Boy do I have an easy recipe to help you use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey! This easy ground turkey manicotti will please your family and get you out of the kitchen in a hurry!
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Now I happen to love turkey. And we’ve always had the traditional turkey on our Thanksgiving table. But my family would get tired of turkey long before we’d eaten it all. And since I don’t believe in letting food go to waste (at least not if I can help it), I am always on the lookout for good recipes to make use of every scrap.
This recipe for ground turkey manicotti is actually a variation on the Mexican Manicotti recipe I’ve shared in the past. That’s the great thing about a good recipe – once you’ve got the basics down, you can usually tweak it to fit whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Recipe for Ground Turkey Manicotti
Ground Turkey Manicotti
A quick and easy recipe for your leftover turkey
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey, sauteed if using leftover Thanksgiving turkey just dice turkey finely
- 1 box manicotti noodles 14-16 noodles usually
- 14-16 sticks mozarella cheese sticks removed from packaging
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano Mexican oregano has a slightly different flavor from regular oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons stevia powder 1:1 substitution for regular sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup grated mozarella cheese for topping
Spray 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray
Unwrap cheese sticks and insert one cheese stick into one uncooked (dry) manicotti noodle. Place in 9×13 pan.
If using uncooked ground turkey then saute turkey in medium sized kettle with the olive oil. If starting with already cooked turkey meat then simply chop finely. Saute the turkey in olife oil.
Combine chicken and beef broth and stir in cornstarch. Once combined add tomato sauce.
Once turkey is sauteed, add spices and broth-tomato sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Stir as mixture thickens.
Pour sauce over and around manicotti noodles stuffed wtih cheese sticks. Make sure to get liquid all over the dry noodles (this helps them cook).
Cover 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 49 minutes till noodles are tender.
Once noodles are done, remove foil and sprinkle with shredded mozarella cheese and return to oven for 2-4 minutes until cheese begins to melt.
This dish is great served wtih avocado, sour cream, salsa, or diced tomatoes.
As you notice in the recipe, you don’t have to start with leftover cooked turkey. This recipe works great when you’re purchased ground turkey from the supermarket since a lot of us are trying to eat leaner meats and a healthier diet.
Personally, I’ve found that my family doesn’t complain nearly so much about “all that leftover turkey” if I’ve planned some alternative recipes before I even serve the turkey for the main dinner. It makes my life so much easier because I don’t like listening to complaints any more than the next person – that makes me turn into grumpy cook (and that’s never festive!).
Adapting the recipe for more tender tummies
One of the challenges we face since we live in a a multi generational house is dealing with a wider variety of tastes and dietary needs.
Perhaps you can relate?
If you’ve got an older parent living with you then you’re aware of the fact that they frequently don’t tolerate spices as well as they did in the past. This means that you’ve got some special considerations when you start cooking.
One nice thing about this recipe is that you can tune the spices up or down to fit the needs of your family members.
We’ve found that setting aside a portion of the sauce before we start adding spices helps us be sure that we’re not going to serve something that causes an upset stomach later.
We simply put a few of the manicotti noodles into a much smaller dish and cover with the less spicy sauce and cook in the oven with the larger pan. This means everyone can enjoy the same meal without worry. No one is left out and no one feels singled out because of dietary or taste concerns.
I’d love to know what’s your favorite way to use leftover turkey. What recipes have you tried that I might need to add to my own arsenal? Feel free to tell me about them in the comments below.