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Recipe: Chicken or Turkey Patties Using Sunday Dinner Leftovers

I used to help in our family restaurant. I love good food and enjoy thinking up creative ways to cook and use leftovers to avoid food waste.

Turn your Sunday dinner leftovers into chicken or turkey patties!

Turn your Sunday dinner leftovers into chicken or turkey patties!

Turn Leftovers Into a Delicious Meal After Sunday Dinner

This is one of my favorite ways to use my leftover chicken or turkey. Don't waste your delicious leftovers!

I was brought up to hate wasting food, and because of this, my children used to laugh at my parsimonious habits and call me "War Baby." But it turns out that the last laugh is on them, because (thanks to the recession) now everyone needs to economize and avoid food waste.

From Kitchen to Table in 15 Minutes

Let me set the scene: you've had your lovely roast turkey or chicken and numerous vegetables for your special dinner, and now there are odd scraps of leftover meat adhering to the carcass, and half a bowl of vegetables all waiting to be used up.

So now it's a weekday, and you've been busy all day and just want to do something tasty and quick. Well, delicious chicken or turkey patties should fit the bill, and if you assemble all the things you'll need before you start, you'll be sitting at the table eating in 15 minutes.

Roast chicken cooked to perfection

Roast chicken cooked to perfection

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

6 min

16 min

2 to 4 servings

As you can see from the list of ingredients below, precise ingredients and quantities are not critical and you can vary them according to taste and what you have available—the aim is simply to have enough bulk to feed however many mouths need feeding. And every time you make patties, they will vary slightly in taste.


  • A handful of cooked chicken or turkey
  • Cooked potato (at least 2 small potatoes per person)
  • Onion, cooked or raw
  • Greens; e.g., cabbage, kale, spring greens, spinach, or Brussels sprouts
  • Any cooked root vegetables; e.g., parsnip, swede, turnip (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • Olive oil (or any other cooking oil, but olive oil is better for you)
  • Absolutely any combination of herbs and spices that you like, to flavour the patties without overpowering them; e.g. ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, chili powder, coriander, cumin, caraway, paprika, turmeric, mixed spice, curry powder, mixed herbs, coriander, tarragon, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano... what have I missed?


  1. Beat the egg, then blend all the ingredients including seasoning in a blender—just do short bursts so that it is still lumpy and not a complete mush. (If you are not using a blender, mash what is mashable and chop up the rest.)
  2. Sprinkle a little flour on a board and on your hands. Scoop out about a tablespoon full of mixture and form it into a round flat patty on the board (note: size doesn't matter). Make further patties.
  3. You can even make just one huge omelet-sized patty, as long as it is coated with flour, but it may be more difficult to turn over. Note: the egg binds the patties (i.e., stops them from falling apart), and the flour stops them from being too wet when fried.
  4. Heat the oil in the pan to medium heat, then add the patties, shaking or prodding them in the pan now and then to ensure they don't stick to the bottom. After 2 minutes, check to see how they are cooking and whether they are browning. Turn them after about 2 or 3 minutes, using a spatula or fish lift. Then cook the other side. They should end up being lightly golden brown on both sides.

Garnish Options

  • I like my turkey or chicken patty with tomato sauce or brown sauce; you might like it too.
  • Green peas go well with it as a side dish.
  • You could put a sprig of whatever herb you have handy on the top—parsley or coriander would make it look a bit fancier, and they taste good too.
  • As a chili lover, I might even add a sprinkling of chili prawn paste or sweet chili sauce.

Another Way to Use Leftover Poultry

© 2010 Diana Grant