Reheating leftover turkey is a great way to enjoy the flavors again without all the work of roasting a whole bird. With proper methods, reheated turkey can taste almost as good as it did the first time. Follow these tips to reheat turkey safely and deliciously.
How to Reheat Turkey in the Oven
The oven is the best way to reheat a whole turkey or turkey breast.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use a lower temperature like this to ensure the meat warms through without drying out.
- Place the turkey in a roasting pan or baking dish. A rack or bones-side down position helps the meat heat evenly.
- Cover loosely with foil to keep moisture in.
- Roast until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 15-20 minutes per pound.
- Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing to allow juices to be absorbed back into the meat.
How to Reheat Turkey in the Microwave
The microwave provides a quick method for reheating sliced turkey.
- Place turkey slices on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer.
- Cover with a paper towel or vented plastic wrap to prevent splattering.
- Microwave on High in 30 second intervals until heated through, up to 2-3 minutes.
- Let the turkey rest 2-3 minutes before serving.
Reheating Sliced Turkey
For leftover sliced or chopped turkey meat, the oven is still ideal for maintaining moisture and flavor.
- Place turkey slices or pieces in an oven-safe dish in a single layer.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350°F until heated through, about 15-20 minutes depending on thickness.
- For extra moisture, add a splash of turkey broth or water to the dish before reheating.
Reheating Frozen Turkey
Frozen turkey requires extended defrosting and reheating to ensure it is cooked through fully.
- Defrost turkey in the refrigerator 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds.
- Once thawed, reheat in a 325°F oven until the internal temperature reads 165°F. Calculate 15-20 minutes per pound.
- For smaller cuts like breasts and slices, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
How Long to Reheat Turkey
- Whole turkey: About 15-20 minutes per pound at 325°F oven
- Turkey breast: 20-25 minutes per pound at 325°F oven
- Sliced turkey in oven: 15-20 minutes total at 350°F
- Sliced turkey in microwave: 2-3 minutes on High
How do you keep reheated turkey moist?
- Use the oven instead of the microwave to reheat turkey. The oven keeps the meat moist.
- Place a pan or foil tent over the turkey while reheating to trap in moisture.
- Baste the turkey with broth or gravy during reheating.
- Let roasted turkey rest before carving to allow juices to be reabsorbed.
Can you reheat turkey in the slow cooker?
Yes, the slow cooker provides gentle, moist heat ideal for reheating turkey. Place turkey pieces in the slow cooker, add some broth or turkey gravy, and reheat on Low for 3-4 hours until heated through.
Is it safe to reheat turkey more than once?
It’s best to only reheat cooked turkey once. Reheating more than that increases the risk of bacteria growth. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours and reheat within 3-4 days.
- Slice the turkey before refrigerating so it reheats evenly.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the turkey reaches 165°F internally.
- Add a little water or broth to sliced turkey before microwaving to prevent drying out.
- Reheat gravy or side dishes separately to avoid soggy turkey.
- Stir stuffing and mashed potatoes in reheating to evenly distribute moisture and flavors.
- Leftover Turkey Pot Pie: Combine chopped turkey with vegetables, gravy, and broth in a casserole dish. Top with pie dough and bake until golden brown.
- Turkey Casserole: Mix chopped turkey, cream of mushroom soup, veggies, and bread cubes and bake until bubbly.
- Turkey Tetrazzini: Stir together spaghetti, turkey slices, Parmesan, sherry, and chicken broth. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake.
- Turkey Tacos: Chop or shred turkey and heat in a skillet with taco seasoning and oil. Serve in warmed tortillas with toppings.
- Turkey Slider or Sandwich: Pile sliced turkey on rolls or bread with cranberry sauce, gravy, or pesto for an easy sandwich.
Here are some specific oven and microwave recommendations for reheating turkey:
- Tovala Oven – This smart oven is ideal for reheating individual turkey slices or pieces perfectly with its built-in steamer function.
- Breville Smart Oven – The Breville is great for reheating whole turkey breasts, legs, and wings with its Element IQ system that adjusts heat intensity.
- GE Profile Oven – The GE Profile oven has accurate temperature controls to evenly reheat turkey without drying it out.
- Whirlpool AccuBake – The AccuBake system in Whirlpool ovens helps redistribute heat for consistent reheating results.
- Panasonic Genius Sensor Microwave – This adjusts reheating time automatically by detecting steam for juicy turkey.
- Toshiba Microwave (EM925A5A) – The EM925A5A has a one-touch sensor reheat button that is perfect for reheating sliced turkey.
- LG NeoChef Microwave – The precise temperature control avoids overheating and drying out the turkey during reheating.
- Sharp Microwave Drawer – The drawer style allows more even distribution for reheating turkey pieces.
- GE Microwave (JES745) – This budget-friendly microwave from GE still offers a defrost setting ideal for frozen turkey.
Reheating turkey is quick and easy with the right technique. Follow these tips to enjoy your holiday bird again without drying it out or risking unsafe temperatures. With proper reheating, you can savor those tasty Thanksgiving or Christmas flavors for days after!