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Holiday turkey leftovers will make a delicious nacho platter

This recipe is all about looking ahead: addressing the leftovers you will have at your holiday feasts yet to come.

This casual, family-style nacho platter will make great use of leftover turkey.
This casual, family-style nacho platter will make great use of leftover turkey.
Lynda Balslev/TasteFood

Thanksgiving is over, and hopefully it was a lovely affair. Most importantly, your leftovers (unless you froze them) should be long gone. This recipe is all about looking ahead: addressing the leftovers you will have at your holiday feasts yet to come.

I can’t imagine a better way to use up those leftovers than to add them to a platter of nachos. Following the sit-down turkey holiday feast, it’s refreshing to make food that’s decidedly unfancy, unplated and, well, messy. This casual, family-style nacho platter will do the trick.

While it appears to be heavy and loaded (it is), these nachos are relatively light and straightforward in ingredients, with just enough cheese to bind them, and a gargantuan mound of mashed avocados to brighten and refresh. I prefer to use dark turkey meat for extra flavor. It’s a great way to repurpose the little bits of meat salvaged from the turkey, reserving the larger pieces for the requisite sandwiches the next day.

Turkey Nachos

Yield: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce
  • 6 ounces tortilla chips
  • 6 to 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges for serving

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mash the avocados, lime juice, salt and hot sauce in a bowl until blended but still slightly chunky.

2. Preheat the oven broiler.

3. Spread half of the chips on a 1/4-sized rimmed baking sheet or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scatter about one-third of the cheese over the chips. Top with the remaining chips. Scatter the sliced white scallions, red pepper and jalapeno pepper over the chips, then top with the turkey. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pan.

4. Transfer the nachos to the oven and broil about 5 inches below the heating element until the cheese is melted and the chips are tinged golden brown, about 4 minutes, rotating the pan as needed to ensure even cooking.

5. Remove from oven and scatter the sliced green scallions and cilantro over the nachos and garnish with black pepper. Serve immediately with the avocado and lime wedges.

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning food and wine writer, cookbook author and recipe developer. She also authors the blog TasteFood, a compilation of more than 600 original recipes, photos and stories.