Thanksgiving dinner leftovers are as much of a tradition during the holiday, as, well, Thanksgiving dinner itself. You are no doubt going to be leaving the get-together, or loading up your own refrigerator if you happened to be the host, with containers full of food. You could just reheat those leftovers and recreate the initial meal experience but where is the fun in that? Get creative and turn that leftover bird into something entirely new for your post-Thanksgiving meal planning.
Turkey, especially when it comes pre-cooked for you, is versatile enough that it can be used in a number of quick, easy and healthy ways. Here are just a few ways you can turn those Thanksgiving leftovers into something new and tasty:
1. Taco Salad: Thanksgiving tacos? Of course, don’t be such a Puritan. A taco salad is a fun way to mix it up a little during the holidays. The turkey naturally has less fat than beef, so you are already cutting back on calories.
Just add lots of vegetables, such as lettuce, tomato, onions, and red peppers. Don’t go overboard with the cheese and substitute avocado instead of sour cream for a more nutritious alternative.
2. Turkey and Veggie Casserole: Want to reinvent your Thanksgiving leftover into something familiarly unique? Try making all those leftovers into a casserole. Mix those leftover vegetable like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and green beans with shredded turkey into a casserole dish with some mashed cauliflower or cauliflower rice, and just a little bit of cheese on top.
Voila. You have an easy, hearty meal that is still healthy.
3. A Sandwich or Wrap: The day-after-Thanksgiving-dinner sandwich is a staple of all leftovers-based meals. If you are trying to limit your carbohydrate intake you can opt for a wrap. If you go with a sandwich, try to use whole wheat or whole grain bread and pile high a lot of veggies. Try a sandwich made with turkey, some stuffing, and cranberry sauce or as a wrap using a whole wheat or spinach tortilla.
4. Turkey Soup or Chili: For something to warm you up on a cold evening, shred your leftover turkey and add it to your favorite soup or chili. This is yet another way to use up veggies in your house and have something hearty, but also healthy. You can use your favorite recipe or just combine your favorite veggies, broth or water, and seasonings.
5. Cold Pasta Salad: If you are going to use the turkey for lunch the following day, you can prepare a simple cold pasta salad with whole-grain rotini pasta. Add in your sliced turkey, tomato and bell peppers, and top it with a little bit of parmesan cheese. Mix it up with a light vinaigrette and chill for an easy lunch option
6. Quinoa Salad: Quinoa salad is another simple dish that can use turkey as an ingredient. Quinoa is considered a superfood thanks to all the nutrients in it. Just cut your leftover turkey into small cubes, then add it to your cooked quinoa with other veggies like carrots and peas.
There is nothing like turkey the day after Thanksgiving. And the next day. Turn your turkey leftovers into healthy and easy leftover ideas with these suggestions.