Why eat Thanksgiving leftovers until you can’t stand to look at them anymore!
Leftover turkey, potatoes, and cooked vegetables freeze beautifully. Pull them from the freezer and turn them into a quick meal after holiday shopping, or a healthy dinner for the kids while you whoop it up at your company Christmas party.
Whether you freeze your leftovers, or prefer to use them up as quickly as possible, my top ten tempting meal ideas are a nice change from the typical turkey sandwich . . .
If you were going to throw away those small bits and piece of turkey, think again. They add up, and can easily be swapped out for the ground turkey in this recipe.
Apples and squash are the perfect compliment for turkey – especially the dark meat. It has a slightly gamier appeal that stands up well to the sweetness of apples and squash.
Pre-sliced mushrooms, a can of low fat mushroom soup, pasta and cheese come together in this heart-warming dish. If you have leftover green bean casserole, be sure and add it to the mix to get those extra veggies in. Don’t forget to use whole grain or quinoa pasta. Now you have a real meal – whole grains, protein and veggies. Can’t beat that!
If you’re looking for something on the lighter side after all that heavy holiday fare, fresh cabbage and chard, sautéed with garlic and fresh thyme, make this meal a nice low-carb choice for dinner.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a chili recipe adapted from Laloosh.com. Toss your chili ingredients into a slow cooker and let them meld their spicy flavors to perfection while you’re away.
If chili isn’t your thing, this healthy Italian stew boasts an abundance of vegetables, including leafy kale. This is truly a calorie-light meal. Be sure to serve it with a whole grain roll so you can mop up that garden rich sauce.
Yes, I realize brussels sprouts aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan, this recipe from Allrecipes.com would be fantastic with your leftover turkey tossed into the pan. Keep the turkey bacon, or replace it with turkey breast. Either way, this brussels sprouts recipe is to die for.
If you’re a pasta lover, this pasta recipe adapted from Roti & Rice fits the bill for you. Garlic, lemon and fresh basil add punch to chickpeas and kale. Roti & Rice used turkey sausage, but chopped or shredded turkey breast would keep this meal light and allow the fresh basil to shine through.
We need a few salad recipes in this list, don’t we? This isn’t your typical leafy green salad recipe. Warm curry adds a bit of sweet heat to fresh grapes, apples, sweet dried cranberries, and salty pepitas. Serve it as is, or scoop it into crunchy endive leaves for a delicious appetizer.
Last, but not least, we need a wrap recipe. Using turkey instead of the original chicken isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination. If you love Mediterranean flavors, then the Greek yogurt, hummus and feta cheese will thrill your taste buds.
That’s the end of my top ten recipes for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I have more, so feel free to browse through my chicken and turkey recipes. I haven’t started Christmas shopping yet, so off to the mall I go. Happy cooking!