Turkey Patties (Use Up Leftover Turkey)

Turkey Patties (Use Up Leftover Turkey)

Give your leftover turkey new life and make these delicious turkey patties in just 20 minutes! Cook this easy and versatile dish on the stovetop or in air fryer.

Suitable for gluten free and low carb diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

Post may contain affiliate links. For more information, check my disclosure

five turkey patties stacked on a white plate

The holiday season is upon us, and that usually means a turkey dinner or two. We look forward to turkey all year long but eating meal after meal of leftovers can get boring in a hurry. Well, I’ve got the solution: turkey patties are versatile, delicious, and the perfect way to use up leftover turkey. 

Serve with a few of your favorite side dishes, and dip turkey patties in tahini or tzatziki sauce for even more flavor. Kids love these crunchy patties, too, because they are flavorful and have a texture similar to chicken nuggets. Put them in a sandwich or pile them on a bun with lettuce and tomato for the tastiest turkey burgers you’ve ever had. 

Turkey patties are frugal and unexpected, you can serve them for any meal (yep, breakfast, lunch or dinner), any occasion, and any time you need to use up leftovers. Just like these quick and easy potato pancakes made with leftover mashed potatoes!

a stack of turkey patties served on a white plate

Why Make This Recipe

  • Kid Friendly – Kids love the crunchy coating and tender middle, which is reminiscent of chicken nuggets. 
  • Frugal – Don’t let that Thanksgiving or holiday turkey go to waste. These turkey patties are perfect for using up leftovers.  
  • Easy Meal Prep – Make these up to 24 hours in advance or freeze them for a quick meal on another day.  
  • Easy To Cook – Make the best turkey patties on the stovetop or in the air fryer. Both methods are quick and straightforward.  

Ingredient Notes

  • Turkey – Make these with leftover cooked turkey, raw ground turkey, or turkey breakfast sausage. 
  • Eggs – Eggs help to hold everything together. Bring eggs to room temperature for easier mixing. 
  • Greek Yogurt – Use plain unsweetened Greek yogurt. You can also substitute sour cream. 
  • Onion – Finely mince an onion using a grater, so you don’t get any large chunks of onion. 
  • Breadcrumbs – Use gluten free breadcrumbs or use panko breadcrumbs. You can also use almond flour to keep this gluten free. 
  • Herbs and Seasonings – Smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground coriander, onion powder, chopped fresh dill, Italian seasoning (optional), Kosher salt, and pepper.
  • Oil – Avocado oil or olive oil spray for air frying and olive oil or your favorite light, neutral oil for pan frying. 
the completed turkey patties ready to be served

Ready to make these ground turkey patties? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…

How To Make Turkey Patties 

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. If using ground turkey, heat oil in a saucepan or skillet and sauté the ground turkey. Use a spoon or spatula to break up the pieces and cook until done. Allow the turkey meat to cool and add to the mixing bowl.
  2. If using leftover turkey (go for thigh, legs or breast), add the turkey meat to a food processor and pulse until the meat is minced, then transfer into a medium bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, yogurt, onion, breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, ground coriander, onion powder, salt and black pepper, and dill (and Italian seasoning if using) to the bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Wet your hands and shape them into patties or turkey burgers and cook using your desired method. 
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, add the turkey patties to the skillet, and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
image collage showing the steps for making turkey patties

How To Make Turkey Patties in Air Fryer

  1. Assemble the patties as directed above.
  2. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.
  3. Line air fryer basket with parchment paper and spray with olive oil.
  4. Add the patties to the basket and Air Fry for 7-10 minutes until golden, turning them over halfway through cooking. 
  5. Repeat until all patties are cooked, then serve and enjoy.

Note: Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the turkey patties.

top down view of turkey patties in air fryer basket

Expert Tips 

  • Use raw ground turkey, leftover turkey, or make Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patties with your favorite breakfast sausage. 
  • Don’t overmix the turkey mixture, or the patties can be tough. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. Cook in batches if needed. 
  • Place cooked patties on a wire rack in a low oven to keep them warm while you cook everything. 
  • Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to form patties in a similar size so they cook evenly at the same rate.
  • If the ground turkey patties seem too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs. If the turkey patties appear dry, add a bit more yogurt.
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the turkey patties.
  • Serve immediately for the best results. 

Delicious Variations

  • Swap The Seasonings – Like chicken, turkey is a blank slate when it comes to seasoning. You can add chili, regular paprika, Greek seasoning, Creole seasoning, dried parsley, and red pepper.
  • Use Sour Cream – Substitute the greek yogurt with sour cream if preferred. 
  • Swap The Fresh Herbs – We’re using fresh dill but you can use chopped parsley, cilantro, scallions, or your favorite fresh herbs. 
  • Make Meatballs – Follow the same method for mixing and form the meat into smaller meatballs. Panfry or air fry and add to your pasta, and soups, or serve as an appetizer.
  • Make Burgers – Enjoy ground turkey patties with your favorite sauce or dip, or place them on a bun with lettuce and tomato for a flavorful alternative to beef hamburgers. 
  • Make Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Patties – Turn these into tasty Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patties by using ground turkey breakfast sausage. 
  • Add A Dipping Sauce – Turkey patties pair well with lots of dipping sauces. Kids may prefer something like ketchup, while adults may go for something with a little more flavor, like tahini or tzatziki sauce. 
top down view of the completed turkey patties stacked on a white plate

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – Prepare the meat mixture and form the patties up to 24 hours before cooking. 
  • Store – If using leftover turkey, leftover patties should not be refrigerated for more than 2 days. 
  • Freeze – Prepare the patties and flash freeze on a baking tray for two hours before cooking. Individually wrap the patties in plastic wrap or layer them between freezer paper and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To pan fry, thaw the patties overnight in the fridge and cook as directed. If air frying, go directly from freezer to air fryer. Add 2-3 minutes to the cooking time when cooking frozen turkey patties. 

FAQs

Should I use white meat or dark meat?

The best thing about this recipe is that it works well with any leftover turkey from legs to breasts to thighs. Use all white meat, all dark meat, or a combination of the two. 

How do I keep turkey patties from falling apart?

The amount of moisture in the cakes can vary depending on whether you are using fresh ground turkey or leftover turkey and whether you are using light or dark meat.

The patties should be moist and not dry but not overly gooey. Adjust the moisture level by increasing the amount of breadcrumbs if too wet and increasing the amount of yogurt if too dry.

Can I use turkey breakfast sausage?

Got leftover breakfast sausage? Make Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patties and enjoy your leftover breakfast for dinner. 

the finished turkey patties on a plate

More Recipes You May Like

Serving Suggestions

Weight Watchers Points

There are 3 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my turkey patties recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog. 

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five turkey patties stacked on a white plate

Print Recipe

Turkey Patties (Use Up Leftover Turkey)

Use leftover turkey to make tasty turkey patties in air fryer or stovetop.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American, Western

Diet: Gluten Free

Servings: 4

Calories: 215kcal

Instructions

  • If using ground turkey, heat oil in a saucepan or skillet and saute the ground turkey. Use a spoon or spatula to break up the pieces and cook until done. Allow the turkey meat to cool and add to the mixing bowl.

  • If using leftover turkey (go for thigh, legs or breast), add the turkey meat to a food processor and pulse until the meat is minced, then transfer into a large bowl.

  • Add the eggs, yogurt, onion, breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, ground coriander, onion powder, salt and pepper, and dill (and Italian seasoning if using) to the bowl and mix until combined.

  • Wet your hands and shape them into patties or turkey burgers and cook using your desired method.

To pan fry:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet.

  • Add the turkey patties to the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through.

To make in Air Fryer:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.

  • Line an air fryer basket with parchment paper and spray with olive oil.

  • Add the patties to the basket and Air Fry for 7-10 minutes until golden.

  • Flip halfway through cooking.

  • Repeat until all patties are cooked and serve.

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Notes

  • Use raw ground turkey, leftover turkey, or make Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patties with your favorite breakfast sausage. 
  • Don’t overmix the turkey mixture or the patties can be tough. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer. Cook in batches if needed. 
  • Place cooked patties on a wire rack in a low oven to keep them warm while you cook everything. 
  • Use an ice cream or cookie school to form patties in a similar size so they cook evenly at the same rate.
  • If the ground turkey patties seem too wet, add a bit more bread crumbs. If the turkey patties appear dry, add a bit more yogurt.
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the turkey patties.
  • Serve immediately for the best results.
  • Storage – keep in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • There are 3 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

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