Healthy Recipes for Turkey Leftovers

Turkey is a great tasting, lean and low-cholesterol source of protein that is fantastically versatile and can be re-purposed into a variety of delicious and healthy dishes. So line up the turkey-filled Tupperware and try out these 4 easy, low-fat meals. You’ll be free of those leftovers before you know it – and this year, you’ll be sad to see them go.


Hearty Turkey & Vegetable Soup

Leftover Turkey carcass, broken up

Leftover Turkey meat, shredded into bite-sized pieces

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 large white onion, chopped

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

6 – 8 cups water

1 small bunch fresh parsley or dill, chopped

2 pinches turmeric

Salt and pepper, to taste

Remove all leftover turkey meat from the carcass, and set it aside for later. Break up the carcass into more manageable pieces, and place them inside a big stock pot. Add in the water, bring to a boil on high heat, and then lower to a simmer. Using a spoon, skim off the fatty foam that rises to the top. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours, continuing to skim off and remove the fatty foam from the top.

After 1 hour, once the broth simmers clear, add in the chopped vegetables to the pot. Continue to cook on a low simmer for 3o minutes to 1 hour, until the vegetables become tender and soft. Using a fork, mash some of the softened sweet potato, zucchini and carrots against the side of the pot so that they blend into the broth. Stir in the leftover shredded turkey meat, chopped parsley, turmeric and seasonings.


Turkey & Apple Pecan Salad

2 cups leftover cooked turkey meat, sliced into strips

1 small red apple, cored and sliced thinly

1 small green apple, cored and sliced thinly

4 cups mixed salad leaves (try mixing radicchio, Belgian endives, arugula, baby spinach, beet greens, etc. or buy a pre-mixed salad bag)

100g pecans

For the Dressing:

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Zest & juice of one small orange

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the salad dressing ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place the salad leaves, apples and pecans in a large salad bowl. Lay the turkey strips on top, and drizzle over with the salad dressing. Toss and serve.


Low-Fat Turkey, Tomato & Cucumber Club Sandwich

1 four ounce piece of cooked turkey breast, finely shredded

2 tablespoons ripe avocado, mashed

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons raw honey

½ teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 cup arugula or baby spinach leaves, washed

¼ onion, finely diced

½ tomato, sliced

¼ cucumber, sliced

2 pieces of 100% whole wheat or spelt bread

Salt & Cracked black pepper

In a bowl, mash the avocado, lemon juice, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper together. Stir in the fork shredded turkey, creating a sticky turkey salad. Spread some turkey salad on a piece of bread. Top with spinach, tomato and cucumber slices. Dollop a bit more turkey salad on top, and then place a second piece of bread on top, squeezing down lightly.


Asian Turkey Peanut Stuffed Cabbage Cups

4 cups leftover turkey, finely shredded

1 tsp ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 tsp garlic, minced

½ cup green onions, thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and finely grated

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

¼ cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp sesame seeds

Several large whole Nappa cabbage leaves

In a mason jar, combine the olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice, maple syrup, ginger, garlic, cilantro and mint. Cap the jar, give it a good shake, and then leave it on the counter to rest and infuse for several minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the turkey, carrot, onion, peanuts and jalapenos together. Give the contents of the mason jar one final shake, and then uncap and pour over the turkey mixture. Toss everything together well. Spoon some turkey mixture into each cabbage cup, and sprinkle some sesame seeds over each cup.


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