Those turkey scraps that don’t fit nicely on a serving platter for Thanksgiving lend themselves very well to making turkey croquettes. This turkey croquette recipe has been in my family for generations. I would put these croquettes in the “comfort food” category. They are easy to make, use up all your leftover meat scraps, and are a healthy meat entrée. Enjoy the whole traditional bird on Thanksgiving with healthier thanksgiving menu options, then enjoy this great leftover dish later in the week or whenever you feel like eating turkey again.
Getting started with making turkey croquettes
It’s so easy to let the leftover turkey just linger in the kitchen while hanging out with family and guests. But, it’s really important to get your meat scraps under refrigeration promptly. As soon as possible, gather your turkey scraps off the serving platters and off the the bird itself. Put all the scraps into the refrigerator to avoid getting sick from food borne pathogens. It’s important to get that cooked turkey refrigerated in under 2 hours (more food safety tips here). The scraps can be tossed into freezer bags for immediate freezing. Or, just toss into a food storage container for making this recipe over the next few days. When I am super organized, I’ll take the scraps and put through the food processor right away. Then, I’ll freeze the shredded turkey. This takes one step away from the recipe when I am ready to cook these croquettes.
This turkey croquette recipe calls for about 2 cups of shredded meat. As I mentioned, you can actually take the turkey scraps and put though the food processor immediately. That way, you have one less step when ready to make this gem of a recipe. When ready to make this croquette recipe, the meat mixture will be mixed with a light roux sauce to bind it. It’s then baked in the oven for a healthier alternative to a traditional fried croquette recipe.
- blender or food processor
- 2 cups chopped or shredded leftover turkey
- 1 tsp lemon juice optional
- 1 tsp chopped parsley optional
- 4 Tbsp butter for the roux sauce
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 dash pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup fine bread crumbs
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 whole egg mix with 1 Tbsp. water or use eggbeaters
- Take leftover turkey scraps and chop or shred finely in a blender or food processor.
- Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and/or parsley flakes. Add the optional lemon.
- Mix the ingredients up and place into a bowl.
Roux sauce for the croquette recipe
- Melt the 4 Tbsp butter in a saucepan.
- Add in the ⅓ flour and seasonings and blend.
- Slowly add in the one cup of milk, stirring continuously with a wire whisk until the roux mixture thickens.
- After the mixture thickens, add part of it into the chopped turkey set aside in the bowl. You want the mixture to be firm enough to shape, so only use part of the roux mixture initially. Add in more if the mixture seems too dry, just keeping in mind you need to mold the mixture.
- It can be helpful to chill the turkey/roux mixture in order to shape the croquette patties.
Prepping the croquettes for baking
- Place the ¼ cup butter in a shallow baking dish or bowl and melt. Put the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl or an a plate. Mix the egg and water and place in a bowl.
- Dip each molded croquette into the bread crumbs, egg, and back into the bread crumbs. Be careful to coat the entire croquette.
- After the croquettes are coated with the bread crumbs and eggs, dip each one into the melted butter.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place the croquettes on a foil lined pan (I spray with vegetable spray to prevent sticking). Bake for 30 minutes until crisp.
- If there is any leftover roux, that can be served on top of the turkey croquette. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and enjoy your turkey once again.