also be a great recipe to make with those turkey leftovers!
Ingredients for leftover turkey ragu
To make this ragu you'll need:
- Onion - Red or a brown onions are fine.
- Garlic - I love to use fresh garlic but you can use a garlic puree.
- Rosemary - I usually just add dried rosemary but if you have fresh herbs then use them!
- Red wine - If you don't have any and don't want to open a new bottle you can use stock instead.
- Tinned chopped tomatoes - If you don't have tinned tomatoes but have lots of fresh ones you can use them instead. I often then add little extra tomato puree.
- Tomato puree
- Bay leaf
- Leftover cooked turkey - Darker meat such as leg or thigh works best. You can also use another leftover cooked meat such a beef, pork or chicken.
How to make turkey ragu
To make this turkey ragu, start by finely dicing the onion, carrot and celery and cooking them down in a large saucepan until they are softened. Then add the garlic.
Pour in the wine and cook, stirring for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes, tomato puree and some extra water or stock. Add the rosemary and bay leaf at this point too as well as the diced turkey.
Then just leave it to simmer for an hour and a half. It couldn't be easier to make.
What to serve with turkey ragu?
This turkey ragu is delicious with pasta, rice or potatoes. Any kind of potatoes are fine - boiled, baked or mashed!
You could also serve some green veggies on the side. I love it with broccoli or green beans.
How to adapt this turkey ragu
This turkey ragu recipe makes enough to serve 6. If you are making it just after Christmas or Thanksgiving and have a lot of leftovers to use up then it's a good idea to double or even triple the quantities in order to use up more meat. I hate throwing food away and always find it difficult to get through the whole bird, even if we eat turkey for the next few days!
Although I made this recipe with turkey, you can adapt it to use any leftover meats. It's great with chicken, beef or pork. Or even a mixture.
As it's a ragu, it's the kind of recipe that is very forgiving and it's easy to add more or less of lots of the ingredients. As I said earlier, this version is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe and I did increase the quantities of the vegetables. As they are finely diced, they just cook down into the sauce.
I used dried herbs as I often don't have fresh ones just after Christmas but of course you could use fresh ones.
If you don't have red wine then just add a little stock instead.
How else can you serve this turkey ragu?
If you do like Jamie Oliver and want to get his Christmas Cookbook then this turkey ragu is also the perfect filling for his cannelloni, lasagna and baked buns! I would just love this turkey ragu inside a baked bun. It would be like a mini calzone pizza, just in a bun shape. Who wouldn't want one of those?
Storing the leftovers
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat throughly in a saucepan or the microwave before eating.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, freeze any leftovers in individual containers for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
You don't have to freeze in individual containers but larger containers take a long time to defrost. Plus, if you freeze in individual portions it is easier to take out the amount of servings you need.
More of Jamie Oliver's Christmas Recipes
I was extremely tempted by the jerk ham, which would be perfect if you've got guests staying and want something that could easily feed a crowd. Jamie also has leftover recipes you can make with that too! I also loved the fresh vibrant looking salads and the homemade Christmas gifts.
More recipes you might like
I love to make soup with leftovers and if I've got enough leftover roasted vegetables then I love this leftover roast vegetable soup. It's another great choice to make with Christmas or Thanksgiving leftovers. You might also like one of these Christmas recipes:
- Baked Christmas ham with mustard and maple syrup
- Leftover ham soup
- Honey mustard sprouts and butternut squash
Leftover Turkey Ragu
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 2 sticks of celery finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 200 ml red wine
- 800 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 400 ml water or stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 400 g leftover cooked turkey diced
- Put a little oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, celery and carrot gently until softened. Stir in the garlic. Cook for another minute and then pour in the wine.
- Bring it up to the boil and let it cook for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes. Half fill each empty tin with water or stock and swirl it around before pouring into the pan as well.
- Add the turkey, rosemary and bay leaf and bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 90 minutes.
- Serve with pasta, rice or potatoes.
Pin for later
Places I'm sharing this turkey ragu
Cook Once Eat Twice, as it is perfect for more than one meal.