Balanced Meals Made Out of Thanksgiving Leftover

Balanced Meals Made Out of Thanksgiving Leftovers

Ways to Get Creative with Leftovers

After Thanksgiving, there are usually tons of leftovers and eating the same thing for many days in a row gets old fast. Below are some healthy ways to reimagine the standard turkey, sweet potatoes, and green beans.

Turkey Stew

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cups of unsalted chicken broth
  • ½ cup of leftover gravy
  • 4 cups of leftover roasted vegetables chopped into small pieces
  • 3 cups of shredded skinless turkey
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook until starting to brown.
  2. Add broth and gravy and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally.
  3. Turn heat to medium. Add in remaining ingredients. Stir occasionally.
  4. Should be warm and ready to eat in 15-20 minutes.

Turkey Sandwiches

  • 2 thin slices of whole wheat bread or 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 3 oz of shredded cooked turkey
  • 2 oz of brie cheese, thinly sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • A few thin slices of Granny smith apple
  • Dijon mustard

Assemble sandwich with the above ingredients. Could make it in a lettuce wrap instead of bread. Instead of apples, could use 2 tablespoons of light cranberry sauce.

Easy Turkey Pot Pie

  • 1 cup of frozen diced onion
  • 1 cup of canned carrots or leftover roasted carrots
  • ½ cup of diced celery
  • ½ cup of frozen mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 can of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 3 cups of shredded turkey breast
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9 x13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add all ingredients to pan except pie crust and stir well.
  3. Top with pie crust and poke with fork.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes and then enjoy!

Stuffed Sweet Potato

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 cups packed chopped stemmed kale
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 2 cups shredded or diced cooked turkey
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pepitas, toasted


  1. Preheat to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Prick sweet potatoes in 3 to 4 spots with a fork. Rub with 1 tablespoon of oil and place on the prepared baking sheet. Roast on the lower rack until tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
  3. After the first 20 minutes, toss kale with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Spread in an even layer on another large rimmed baking sheet. Roast the kale on the upper rack, stirring once, for 10 minutes. Push the kale to one side and add cranberries and turkey to the other side of the pan. Continue roasting until the kale is crisp, the cranberries have burst and the turkey is hot, 5 to 8 minutes more.
  4. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, honey mustard, shallot, salt and pepper in the bowl. Add the kale, cranberries and turkey and toss to combine.
  5. Cut sweet potatoes lengthwise without cutting all the way through. Stuff with the turkey mixture and top with pepitas.

Ways to incorporate your sides:

  • Use mashed potatoes for the crust of shepherds pie
  • Make sweet potato hummus. Just blend 2 cups of leftover sweet potatoes, 1 can of rinsed chickpeas, and your favorite seasonings. Eat with wheat thins and assorted raw vegetables
  • Add your leftover can of 100% pumpkin puree to make pumpkin chili
  • Create mushrooms stuffed with leftover stuffing
  • Stir in leftover cranberry sauce to oatmeal or low fat yogurt for sweetness
  • Toss frozen turkey meatballs in cranberry sauce
  • Create a kale salad with diced butternut squash, apples, cranberries, walnuts and toss in a vinaigrette dressing
  • Bake a thanksgiving leftover pizza on cauliflower crust
  • Throw together a quinoa salad with your favorite leftovers ex: butternut squash, brussel sprouts, turkey, kale salad, nuts, onions, dried cranberries
  • Whip up sweet potato pancakes