I look forward to turkey at Thanksgiving, but the real excitement for me lies in the dinners I’ll make with the leftover turkey. I choose a bigger Thanksgiving turkey than I need and I do the same when I roast a whole chicken because I like to have the leftovers to use in all sorts of other dishes. (Cooked chicken and turkey can be used interchangeably in the recipes below.)
And don’t worry if you overdid it at Thanksgiving— with only about 144 calories and less than 2 grams of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving, roasted turkey or chicken is a healthy choice. Plus we put a healthy twist on these five recipes for leftover turkey for your post-Thanksgiving meals.
—Hilary Meyer, Associate Food Editor for EatingWell Magazine
Crispy Turkey Tostadas are a perfect way to use up any leftover turkey. The tostada shells are homemade from fresh corn tortillas—they’re super-easy (crisp them in the oven while you prepare the toppings) and have a lot less fat than the fried ones at the grocery store. Serve with high-fiber black beans, rice and extra salsa or hot sauce.
Leftover chicken or turkey and rice come together in Moroccan Chicken Salad, a flavorful main dish salad. Serve over baby spinach.
Cheesy Chicken Pasta, an ooey-gooey pasta dish that pleases adults and kids, is like rich and creamy macaroni-and-cheese tossed with cauliflower and chicken or turkey.
Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup is a healthier twist on a classic creamy turkey and wild rice soup that hails from Minnesota.
Got lots of leftover mashed potatoes too? Try Turkey & Leek Shepherd’s Pie—just skip making the mashed potatoes and cover the pie with your leftover ones instead.