How To Reheat Turkey: The Best, Simplest Method

How To Reheat Turkey: The Best, Simplest Method

Meghan Splawn
Nov 24, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

You've probably just spent the last day or two cooking and are looking forward to the pure post-Thanksgiving joy that is days of turkey sandwiches, soups, and leftover pies. Here, we'll cover the best way to reheat your leftover turkey as well as some guidelines for microwaving those leftovers for when "best" translates to "fastest."

The Best, Simplest Method for Reheating Turkey

As a rule of thumb, leftovers should be heated the same way that they were cooked. A long, slow roast got your turkey onto the Thanksgiving table, so into the oven leftovers should go for the best reheating. Follow these few rules for success.

  • Cut the turkey into smaller pieces: You can leave drumsticks on the bone, but for everything else, make sure the turkey is sliced or chopped. Do your best to keep the pieces similar in size for even reheating.
  • Add some stock and butter: Add two secret ingredients for reheating leftovers — moisture and fat — to any leftovers when reheating. For turkey, stock and butter are ideal, but use what you've got!
  • Reheat low and slow: This method isn't the fastest, but we want to avoid driving moisture away from the already-cooked meat, so 30 minutes in a 350°F is best.
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The Best Way to Reheat Turkey in the Microwave

While the best method for reheating will give you moist and tender leftovers, we all know there are going to be times when you just want to heat a single serving of turkey breast and some sides for yourself — and no, you don't want to heat the oven, thank you. Here's the best way to microwave your turkey leftovers.

  • Cut the turkey into bite-sized pieces.
  • Drizzle with stock or broth.
  • Cover before microwaving.

A safety note: Remember that all leftovers should be reheated to a minimum of 165°F and should be stored properly within two hours of cooking for safety.

How To Reheat Turkey: The Best, Simplest Method

Serves 2 to 4

What You Need

1 pound cooked turkey (breast meat, thigh meat, or whole drumsticks)
1 cup low-sodium turkey, vegetable, or chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Cutting board and chef's knife
8x8-inch baking dish
Aluminum foil


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.
  2. Slice the turkey and spread into a baking dish. Uniform slices or bite-sized pieces reheat quickly and evenly, so slice the turkey as needed. Place the turkey in a a single layer in an 8x8-inch baking dish.
  3. Cover the turkey with broth and dot with the butter. Add the broth and dot the turkey with the pieces of butter. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Reheat in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Bake until the turkey is heated through, 30 to 35 minutes. Remember that all leftovers should be reheated to a minimum of 165°F.
  5. Serving. Uncover and serve the turkey immediately.
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