I’m all about using up all of those Thanksgiving leftovers, but after a meal full of gravy and cranberry sauce, all I want is a nice, spicy Buddha Bowl filled with delicious fresh vegetables and Korean Spicy Gochujang Sauce.

Bibimbap (BEE-beem-bop) is a classic – and delicious – dish of steamed rice served with meat (in this case, leftover turkey!), any colorful vegetables you have leftover in the fridge, and a fried egg on top. Talk about a palate cleanser! I’m already getting hungry.  

Giving New Life to Leftover Turkey Recipes

Our mission is to stop food waste at home, especially during the holidays, when families gather for that big massive feast.

When using leftover turkey for a new meal, the biggest secret is to make sure it tastes COMPLETELY different than your holiday meal. Because let’s face it – holiday leftovers never taste as good as the first time around! Nobody wants to relive that same meal four nights in a row.

Also in this Giving New Life to Leftover Turkey series:

What Exactly Goes Into a Buddha Bowl?

buddha bowlGlad you asked! A Buddha Bowl can be whatever you want it to be, but here’s what we usually do. Start with a base of grains or some kind of starch, then add veggies–cooked, raw, parboiled, etc.–and a protein. Wrap it all up with a signature sauce and a crunchy topping. This is a great way to use up all your leftover rice, lean proteins and all the bits of veggies you find in the drawer.

For this recipe, we’ll be making a bibimbap-inspired buddha bowl with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

What is Bibimbap?

To make this buddha bowl, inspired by a Korean bibimbap, here’s what you need!

  • Leftover Turkey: Of course! But when you fall in love with this buddha bowl, you’ll be able to make it with whatever leftover meat you have on hand.
  • Vegetables: Cucumber, daikon radishes, scallions, spinach, carrots, or whatever else you have in your vegetable drawer.
  • Gochujang Drizzle (learn more about this ingredient below!) 


What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a Korean red pepper paste made from red chiles, glutinous rice and soybeans, found at Asian markets and many supermarkets. If you prefer your Bibimbap to not be spicy, look for Doenjang, which is a soybean paste without the chiles. We love using gochujang as a quick way to add a big punch of flavor into Buddha Bowl sauces. 

If you can’t find Doenjang, you can use miso paste. Since both are made from beans, they give any dish an umami-rich, savory flavor. Gochujang, Doenjang, and Miso paste all store well in the refrigerator. If you really seal it well, it could last for up to a year.

Making the Gochujang Sauce

This gochujang sauce is the key to transforming this turkey into something completely different. Here’s how to make it:

  • Whisk together the sauce.
  • Toss with leftover turkey, and let sit while you’re assembling your other ingredients.
  • Add the turkey to your Buddha Bowl, then drizzle the leftover sauce over your bowl for an added kick!

Leftover Turkey Bibimbap Buddha Bowl

This leftover turkey recipe is inspired by Korean Bibimbap (BEE-beem-bop), a classic and delicious dish featuring steamed rice and colorful veggies.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4


  • Gochujang Drizzle
  • leftover Thanksgiving turkey
  • 2 cups white rice cooked
  • 3 packed cups fresh spinach
  • 4 large eggs fried
  • fresh veggies, sliced thinly like cucumber, radish, or carrots
  • crunchy topping like fried shallots or peanuts


  • In a medium bowl, whisk the Gochujang Drizzle. Add in the leftover turkey to the bowl and let marinate on counter while you continue with recipe.
  • Put pan over medium-high heat. When hot, drizzle in just a little cooking oil. Add in the spinach and stir fry, tossing frequently, for 2 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Remove spinach to plate and set aside.
  • Wipe pan clean. Return same pan to medium heat. When hot, swirl in cooking oil. Crack in the eggs and cook without stirring for 3 minutes or until the egg whites are set on the edges. Cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the egg whites are cooked through and the yolks still runny. Remove from pan to a plate, and set aside.
  • Evenly divide the rice, turkey, spinach and veggies between four bowls. Top each bowl with a fried egg.
Keyword bibimbap, buddha bowl, leftovers, turkey
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!