• October 2, 2017

    Leftover Turkey Stew with Mashed Potato Dumplings

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    I think my favourite part of turkey dinner is leftovers. I use every last inch of the bird, absolutely nothing gets wasted chez moi. The first day is a repeat of the whole dinner – mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffinget al.  On the second day, I start getting creative, making something different altogether, like Turkey Pot Pie or my mom’s Turkey Chow Mein (which has nothing Asian about it other than the noodles).

    I’m feeling supremely thankful to have not one but two turkey dinner invitations for Canadian thanksgiving this weekend, but I think I might celebrate US thanksgiving again in November just to have the next-day meals I love.

    This post is sponsored by Metro Vancouver in collaboration with the Love Food Hate Waste initiative that deeply resonates with me. I shared a bit about it this summer, with tips on using up summer berries and zucchini.

    I always knew that food waste is a problem, but I was pretty floored to learn that about 1/3 of all food produced in Canada is ends up in the landfill or compost bins. (I’m sure it’s similar in the US.) And almost half of that loss happens at home.


    On a DAILY basis in the Metrp Vancouver region alone, we throw 16,000 heads of lettuce, 40,000 tomatoes, 32,000 loaves of bread, 55,000 apples, 70,000 cups of milk, and 30,000 eggs. I find those numbers shocking and sad, and quite frankly the opposite of what Thanksgiving is about.

    I’m hoping you’ll join me wholeheartedly in making an effort to reduce personal food waste, regardless of where you live.

    According to Love Food Hate Waste, here is what we can do:
    1. Store your food properly so it stays fresh longer (Keep It Fresh)
    2. Use more of what you buy (Use It Up)
    3. Buy just what you need (Plan It Out)


    Follow those links – they’re full of excellent tips for storing, preserving, planning, etc. I’m going to share an (unrelated, but relevant) meal planning guide soon. I meant to share last week but life threw a wrench in my plans.

    The food we discard costs us each about $700/year. That’s a round-trip ticket to Hawaii from Vancouver for next Thanksgiving. Just sayin’.

    I’m sharing this creamy turkey stew with dumplings made with leftover mashed potatoes as post-feast inspo to use up every last morsel of food you slaved over.


    It’s creamy (but not heavy – milk is used) and comforting. The dumplings are like big, chewy-but-soft gnocchi. I could eat a million of them in one sitting.

    The recipe is flexible, toss in any leftover roasted root veggies you have, brussels sprouts, or green beans. Just chop into bite-sized pieces. Any green veg should be added at the end, just to warm through, to avoid overcooking it.

    Wishing you a wonderful and waste-free Thanksgiving!


    Leftover Turkey Stew with Mashed Potato Dumplings

    Creamy, cozy turkey stew with big, fluffy dumplings made with mashed potato. The perfect Thanksgiving leftovers meal.
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: Canadian
    Servings: 6
    Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


    • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 2 cups chopped onion
    • 2 stalks celery chopped
    • 1 cup chopped carrot
    • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 4 cups chopped leftover turkey
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
    • 1 tbsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
    • OPTIONAL: you can add 1 cup each of leftover green beans chopped and/or 1 cup leftover roasted root vegetable pieces


    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or more, as needed
    • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 1/3 cup mashed potato cool or room temperature
    • 1 large egg lightly beaten


    • Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot; cook until soft. Stir in flour to coat vegetables, then slowly stir in chicken stock and milk. Add turkey, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper (and optionally any leftover veggies you'd like to include) and bring to a simmer.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add mashed potato and beaten egg, using a fork to incorporate. Knead gently in the bowl until a dough comes together. It will be sticky, but if wet to the point of falling apart (which may happen if you added milk or cream to your mashed potatoes), add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until a soft, scoopable dough forms.
    • Drop dough by golfball-sized pieces into the simmering stew. Cover and cook 15 minutes, until dumplings have nearly doubled in size and are springy to touch.
    • Stir in fresh parsley.
    Tried this recipe?tag @foodess


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    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

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    Barbara Butler

    I just made your dumpling recipe!. It is without one little doubt the best recipe for chicken and dumplings I ever tasted!!! And, I did what you said and added other stuff. I made green bean casserole on Thanksgiving day and put that in after sauteing the veggies. Fried onions and all!. Plus peas and corn. I used my left over roasted chicken stock. Added basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme and fresh grated black pepper. The rest was your recipe. You must try adding left over green bean casserole to your recipe sometime. I was a bit hesitant about adding… Read more »

    Catricea Jessome

    Hi Jennifer!! I was searching the net looking for inspiration for leftover mashed potatoes and turkey. I came across your recipe and this post warms my heart!! You discuss the astonishing numbers of food waste in Vancouver. I live in London, ON and work for FoodFund. We procure produce that is FRESH but in surplus or imperfect – surplus or imperfect produce is destined for the landfill, dumpster or left to rot in the farmer’s field. Did you know that the Toronto Food Terminal receives 6,000,000 pounds of food everyday?? Did you know much of it is turned away by… Read more »


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