This meal is much simpler to make than you would think and it’s a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers! Turkey and dumplings require only a few ingredients and a little bit of time. Then you’ll have a hearty meal to enjoy on a chilly evening.
When my husband and I were newlyweds, I wanted to learn how to make his favorite meals. Chicken and dumplings was, and still is, his top choice. I didn’t grow up eating this meal so I had to learn on my own.
After trying several recipes, I still never quite got it right. I had grown up eating the big, fluffy, boxed dumplings and didn’t know how to make them from scratch. Also, my husband doesn’t care for that type of dumpling. He prefers the flat, almost like a really thick noodle style of dumpling.
As my cooking skills improved over time, I was finally able to master his favorite dish and still make it quite often. He absolutely loves chicken and dumplings and they’re surprisingly simple to make, I’ll even whip it up on a weeknight.
Because we raise our own turkeys every summer, I usually have plenty of turkey meat on hand so I usually make turkey and dumplings instead. I also use turkey stock instead of chicken stock. Of course, these are interchangeable so use whichever meat or stock that you prefer!
Ingredients for Turkey and Dumplings
- Turkey-I like to use leftover, shredded turkey meat for this recipe. If using fresh turkey, simply cook seperately while you prepare the dumplings and then shred. This is a great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers! You can also use leftover shredded chicken.
- Turkey Stock-For instructions on how to make homemade turkey stock, see this post. You can also use homemade or store-bought chicken stock.
For the dumplings, you will need:
- Baking Powder
Tools You Will Need
- Stock Pot
- Large mixing spoon
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Pizza cutter (or knife)
How to Make Turkey and Dumplings
Start by mixing up the dough for the dumplings. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add in the butter. I like to grate the butter using a cheese grater, it makes it so much easier! Mix until crumbly.
Finally, stir in the buttermilk until you have a very wet, sticky dough. if you don’t have buttermilk, you can easily make some! Just add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup and fill the rest of the way with milk to the 1 cup line. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then measure out the buttermilk that you need.
Very heavily flour your countertop. Coat your hands with a lot of flour as well, scoop up the ball of dough, and place it on the counter. Getting more flour as needed so it doesn’t stick, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness.
Using a rolling pizza cutter (or a knife), cut vertical lines about one to two inches apart all the way across the dough.
Next, cut horizontal lines about one to two inches apart all the way across the dough.
You will be left with a lot of little squares of dough!
Using well-floured hands again, gently pick up the squares and toss them back into the mixing bowl that you were using. Don’t worry about all of the flour, it helps to thicken the stock.
Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot. Carefully drop in the dumplings, a few at a time, until they’re all in the pot. Stir well so they’re all submerged and keep the stock at a low boil.
The dumplings will be cooked in less than five minutes. You will see them get nice and plump and float to the top of the stock.
Once this happens, carefully add in the shredded turkey and stir well. Allow to cook over low heat for a few more minutes, until the turkey is hot. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.
What to Serve with Turkey and Dumplings
This is a hearty meal all on its own but since it doesn’t have any vegetables in it, I recommend serving one on the side. A simple salad or cooked vegetables is all you’ll need to make this a complete meal.
However, you can also choose to add some frozen vegetables in when you add the meat. They don’t take long to cook and you will be left with a meal similar to a pot pie.
Storage and Reheating
Store leftover turkey and dumplings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, place in a small saucepan over low heat until warmed. If you have any stock left, a few splashes added to the pot will help! It can also be microwaved as my husband loves to take this to work for lunch the next day.
This basic yet filling meal makes for great comfort food on a chilly evening. With only a few ingredients and not a lot of time involved, using leftover turkey meat from Thanksgiving couldn’t be easier.
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Turkey and Dumplings
- Large pot
- Mixing bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Rolling Pin
- Pizza cutter or knife
- 6 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 2 cups precooked and shredded turkey or chicken
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the flour, either shred it using a cheese grater or cut it into small pieces. Toss with flour to coat until crumbly.
- Pour in buttermilk and stir until combined. The dough will be very sticky.
- Heavily flour a work surface and scoop out the ball of dough.
- Roll out to about 1/4 inch in thickness, adding more flour as needed to avoid sticking.
- Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut horizontal lines all the way across the dough about every 1 to 2 inches.
- Next, cut vertical lines all across the dough about every 1 to 2 inches. You will be left with a bunch of little squares of dough.
- Pour the stock into the pot and bring it to a boil.
- Carefully drop the dumplings in a few at a time and stir well. They will begin to cook quickly and float to the top.
- After a few minutes when the dumplings are plump, stir in the shredded turkey meat and stir well.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired and serve warm