Cozy Turkey Stew (with Leftovers)

published Sep 28, 2021
Turkey Stew Recipe

A hearty bowl of stew is the most creative way to use up leftover holiday turkey.


Makesabout 10 cups

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 40 minutes

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A closeup of Turkey Stew, with shredded turkey, tomatoes, carrots, and parsley in a broth, with a black spoon in it on the right side.
Credit: Laura Rege

When you’ve eaten just about all the turkey sandwiches you can stomach, it’s time to get a bit more creative with Thanksgiving leftovers. Enter: this decadent turkey stew. Chunky vegetables, shredded turkey, and a creamy, almost gravy-like broth come together in less than an hour for an irresistible seasonal bowl that fills your house with the aroma of a home-cooked holiday meal.

Use this recipe when you have leftover holiday turkey or make it a regular occurrence on your table by swapping in rotisserie or cooked chicken instead. Shredding the turkey adds a nice texture to the stew, but it can also be diced into bite-sized pieces. Don’t skip the fresh herbs, as both the sage and thyme are huge flavor components of the recipe. The heavy cream can be substituted with half-and-half for a slightly lighter finish, or try store-bought almond milk if you are dairy-free.

How Do I Thicken My Turkey Stew?

Turkey stew can be thickened with cornstarch, like we do in this recipe, or with flour. The heavy cream as well as the starch released when cooking the potatoes will also assist in thickening the stew. If you prefer to use flour over cornstarch, add the flour to the vegetable mixture after reducing the wine (rather than whisking it into 1/2 cup of the broth) and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute to toast the flour ever-so-slightly. Then stir in all of the broth. 

Credit: Laura Rege

How Long Will Cooked Turkey Stay Good in the Refrigerator?

Cooked turkey will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you have an abundance of cooked turkey meat, you can shred it and freeze in freezer-safe containers. Then defrost and use in the stew. 

What to Serve with Turkey Stew

A complete meal with protein, carbs, and vegetables on its own, you don’t need to prepare anything else to turn this stew into a fabulous meal. However, if you want to add a crusty loaf of bread to sop up the stew, go for it. A side salad complements this dish nicely, too. Also important: The rich fall flavors of this stew pair wonderfully with a robust red wine or a crisp white.

Turkey Stew Recipe

A hearty bowl of stew is the most creative way to use up leftover holiday turkey.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Makes about 10 cups

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 8 ounces

    cremini mushrooms

  • 3

    medium carrots

  • 2 medium stalks


  • 4 cloves


  • 1 pound

    medium Yukon gold potatoes (2 to 3)

  • Small handful

    fresh sage sprigs

  • Small handful

    fresh thyme sprigs

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups

    low-sodium chicken or turkey broth, divided

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 3/4 cup

    dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 1 small bunch

    fresh parsley

  • 3 cups

    shredded cooked turkey meat (about 1 pound)

  • 1/3 cup

    heavy cream


  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same large bowl as you complete it: Dice 1 large yellow onion (2 cups); quarter 8 ounces cremini mushrooms; thinly slice 3 medium carrots (1 cup), 2 celery stalks (1 cup), and 4 garlic cloves.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to a medium bowl as you complete it: Peel and cut 1 pound medium Yukon gold potatoes into 1-inch chunks (3 cups), strip the leaves from a small handful of fresh thyme sprigs and finely chop until you have 1 tablespoon, strip the leaves from a small handful of fresh sage leaves and finely chop until you have 1 tablespoon.

  3. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion mixture, and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup of the low-sodium chicken or turkey broth and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Add 3/4 cup dry white wine to the pot and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.

  5. Add the potatoes, cornstarch mixture, remaining 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth, sage, thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the broth is thickened and the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, strip the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh parsley and coarsely chop until you have 1/4 cup.

  6. Add 3 cups shredded cooked turkey meat and stir to combine. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup heavy cream and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The turkey stew can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until warmed. It can also be frozen in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat before serving.