The Best Method for Reheating Turkey So It Never Dries Out

updated Oct 24, 2023
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How To Reheat Turkey: The Best, Simplest Method
Learn the best way to reheat leftover turkey this weekend and a few tips for better microwaved leftovers.

Serves2 to 4

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Every year, we look forward to the pure post-Thanksgiving joy that is turkey leftovers. But did you know there’s a right way to reheat turkey? Here, we’ll cover the best way to reheat your leftover turkey to keep it as moist and delicious as possible. And if “best” translates to “fastest” for you, we have some guidelines for microwaving those leftovers, too.

Quick Overview

How to Reheat Turkey

The best way to reheat turkey is in a 350°F oven. Place the turkey pieces in a baking dish and drizzle with a few tablespoons of stock and/or butter. Cover the dish with foil and heat in the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can microwave the sliced turkey (cover with a damp paper towel) in a microwave-safe dish at 50% power in 1-minute intervals.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

How 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-size pieces.
  • Drizzle with stock or broth.
  • Cover cover it with a damp paper towel before microwaving.
  • Microwave the sliced turkey and turkey pieces in a microwave-safe dish at 50% power in 1-minute intervals, or until the internal temperature reads of 165°F.

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

Learn the best way to reheat leftover turkey this weekend and a few tips for better microwaved leftovers.

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 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

Equipment

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

Instructions

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  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.