Full Belly Sisters: 22 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

22 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

Leftovers are greatbut you don't want to keep having the same meal over and over. These 22 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers will have you loving every last morsel of that turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and all the fixins.


When you're looking for new, healthy ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers, it doesn't have to be complicated—it just has to be delicious! These recipes celebrate real food in a way that's simple and tasty.

My cardinal rule of leftovers: when in doubt, put an egg on it. I love to use leftover veggies as a hash—here I've got mashed potatoes and sauteed, shaved brussels sprouts. Just top them with a fried or poached egg and some fresh herbs. A whole new meal with very little work!

Or take that egg and pair it with Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles (yup, that's waffles made out of stuffing and THIS IS LIFE-CHANGING, PEOPLE!) for a post-holiday brunch.


You also can't go wrong with sandwiches made from leftovers. But when you want a turkey, cranberry, and stuffing sandwich, skip the unnecessary, extra sliced bread and use my Stuffing Waffles instead: behold the Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich.



The Clever Carrot's Turkey Cranberry Quesadilla with Ham and Brie makes great use of the leftovers from both the holiday meal and the cheese course. 


You all know I'm a sucker for anything avocado. So this Avocado Turkey Panini from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen is right up my alley.



Check out "The Gobbler" BBQ turkey sandwich from Ally's Kitchen:




Desserts are an unexpected but fun way to use holiday leftovers. Don't worry, I'm not proposing turkey milkshakes. But you can certainly spoon warm, leftover cranberry sauce over a bowl of vanilla ice cream or—for a healthier version—swirl some of it into plain Greek yogurt:




Or layer some of your leftovers into a simple parfait, as I did in my high-protein Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle.



Casseroles are a fantastic way to re-purpose leftover meats and veggies. Here's a yummy Leftover Turkey, Sausage Enchilada Casserole from Noshing with the Nolands.



Salads are wonderful because, after all that holiday work, who wants to do any more cooking? You can take your favorite chicken salad recipe and just swap in some cooked turkey. How about this gorgeous Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad from Life Currents?


Or this sweet and savory Turkey 'n' Fruit Salad from Meal Planning Maven?



If you're kinda burnt out on all the traditional Thanksgiving flavors, try this Turkey Black Bean Fresh Mex Bowl from Sumptuous Spoonfuls.


I bet you never thought of putting your Thanksgiving leftovers on top of a pizza, but This and That blog did: check out her Turkey and Avocado Pizza with Garlic Crust.


And, of course, one of the simplest and most delicious ways to use holiday leftovers is to make a big ol' pot of soup. All that delicious turkey makes for super hearty soups. And save those bones! I love to throw them and a few other ingredients into my slow cooker and make my Easy 24-hour Crockpot Turkey Broth.



This Turkey Soup with Stuffing Croutons from Comfy Cuisine is calling my name.

 

Seriously, guys, there are so many fantastic soup recipes out there to choose from! Here are a bunch more for you to peruse—they all look wonderful: 
 
Turkey, Quinoa, Kale Soup from The Kitchen Chopper
Lemon, Turkey, Rice Soup from Feed Your Soul

Homemade Turkey Soup from Homemade Food Junkie
Turkey Noodle Vegetable Soup from Moore or Less Cooking 
Leftover Turkey Soup from Flavor 'N' Spice
Italian-Style Turkey Minestrone Soup from Cooking with Mary and Friends 
Turkey Posole from Canning and Cooking at Home




What's your favorite way to use leftovers from a holiday meal?

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for including me in this great round-up!

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  2. Hey, thanks for much for including ours!! Everything looks delicious!!

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  3. Yummy yummy! These look so good! I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, but even more so now!!! I want to eat all of these!

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  4. I like your cardinal rule of leftovers!! There are some wonderful recipes here - thank you for sharing!

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  5. Thanks for including my After Thanksgiving Turkey and Fruit Salad!! What a delicious and fun collection!

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  6. Thank you, Justine, for including my recipes among such deliciousness! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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  7. You're rule is perfect! Ha! These ideas are all wonderful. I'm especially loving the stuffing waffles and quesadillas :)

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  8. Such clever ideas! I love them all ... thanks so much for including my tex mex bowl :)

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  9. all of these recipes look so good! thanks for sharing

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  10. these recipes look great thanks for some new ideas

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  11. These Thanksgiving leftover recipes are so original and sound amazing!! I REALLY want to try making your Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles, yum!! Thank you for sharing. :)

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  12. the waffle iron stuffing looks great. i need to get a new one though cause mine broke :(

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  13. I bet the stuffing waffles are pretty good. I'll have to let my dad know, he'd probably really like them.

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  14. These are all delicious and inventive recipes. I really enjoyed these ideas. Thanks for posting this. Makes me excited to transform my leftovers into something new.

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  15. Lots of delicious leftover ideas! Thanks for sharing

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  16. I really appreciate these ideas, as I am always trying to think of new ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers. thanks!

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  17. wow. greate guide for me since we always have leftovers!

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  18. so many great recipes all in one place...I'm liking a lot thank you xoxo

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