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Thanksgiving Leftovers BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese

Introducing the Thanksgiving leftovers mashup, you never knew you needed: the BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese Extravaganza.

If you’re like us, you’ve probably just emerged from the Thanksgiving feast, belly full, heart warm, and fridge bursting at the seams with the remnants of a holiday well-celebrated. But you have been eating the leftovers for two days now.

We’ve got a game-changing plan to elevate your leftover game to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Picture this: succulent shreds of leftover turkey, mingling with creamy mac and cheese, all kissed by the tantalizing smokiness of a barbecue. It’s a flavor fiesta that will make your taste buds do the happy dance.

Thanksgiving Remix: BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese Extravaganza

In this blog post, we’re going to guide you through the easy steps of transforming your holiday leftovers into a dish that’s a party for your palate.

Our guess is that you’ll have everyone asking for seconds. It is a great way to use up a few of the containers of food in your refrigerator.

The best part prep time is only about 10 minutes and total cooking time including the pasta is about 20 minutes.

Thanksgiving Leftovers BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese

What Parts of the Thanksgiving Meal are We using?

The cooked turkey leftovers and the gravy are used in this recipe in a whole new way. In a large skillet, combine the gravy with milk and sharp cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese shredded. Once the cheese melts, it’s time to add your turkey. Cook the pasta until just al dente and add to the cheese sauce and turkey mixture.  

The gravy and cheese combination creates a delicious savory cheese sauce. Add your cooked pasta and turkey for a scrumptious combination. Top it all off with your favorite barbeque sauce.

If you serve ham for your Holiday meal, go ahead, and add that or swap out the turkey for the ham in this recipe.

cooked turkey leftovers

I like to add chopped green onions to the top of mine for a bit of extra crunch and heat.

You may just like this recipe so much that you’ll make extra food during the Holiday season, just to have leftovers for this recipe.

My husband really loves this recipe, but it is a delicious recipe for the whole family. A new kind of mac and cheese recipe. It’s kind of the ultimate comfort food.

Thanksgiving Leftovers BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese
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Thanksgiving Leftovers BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese

Introducing the Thanksgiving leftovers mashup, you never knew you needed: the BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese Extravaganza.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 minute meal, easy meals, easy recipe, Holiday recipe, leftover ham, leftover turkey
Servings: 3 Servings
Calories: 1278kcal

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  • ¼ Cup Gravy
  • ¼ Cup Milk
  • ¼ Cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 Cups Turkey chopped
  • 8 Ounces Pasta any kind, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the water off.
    8 Ounces Pasta
  • In a large saucepan, add the gravy and milk. Heat over medium heat stirring with a whisk to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes until combined and warm.
    ¼ Cup Gravy, ¼ Cup Milk
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir continuously until the cheese is melted.
    ¼ Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • Add the turkey and cook another minute or two.
    1 1/2 Cups Turkey
  • Turn off the heat and add the pasta stir to combine.
  • Serve and top with the BBQ sauce.
    2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 1278kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 108g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 24g | Monounsaturated Fat: 45g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 1mg

Thanksgiving Remix

Can you freeze leftovers after 2 days?

Yes, you can freeze leftovers after two days, but make sure to follow food safety guidelines. In Fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends freezing leftovers within 3-4 days. However, do not freeze any food that has been left out on the counter for more than 2 hours.

Here are a few Best Practices

Cool the leftovers quickly

Before freezing, make sure to cool the leftovers rapidly. Divide large portions into smaller, shallow containers to speed up the cooling process. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria that can occur when food is left at room temperature for too long.

Use airtight containers or freezer bags

Proper packaging is crucial to prevent freezer burn and maintain the flavor and texture of the food. Airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags can help protect your leftovers from exposure to air.

Label and date

Clearly label the containers with the contents and the date when the leftovers were originally prepared. This information will help you keep track of how long the leftovers have been in the freezer and ensure you use them within a safe timeframe.

BBQ Turkey Mac and Cheese Extravaganza

Follow freezing guidelines

While most leftovers can be safely frozen for an extended period, it’s advisable to eat them within a few months for the best quality. Some dishes may freeze better than others, so use your judgment and consider the nature of the specific food item.

Thaw safely

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen leftovers, thaw them in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. This slow thawing process helps keep the quality of the food while lowering the risk of bacterial growth.

Freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of leftovers. However, the texture and taste of certain foods may change slightly upon thawing. Always use your judgment and, when in doubt, adhere to food safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience.

Here are a few more delicious recipes for you to try.


You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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