Don’t Panic! Here’s How to Save Your Overcooked Turkey This Thanksgiving

Sadly, there isn’t much worse than basting a turkey all morning and afternoon only to carve it and find stringy chunks of meat. However, before you decide to postpone Thanksgiving 2016, take a big sip of wine and use these suggestions to start salvaging the dry goods.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and of course, delicious food And the centerpiece of many holiday feasts is the turkey. But even the most experienced cooks can overcook a turkey, leaving it dry and tough.

Fear not, fellow foodies! There are ways to save your overcooked turkey and still have a delicious meal Here are a few tips:

1. Use the Power of Gravy

Gravy is your best friend when it comes to reviving an overcooked turkey. The moisture and flavor of the gravy will help to rehydrate the meat and make it more palatable.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Carve the turkey and arrange the slices on a serving platter.
  • Pour a generous amount of hot gravy over the turkey slices.
  • Drizzle some extra gravy on top for good measure.

Pro tip: Make your own gravy from scratch for the best flavor and texture.

2. Add Some Broth or Stock

If you don’t have enough gravy on hand, you can use broth or stock to moisten the turkey. Chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth will all work well.

Here’s what to do:

  • Place the carved turkey slices in a shallow baking dish.
  • Pour enough broth or stock over the turkey to cover it completely.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it in a low oven (around 250 degrees F) for 5-10 minutes.

Pro tip: Use turkey broth for the most authentic flavor.

3. Butter It Up

Melted butter can also help to add moisture and flavor to overcooked turkey. Just don’t go overboard, as too much butter can make the turkey greasy.

Here’s how to use butter:

  • Brush melted butter over the carved turkey slices.
  • You can also add a few pats of butter to the bottom of the serving dish.

Pro tip: Use unsalted butter for the best results.

4. Embrace the Leftovers

If all else fails, don’t despair! Overcooked turkey can still be used in a variety of delicious dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Turkey pot pie
  • Turkey noodle soup
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Turkey salad
  • Turkey stir-fry

Pro tip: Get creative and experiment with different recipes.

So, there you have it! A few simple tips to help you save your overcooked turkey and still have a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Remember, even the best cooks make mistakes sometimes, so don’t let a dry turkey ruin your holiday. With a little creativity, you can still turn it into a delicious and satisfying meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use store-bought gravy to save my overcooked turkey?

A: Yes, you can use store-bought gravy, but homemade gravy will always taste better.

Q: How long can I keep leftover overcooked turkey in the fridge?

A: Leftover turkey can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Q: Can I freeze overcooked turkey?

A: Yes, you can freeze overcooked turkey for up to 2 months.

Q: What are some other tips for preventing overcooked turkey?

A: Here are a few tips to help you prevent overcooked turkey:

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Don’t overcook the turkey. The longer the turkey cooks, the drier it will become.
  • Let the turkey rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This will help the juices redistribute and make the turkey more moist.

Additional Resources

  • How to Cook a Turkey: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes: 22 Ideas for Every Gathering
  • What to Do with Leftover Turkey: 28 Delicious Recipes


The easiest way to instantly revive pretty much anything thats dried out? Moisture! With turkey, that means broth (or gravy—see #2) and fat. Focus on reviving the white breast meat first because it tends to be a guest favorite and loses its juiciness first. Whisk together a few tablespoons of melted butter and chicken broth, then pour it over the turkey slices. Cover with foil or place in a 200º oven to keep warm. After 15 minutes or so, you should have slightly more moist meat.

what to do with overcooked turkey

What can I do with a dry overcooked turkey?

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