Turkey Paksiw (Turkey Leftovers Recipe)

After Thanksgiving, everyone asks the question: What do I do with my turkey leftovers?

Look no further! This recipe will guide you to make a common paksiw sauce and you can toss in any already cooked protein. Turkey leftovers are great in this recipe because they’ll already be cooked. Even if your turkey is a little bit dry (don’t say this in front of the cook), the paksiw will help mask that.

The festive season of Thanksgiving calls for a creative spin on leftover turkey. In the spirit of cultural fusion, why not take a culinary detour to the Philippines with a unique take on paksiw?

Paksiw uses a variety of meats and proteins with the most common being pork or lechon. However, it really is so versatile that there are even vegetable and fish versions. I would highly recommend serving with a side of white rice.

This turkey paksiw puts a delightful twist on the Filipino classic by incorporating tangy, pungent flavors with succulent turkey. It’s a perfect way to bring new life to your leftover bird, transforming it into a dish that combines the warm, homey essence of Thanksgiving with the vibrant tastes of Filipino cuisine.

Before we get started…

This recipe simply creates a stew-like sauce and assumes your turkey is already cooked and coming in straight from the fridge. Make this sauce then toss the turkey in the pot just to heat it up to serving temperature. Don’t recook that bird!

If you can’t find lechon sauce, feel free to use your leftover gravy! I find traditional Thanksgiving gravy to be a bit saltier than lechon sauce so be sure to adjust accordingly!

Pack down your brown sugar. You’ve probably heard this advice before but if you haven’t, measuring ingredients such as sugar and flour are more accurate by weight than volume. That being said, if you do choose to measure the brown sugar by volume, pack it down as it is much more common to have unwanted air pockets than other ingredients due to its extra stickiness.

How to make turkey paksiw

As with most recipes, you’ll start by sauteing the aromatics!

Next, you’ll mix in the other ingredients that bring a lot of flavor: sugar and vinegar

Then, add the lechon sauce. In my example, I’m using Mang Tomas lechon sauce because that’s the brand my family likes. If you choose to use Thanksgiving gravy, be sure to adjust to your taste!

Finally, add in your protein of choice. If its the week after Thanksgiving, we all know what you’re putting in. Heat this to serving temperature and enjoy!


Turkey Paksiw

Use your leftover Thanksgiving bird as the protein in this classic Filipino dish!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon oil for sauteing
  • 1 large onion sliced thinly
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup vinegar apple cider recommended
  • 2 cups (500g) lechon sauce Mang Tomas brand preferred
  • cup (77g) brown sugar packed
  • 1 ½ lbs leftover turkey meat already cooked on Thanksgiving
  • 2 small or 1 large bay leaves
  • 5 whole black peppercorn
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, drop in a bit of oil and saute the garlic then onions. Then add salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Saute for a couple minutes until the onion have turned a nice brown color.
  • Add the vinegar and brown sugar. Simmer this for a little bit until onions are soft, about 5-10 minutes.
  • After a few minutes, add the lechon sauce. Mix until well integrated and have a taste. Adjust to your liking. Simmer this for up to 10 minutes.
  • Once a simmer is reached, add in the turkey. Simmer this until the turkey is hot and ready to eat!
  • Serve with white rice or whatever you'd like and enjoy!