Giada De Laurentiis Says Her Crispy Turkey Bites Are ‘Great’ for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving’s over and, for many, that means the fridge is packed with leftovers. But what to do with them all? The answer is simple. Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Crispy Turkey Bites. The celebrity chef has all types of Thanksgiving dishes. Among them is her recipe for Crispy Turkey Bites. De Laurentiis fuses together classic Italian ingredients and Thanksgiving leftovers to make something unique and delicious.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Crispy Turkey Bites are a 40-minute dish

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis | Peter Kramer/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

This recipe isn’t necessarily for the person who wants to take a break from the kitchen after Thanksgiving. According to Food Network, De Laurentiis’ Crispy Turkey Bites are ready in 40 minutes. And all of that time, yes all, is considered “active.” That means this is a little more involved than other recipes from Food Network stars. However, it’s still classified as an easy one to make at home. 

So how does De Laurentiis do it? She prepares the filling using Thanksgiving leftovers. After adding in some fresh herbs and spices she forms it into balls. Next, she puts a cheesy “little surprise” in each one. Then she coats them in an egg wash and bread crumbs before they head to the frying pan. Finally, De Laurentiis serves them with a side of her Cranberry Dipping Sauce that comes together after a few pulses in a food processor. 

Leftover turkey and leftover stuffing are the foundations of Crispy Turkey Bites

De Laurentiis demonstrated how she makes her Crispy Turkey Bites in an episode of Giada’s Holiday Handbook titled “Thanksgiving Brunch.” She starts with none other than leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, specifically turkey and stuffing.

“This is a great dish for leftovers,” the Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef said. “I have a lot of dark meat this time so I’m using dark meat. You can use white and dark,” she explained, noting that it’s also fine to use “whatever kind of stuffing you have leftover from Thanksgiving.” So don’t get too hung up on specifics when it comes to the ingredients. Use what’s on-hand in the kitchen in the way of Thanksgiving leftovers and go from there. Note: De Laurentiis does say, however, that parmesan cheese is a must-have for “extra cheesy flavor.” 

The Food Network star’s tips for making Crispy Turkey Bites

While making the dish on Giada’s Holiday Handbook the 51-year-old also shared some tips on making the cooking process easier. First, she suggested using a small ice cream scoop to ensure the balls are exactly the same size. What also helps is to “make sure that you dice up the turkey” and “cut up the stuffing” if it’s in chunks.

Next, De Laurentiis recommends keeping a close watch on the Crispy Turkey Bites as they’re frying. “Everything’s pretty much cooked but what you want to do is melt the smoked mozzarella inside,” she explained. Lastly, she encourages people making these at home to sprinkle them with salt right when they come out of the oil. 

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