Thanksgiving Recipes: Turkish Green Beans & Multi-Duty Turkey Leftover Recipes

November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

My sister-in-law Lynn emailed me a few days ago for suggestion for a great green bean dish.  Without hesitation, I shared this recipe, which is one of my go-to dish when I have green beans.  It’s great as a side dish, and will go great with Thanksgiving Turkey, but actually served as an appetizer in the country where it came from.

This Turkish Green Beans is a very typical dish they serve as a part of mezze (appetizer spread) in Turkey or Greece.  When we visited Turkey, we ate it all the time, and never got bored of it. As a mezze at a restaurant, they are served always served cold, but it’s delicious hot as well.  That makes this an ideal dish for a party, because you can make it and not worry about “being on the perfect temperature.”

If you are bored with typical green bean recipes for Thanksgiving, try it — people will love it!  Be sure to save some for yourselves if you are bringing it for a potluck.  It taste even better on the next few days!

Turkish Green Beans with Light  Tomato Sauce


  • About 2 lbs green green beans, ends removed, cut in half if long.
  • 1 large or 2 small/med onions – finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato – chopped (Or slice if you want take them out at the end.)
  • ¼  Cup EVOO (add more if not enough to coat the green beans)
  • 3 –  3  1/2 Cup water
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves or pinch of dry basil
  • Sugar
  • ½ ts tomato puree (optional)
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Gently warm the EVOO and add all ingredients except water, tomato puree and basil.  Stir and cook at high heat until all coated with oil and begin to soften.
  2. Add boiling water, tomato puree (if using) and basil. Leave uncovered and cook until veggies are soft and water is evapolated.  Serve hot or cold with drizzle of EVOO on top.  If eaten cold, a squeeze of lemon juice is nice too!

If you haven’t seen my last post, here’s easy non-cook Cranberry and Fruit Relish recipe that double as condiments/side dish for turkey as well as refreshing and lighter dessert after a huge feast.

After Thanksgiving, what to do with all the turkey leftover????

I used to struggle with this.  After a while, you get completely bored with turkey sandwich and salad. No more.

Would you like some recipes you can use for turkey leftovers, and never get bored?   How about a super multi-duty recipe you can use for many dishes after you make the base?  Specifically, 2 everyday soups, 1 elegant stew, pot pies, crepe fillings, gratins etc. and oh, don’t forget, broth to make everything delicious later, out of pretty much one recipe?

The following rotisserie chicken leftover recipes (click link) can work with turkey beautifully. I normally give this only to the students who come to my hands-on classes.  Since ’tis a time to give thanks, please accept this as my thank-you gift to you, for your feedback, comments, and support.  Thank you — they keep me inspired, so please keep them coming!

Now you are all set for all the turkey leftovers!  (Where the recipe says “Rotisserie Chicken”, substitute with turkey leftover.)

1. Super Multi-purpose Vegetable Soups & Waterzooi (Creamy Belgian Poultry Stew) recipe

  • Use about 3-4 lbs of turkey leftovers including bones for the same amount of soup and waterzooi on the recipe.
  • For turkey broth, you’d want to cook it for couple of hours minimum for the best flavor, so cut the veggie bigger in bite size pieces, add them after 1 hour or so, if you don’t like your veggies too soft.
  • You can make a larger batch of vegetable soup.  Take the turkey meat and bones out and freeze in easy to use portions (1-2 qt batches).  When freezing, do not add potatoes, because freezing will make them spongy.
  • Or you can strain all the vegetables and meat, and make turkey broth and freeze the broth. I normally prefer freezing it thin and flat like other things (up to 1 1/2 cups for a QT bag), or you can also use ice cube tray for smaller quantities, but when you make a huge quantity like this, just freeze in 1-2 qt batches in a container.  When using, thaw, reheat the whole thing, and store in the refrigerator and use it in 3-4 days.
  • After you take the meat and bones out, you can puree the veggies and serve as a side dish or under turkey, chicken, fish etc.
  • Or dilute a bit with broth or cream, and use it as a sauce.
  • The leftover waterzooi can be transformed into many dishes such as turkey pot pie, sauce for pasta, gratin or doria (mix with cooked and buttered pasta or rice, cover with more waterzooi, and top with grated cheeses and bake until bubbly and golden brown.)
  • A super elegant (could be served to guests!) alternative is Waterzooi Crepe Gratin.  Basically, I used extra crepes from breakfast to wrap the waterzooi leftover inside, cover with white sauce (this one was frozen thin and flat in my freezer when I made extra — heat in the microwave first to avoid separation), top with torn sliced cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden brown.  Perfect comfort food on a cold day!  No one will notice that you made this in less than 5 minutes hands-on time, all with leftovers.  For a small family, I highly recommend baking it in the toaster oven.  No pre-heating required, so it’s much faster!

If you still have more turkey left, I’d recommend you shred them smaller. Very handy when you are busy and hungry.  You can throw them into pasta, soups, make sandwiches, mix with mayo or vinaigrette and some other veggies to make salads… the sky is the limit!  Here are couple of examples.

2.  Chicken (turkey) and Shiitake with Grated Daikon and Ponzu
3.  Quesadilla

If you have any questions, feel free to post it in the comment section. : )

Happy Turkey Day!

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