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Turkey a la King

Turkey a la King

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John “Blue” Avila was born into the barbecue business, as the first grandson of Texas food legends A.C. & Mary Saenz of A.C. Saenz Tamales & BBQ est. Avila was previously the pitmaster at the world-famous Franklin's Barbecue in Austin (widely-considered to be the best in the country) and is now working as Executive Chef at Morgan’s in New York.

He handles a number of turkey items on their grill including Turkey Tails and slow-oak-smoked turkey. This is what he had to say:
"Now, a lot of old timers would muster up all of the leftover meat from the turkey and make Turkey A la King which is a true Southern dish, said Chef Avila. “One of the components is Pimento as well which is very popular right now on the scene."
"My grandpa loved Thanksgiving Day with the family but I always saw a sparkle in his eye knowing he was just a day away from making his family famous Turkey a la King. This is a simple comfort food recipe that is easy to make."


  • 1/3 Cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Ounces chopped carrots
  • 2 Ounces chopped mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon diced onions
  • 1/2 Cup bell pepper
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 2 Ounces pimento to taste

Easy Turkey Leftover Recipe

This post may be sponsored and may also contain affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy for further details.

Turkey a la King. This easy turkey leftover recipe is a streamlined version of pot pie minus the crust. The no fuss, one pan recipe uses up the last of the Thanksgiving turkey. Along with fresh carrots, mushrooms, peas and a savory herb sauce, this dish will be a family favorite.

>>Scroll down for my step by step video<<

Turkey a la King is one of the coziest comfort food dishes that I prepare for personal chef clients. And it is a favorite dinner I have been serving my own family for over 20 years. A one pan recipe, my version is fashioned after my Mom&rsquos recipe that was made with chicken. This is an oh so easy leftover turkey recipe that has all the flavors of a creamy pot pie. And as a bonus, it is a delicious way to use up any Thanksgiving turkey left from your feast.

Turkey a la King

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Let me introduce you to Turkey a la King! It’s basically a leftover thanksgiving turkey, easier than pot pie, recipe!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I was able to start the day doing a 12k Turkey Trot with my brother and sister-in-law. The trail where we were running was snowy and icy (and someone even ended up breaking their ankle!!) but I’m sure glad I went because I needed a calorie burn before I started pigging out! I certainly love a good Thanksgiving! And, I especially love being able to celebrate two with me being Canadian and all!

Oh, I also went a little crazy and stayed up until midnight with a huge crowd at Walmart to get a few small Christmas gifts. With some of those black friday deals, I couldn’t resist! One word to describe the mayham: “INSANE”. So to all you deal finders, good luck out there today! It’s going to be nuts!

Now, onto this great dinner recipe that will use your leftover turkey and come together in less than 30 minutes! I would like to introduce you all to a beautiful thing called Turkey a la King. Basically, it’s like an easier version of chicken pot pie made with turkey that takes no time and/or effort at all to whip up. My mom used to make these all the time for us kids growing up because it was so darn easy and we all loved it. Plus, they look fancy because I used puff pastry shells. Back home, they are packaged and advertised as Vol au Vent shells, so when I asked about them at the store, people thought I was loopy. Let me save you the hassle and say they aren’t called that here! This is what they look like in the box. I found these right next to the puff pastry in the freezer section. And, If I can find these in this small town, then odds are, you’ll be able to find them too.

So, you just bake these shells in the oven and then make the Turkey a la King filling. Did I mention I use leftover turkey and frozen vegetables? This recipe is seriously a no brainer. Anyways, once everything is cooked, you scoop out the center to your shell, fill it with this creamy turkey filling and then dig in! That’s it! Easy as pie! And, as always, here’s the handy dandy printable version of the recipe! Have a great holiday weekend!

Start by washing the veggies, including the mushrooms. Chop the onion, celery, green pepper and mushrooms. Melt butter in a saucepan and once hot, add the onion, celery, green pepper and mushrooms. Mix in the pepper and salt and cook until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms have browned.

Chop the turkey, mince the garlic, trim the green beans and cut them into 1″ pieces. Mix all three into the mushrooms and stir, then pour in the warmed cream, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes.

If you would like a thick sauce, xanthan gum can be used to thicken. Serve hot over Cauliflower Rice, Low Carb Biscuits or 90 Second Keto Bread.

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Wild Turkey a la King

If you went to a dinner party during the 1950s and the 1970s, chances are better than average that you would have been served chicken a la king. The comfort food was a staple among suburban households. While the dish’s popularity waned during the late 20th century, there is a reason it was so popular for so long. It’s pretty tasty. Even better? Make it with wild turkey breast this spring to bring back an old favorite.

Traditional a la king is served over a starch of your choice. Pasta is popular, and so is toast, puff pastry, and biscuits. For this version, we chose freshly baked buttermilk biscuits. We also chose a blend of shiitake and button mushrooms for extra flavor and interesting texture. Choose the mushroom of your preference. Wild morels and chanterelle are particularly nice.


1 side of a wild turkey breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup heavy cream, divided

1/2 cup chopped cherry or pimento peppers

Cooking Instructions

Start by seasoning the turkey breast pieces. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the turkey in batches, sauteing for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Move the cooked turkey to a warm platter and cover with foil.

Add the butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted and starts to bubble, add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well until it is cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and white wine, then scrape to deglaze the pan. Add 1/2 cup of the heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a light simmer, stirring often. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks into the remaining heavy cream. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot liquid from the pan to the yolk and cream mixture, stir in another 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pan, and stir to temper the egg mixture and prevent the eggs from cooking once added to the pan.

Pour in the warmed egg yolk and cream mixture. Add the peas and diced cherry or pimento peppers. Stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer to thicken for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve the dish over toast, pasta, puff pastry, or warm biscuits.

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Turkey a la King

Make cream sauce browning 4 tablespoons butter with 3 tablespoons flour. Gradually add 3 cups milk stirring constantly until thickened. Salt to taste with bouillon cubes. Set aside. The onion, carrot, pepper and mushrooms should all be diced to the same size, about 1/4 inch square. Steam these vegetables in microwave or covered pot with minimum amount of water until tender. Drain any excess liquid. Add turkey meat, hot cream sauce and peas and just heat through a minute or two stirring carefully to keep from burning on bottom of pan. (Or heat in microwave.) Serve immediately on toast, with toast points, or on cooked white rice.

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Turkey a la King

Similar to chicken pot pie, except much easier and quicker!


  • 6 whole Puff Pastry Shells
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ cups Minced Onion Or Shallot
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • ⅛ teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 pinch Ground Thyme
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1-½ cup Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey (or Chicken)
  • ½ cups Steamed Broccoli
  • 1 cup Frozen Vegetables Of Your Choice


Bake puff pastry shells according to package directions.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and saute onions until tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Increase heat to medium high. Slowly whisk in chicken broth. Let the sauce come to a boil to thicken. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt, pepper, turkey, and vegetables. Keep warm on the stove top until ready to serve.

To serve, remove the center of a puff pastry shell and pour in the mixture.

Leftover Turkey: Turkey a la King #Recipe

There are so many great dishes to make from Turkey leftovers it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to one. Turkey a la King is simple, filling and can be put together in minutes. It may be called Turkey a la King, but it’s fit for a Queen!


  • Turkey
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Puff Pastry Shells
  • Salt & Pepper

White Sauce or Bechamel Sauce

Start by making a simple white sauce.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, heated (you can also use heavy cream or half & half) I used low fat half & half, because well, that’s all I had!
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 fresh sage leaf

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and stirring continuously, without letting it brown — about 2-4 minutes. Add the heated milk, and sage leaf, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a low boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat and continue stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Turkey Mixture

  • 2 cups diced leftover Turkey
  • 1 cup of leftover carrots
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or turkey gravy

Turkey Mixture

Turkey a la King, Fit for a Queen

Check out all these mouth watering Sunday Supper recipes that you can make from your Thanksgiving Leftovers. Decisions, decisions! Which ones do we try first!

Breakfast & Brunch

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls by Juanita’s Cocina
Turkey Cranberry Muffins by In the Kitchen with Audrey
Sweet Potato Biscuits by Home Cooking Memories

Main Course

Turkey Enchiladas by Webicurean
Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole by FamilyFoodie
Turkey and Cranberry Monte Cristo by Supper for a Steal
Thanksgiving hangover sandwich by Crispy Bits & Burt Ends
Turkey Tamale Pie by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Thanksgiving Leftovers Pot Pie by I Run For Wine
Turkey and Stuffing Pasty by Small Wallet Big Appetite
The Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich by Daily Dish Recipes
Turkey Vegetable Hash by Generation Y Foodie
Turkey Tetrazzini by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey and Andouille Gumbo for #SundaySupper by Catholic Foodie
Red Potato Turkey Cutlets with Ginger & Fresh Herbs by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Thanksgiving Turkey Banh Mi Sandwich by 30AEats
Leftover Turkey and Sausage Gumbo by My Catholic Kitchen
Turkey Mornay Open-Face Sandwiches by The Weekend Gourmet
Leftover Mashed Potatoes and Beef Croquettes by Pippis in the Kitchen Again
Simple and easy! Turkey a la king, fit for a queen! by Midlife Road Trip
Turkey and Mushroom Risotto by Comfy Cuisine
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Kartoffelpuffer – German Potato Pancakes by MrsMamaHen
Skillet Turkey Reuben by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
# glutenfree Turkey Shepard’s Cake by Cooking Underwriter
Hearty Ham and Cheese Penne Pasta by Mama Mommy Mom
Hawaiian BBQ Turkey Flatbread Pizza by Damn Delicious
Turkey shepards pie! by The Realistic Nutritionist
Spicy Turkey Chili for #SundaySupper #Leftovers by Hot Curries and Cold Beer
Turkey & Cranberry Panini with Tarragon Aioli by The Messy Baker Blog
Learn How to Make Gravy in Quick Ways You’ll Love by Olivia Rose

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Gluten Free Turkey and Dumplings by The Meltaways
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Shallots and Pancetta by Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Curried Turkey Salad by Kimchi Mom
Potato Patties w/ Tomato Salsa by La Cocina De Leslie
Spicy Coconut Turkey Soup by Diabetic Foodie
Mashed Potatoes Twice Baked by Hezzi-D’s Books & Cooks
Moroccan Chicken Salad with Rice by My Trial’s in the Kitchen
Cranberry Barbecue Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Olive Tapenade by Fast Food to Fresh Food
Leftover Turkey Soup by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding by MarocMama

Sweets & Desserts

Cranberry Sauce Crumb Bars by girlichef
Pumpkin Gingersnap Truffles by Chocolate Moosey
Sweet Potato Spice Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping by Shockingly Delicious
Chocolate Peanut Butter Potato Frosting by Yummy Smells