Leftover Turkey Balls

Leftover Turkey Balls

Around here, we get super excited for Thanksgiving! One of the reasons is that my kids know we will have Leftover Turkey Balls the next day!

Leftover turkey recipes don’t get any better!

A few years ago I was watching Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives (one of my all time favorite shows ever) and a guy made something similar.

I have tried several different combos over the years and this one is my favorite.

How to Make Leftover Turkey Balls

In a large bowl combine leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, and diced up turkey.

You could also add cheese, green bean casserole, or sweet potato casserole.

Word to the wise…cranberry sauce is NOT a good addition.

Leftover Turkey Balls

Once evenly mixed, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet.

Freeze this for at least an hour.

Leftover Turkey Balls

Dip each one into some egg and then into panko breadcrumbs.

Leftover Turkey Balls

So, there are two options here as far as cooking these delicious nuggets of Thanksgiving heaven.

Deep frying and air frying.

Obviously deep frying will make them crispier, and air frying will make them healthier.

Here’s the low down on deep frying…fill a small saucepan with vegetable oil about 3 inches high.

Over medium heat, after about 5 minutes it should be about 350 degrees.

oil at temp for frying

Fry them 3 balls at a time for 3 minutes each, flipping halfway through.

Leftover Turkey Balls

If you’re going the air frying route place 6 at a time into the basket.

Set your air fryer for 20 minutes at 390 degrees.

Leftover Turkey Balls

It was the consensus in my family that we liked the crispiness of the deep fried, but the air fried ones had a slightly better flavor.

Either way you make them, they are a delicious way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers!

Just serve Leftover Turkey Balls with some gravy for dipping and call it Thanksgiving 2.0 🙂

Deep Fried…

Leftover Turkey Balls

Air Fried…

Air Fryer Turkey Balls

More yummy recipes for you to try similar to leftover turkey balls…

Try Air Fried Mac and Cheese Bites!

Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Bites

Our family favorites for Thanksgiving include…

Smoked Maple Bourbon Brined Turkey

and Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Green Chile Corn Casserole

Green Chile Corn Casserole

Lots more holiday recipes for you with my Thanksgiving Meal Plan!

More Ideas for Leftover Turkey!

Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

Easy Air Fryer Recipes

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Leftover Turkey Balls

A crazy delicious and unique way to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers!

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword best, Easy, Fried Food, gravy, Leftover Turkey, Leftovers, Recipe, Thanksgiving, TikTok
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 30 balls
Calories 245 kcal
Author Cheri Renee


  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 3 cups leftover stuffing
  • 2 cups diced leftover turkey
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil if deep frying, olive oil cooking spray if air frying
  • 1 cup gravy


  1. In a large bowl add the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey. Stir until evenly mixed.

  2. Line a tray or baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls and place on the lined sheet. Place in the freezer at least 1 hour.

  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Pour the panko bread crumbs in another bowl. Roll each ball in the eggs and then coat with panko bread crumbs.

  4. If deep frying, pour vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat, 3 inches deep in the pan. When oil temp reaches 350 degrees (approx. 5 minutes) carefully add 3 balls and fry for 3 minutes until golden brown, flip halfway through. Repeat with remaining turkey balls.

    If air frying, place 6 balls in the air fryer basket, spray with olive oil cooking spray. Set air fryer for 20 minutes and 390 degrees. Repeat with remaining turkey balls.

  5. Serve with gravy.

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