BreakfastRecipes

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Eggs Benedict

When it comes to turkey leftovers, the go-to is usually a sandwich. One of the most satisfying breakfast dishes is the humble eggs Benedict. Combine the two using leftovers, and making this Turkey Benedict is a breeze.
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This post was created in partnership with the National Turkey Federation. All thoughts and opinions are always my own.

If the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers, then the best part of the leftovers is this Turkey Benedict!

So good. It’s like Thanksgiving all over again, but with a whole new brunch approach.

You probably worked hard in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, so this recipe is all about making an easy breakfast or brunch with your leftovers. Traditional eggs Benedict is technically a little tricky to execute, especially for a crowd. That’s not the case when using all those amazing Turkey Day leftovers. It comes together super easily.

Get creative with your leftovers and utilize as many as possible. The essential elements of a Benedict are the egg and the sauce. The important things here are the turkey and the egg. Everything else we can switch up depending on the leftovers we have.

Layers of the Benedict

The Benedict is all about layers on layers on layers. All of those layers pack flavors and textures that combine into something so much more. Here are my suggestions starting from the bottom of the Benedict to the top:

leftover stuffing cakes frying in skillet

Stuffing Cakes: The All-Important Vehicle

The stuffing cakes are like crispy little crab cakes, but made with your leftover stuffing/dressing. Traditionally, a toasted English muffin is the base for eggs Benedict, but let’s really kick things up.

To make them: Just add 1 egg to 1 cup of stuffing (the egg helps hold it all together). Divide into 4 little stuffing balls, dip in a bowl of panko breadcrumbs and push them flat into a hot frying pan with some butter for a few minutes on each side, until crispy and cooked through.

Another option for the base using leftovers: dinner rolls or even buttermilk biscuits.

turkey and stuffing cakes on plates

Cranberry Sauce

Not everyone is a cranberry sauce fan. But if you like it (which you really should), it adds a wonderful brightness and acidity to balance out the dish. Spoon a thin layer on top of the stuffing cake.

Turkey: The Star of the Show

Whether you use leftover honey-glazed smoked turkey (highly recommended) or even a turkey roulade, it’s all good. Just slice it fairly thin and gently warm through in the same skillet you cooked the stuffing cakes in. You can also warm the turkey in the gravy. Yum!

The Eggs

Always poached, because you just must have that perfectly runny yolk to bring everything together, and it acts like another sauce.

The Sauce: It’s All Gravy

Traditionally hollandaise. But we’re talking leftovers here so let’s switch things up and go with leftover gravy.

And when the runny yolks mix with everything, it’s delightful.

If you don’t have leftover gravy, or prefer to whip up a hollandaise, great! Using leftovers is the goal of this recipe, but you do you.

The Garnish

You know you have all those leftover fresh herbs. Fried sage is such a great aromatic. If you have some, just quickly fry it in the butter right before you add the stuffing cakes to the skillet.

You can also just quickly chop up some parsley, chives or whatever you have on hand and sprinkle a little on top to not only add more flavor, but make it a beautiful Benny at the same time, since we eat with our eyes first.

The Sides

Maybe unnecessary, because this is already a meal in itself, but a little salad goes great on a brunch Benedict plate. Baby greens, arugula or spinach are perfect for this with a simple vinaigrette. Any other Thanksgiving leftovers are great, too.

How to Poach an Egg

The perfect poached egg is key when it comes to a benedict. As you have probably found out, it can be slightly challenging to master the technique.

  1. Bring water to a simmer in a saucepan, and add 2 Tbsp. of distilled vinegar and a dash of kosher salt.
  2. Crack the eggs into separate ramekins.
  3. With a slotted spoon, create a vortex (whirlpool) by swirling the simmering water, then gently drop the egg into the vortex.
  4. Cover the pot and let them poach for 2 to 3 minutes (depending on the size of the egg). Remove the eggs from the simmering water with the slotted spoon, and place onto a paper-towel-lined plate.

Egg Poaching Tips

  • Add 2 Tbsp. vinegar and a dash of kosher salt, which will help the egg whites hold together.
  • Just a simmer and no more. If the water is boiling, it will cook the eggs too quickly and can also make it harder for them to hold together.
  • Use fresh, cold eggs. They will hold together better in the simmering, not boiling, water.
  • Egg poaching times range from 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the size of the egg, temperature of your water and temperature of the egg. Experiment with one before cooking them all.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the poached eggs to a paper-towel-lined plate before placing on top of the stuffing cake.
  • You can precook poached eggs. Just put them in an ice bath after the initial poach, and warm them through in the simmering water for 1 minute when you are ready to serve.
  • For easy poached eggs, use the silicone OXO Egg Poachers (affiliate).
  • Try cooking eggs sous vide, a super easy way to batch make perfect poached eggs.

Warming the Turkey

Warm turkey is good turkey on the Benedict. The turkey can be warmed through in the same skillet you used to make the stuffing cakes or even in the gravy pot. This is great especially if your turkey is a little dry. Avoid warming the turkey in the microwave.

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More Thanksgiving and Turkey Recipes

Need turkey inspiration?

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Turkey Benedict

Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Stuffing Cakes

  • 1 cup leftover stuffing
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Poached Eggs

  • 4 cold eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar for poaching water
  • Dash of kosher salt

Assemble Turkey Benedict

  • 4 stuffing cakes
  • Leftover cranberry sauce
  • 4 leftover slices of turkey, warmed through
  • 4 poached eggs
  • Leftover gravy, warmed through
  • Chopped fresh herbs for garnish, such as sage

Instructions

Make the Stuffing Cakes

  • In a small bowl, gently combine 1 cup stuffing with one egg.
  • Divide the stuffing mix into 4 even balls. Coat each with panko on all sides in a small bowl.
  • Heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Place the stuffing balls and press into the skillet to form cakes. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.

Poach Eggs

  • Bring water to a simmer in a saucepan, and add 2 Tbsp. of distilled vinegar and a dash of kosher salt.
  • Crack the eggs into separate ramekins.
  • With a slotted spoon, create a vortex (whirlpool) by swirling the simmering water, then gently drop the egg into the vortex.
  • Cover the pot and let them poach for 2 to 3 minutes (depending on the size of the egg). Remove the eggs from the simmering water with the slotted spoon, and place onto a paper-towel-lined plate.

Assemble

  • Assemble each stuffing cake with a thin layer of cranberry sauce, sliced turkey, poached egg, gravy and herbs on top. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

  • Recipe makes 2 servings of 2 Benedicts each. Easily scale it up for more.
  • Eggs can be poached ahead of time and place in an ice bath. Re-warm for 1 minute in the simmering water.

Thanks to the National Turkey Federation for sponsoring this recipe and helping to make this site possible!

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