Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Posole

Consider the day after Thanksgiving. You're stuffed and you might not want to cook. But there are all these leftovers. Especially Turkey; especially if you roasted a whole one.

Soup is a common thing to make with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. But rather than something like turkey-noodle soup, I suggest instead turning that leftover meat into a spicy Southwestern posole.

We had posole a couple of times during our recent Southwest trip, the better of which was as a side to fajitas in Santa Fe's La Plazuela restaurant.

If you don't have leftover turkey, you can make this starting with raw meat (which I did, actually, given that I made this in late October). Either way, I think it would be a delicious soup.

I gave this posole some heat with ancho chili powder, which is hotter than the New Mexico chili powder I also added. Adjust the chili powder to your heat preference.

Turkey Posole
Adapted liberally from multiple other recipes

1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 lb. boneless, skinless turkey thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes (or about 2 lb. leftover shredded roasted dark turkey meat)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, to taste
1 tsp. ancho chili powder (or more, to taste)
1 tbsp. New Mexico chili powder (or more, to taste)
15 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
Two 15-oz. cans of hominy, drained and rinsed
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
4-5 corn tortillas, warmed

1. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and peppercorns and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and starting to brown, about 5-6 minutes. Allow to cool, then, using a spice grinder, grind to a coarse powder.

2. (Skip this step if you use already roasted turkey.) Heat 2 tbsp. vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the turkey cubes in batches, setting them aside in a bowl as they are browned.

3. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the Dutch oven, maintaining the medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt, to taste. Sauté until the vegetables have softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ground spices, chili powders and turkey. Cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, hominy and broth. Bring soup to a bowl, then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Serve posole in bowls topped with a generous sprinkle of shredded cheese with tortillas on the side.

Other Recipes

Thanksgiving Central (all Thanksgiving recipes)

Thanksgiving Leftovers Tacos

Thanksgiving Leftovers Pizza


  1. Hello! I just got this in my email. It's a perfect way to use leftover turkey. I've pinned for later and it's on my "to do" list. Delish!

    1. Thanks KC! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. How much broth did you use? Looks really good.

    1. Yikes! I'm sorry I left that out of the ingredients list. Thanks for letting me know. Given the amount of turkey, hominy and tomatoes, I would think 8 cups should do it.