Thanksgiving is all about family and friends, and being thankful for what we have. My favorite Thanksgiving memories were sitting around a big table with my family with a big delicious turkey that my mom had been roasting all day for our dinner. And I remember the days and days after Thanksgiving of eating those obligatory turkey sandwiches and boring leftovers.
Well, say goodbye to boring!
Banish the boring turkey blues with a few of my favorite healthy and note-worthy leftover turkey recipes from around the world! These flavorful and creative recipes will break up the traditional sandwich idea and make you thankful for turkey all over again.
Note: Many of the recipes below call for turkey stock. You may substitute with your favorite organic chicken stock or broth, or simply take the bones (after the majority of the meat has been picked off), place in large stockpot, with carrots, onions and celery, and cover with water. Bring to a hearty simmer, and then turn down and do a slow simmer for 3-4 hours. Here is a tip, your stock will become cloudy if you cook it at a boil; simmer gently for the best results. Strain and use the turkey stock, as desired.
I recommend using natural sweeteners like raw honey, real maple syrup or organic coconut palm sugar to get the most nutrients out of these recipes. Also eliminate conventional cows milk and use coconut milk, almond milk or organic grass-fed goat milk or cheese, replace table salt with sea salt, and replace canola and vegetable oil with coconut oil, olive oil or ghee. You’ll find these options as well as other healthy real food choices listed in my healing food shopping list (Click Here to Download my Healing Foods Shopping List)
47 Terrific Leftover Turkey Recipes
Leftover Turkey Recipes: Soups
Slow simmering brings out the nutrients from bones in this twist on turkey soup. Congee is comfort food throughout Asia, and while the stock may differ, the process is the same. Turkey broth, rice, and vegetables are sure to warm you, head to toe.
So you had sandwiches, salads and casseroles to finish off your turkey, hopefully you have saved just a bit of turkey left on the bones, for this gut-healing recipe. The long cooking time is necessary, to extract the nutrients from the bones. Do in your slow cooker, and add water as needed.
Cozying up with a bowl of soba noodle soup during the winter months is heaven. This healthy recipe uses the leftover bones and skin from your Thanksgiving turkey to make the stock, fresh vegetables, more turkey, and buckwheat soba noodles into a hearty bowl of soup.
Try this twist on turkey soup! Lime juice, ginger, and coconut milk take leftover roasted turkey to the next level. Don’t skip the addition of fresh herbs on top as they really add to the health benefits, and really brighten the flavors.
Heading south of the border, traditional tortilla soup gets a makeover with the turkey. This versatile recipe is great for leftover turkey, or leftover chicken. Black beans, corn, and salsa, turn your leftovers into an inspired Mexican inspired feast.
We eat with our eyes first, and our nose second, and finally our taste buds. This soup is beautiful, and the aroma from the combination of herbs and spices will get your mouth watering, before the first bite.
This recipe does call for leftover chicken, but is a great way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey! Roasting the vegetables prior to adding them to the soup creates intense flavor, bringing out the best in each of the vegetables. Supercharge your health with spinach by tossing in a couple of handles just before serving.
One recipe, three Thanksgiving leftovers! Clean out your fridge with this warming soup that transforms the turkey, and sweet potatoes into a warming soup. Replace the heavy cream with coconut or almond milk for a healthy alternative.
Try this set-it-and-forget-it meal with my easy crockpot turkey soup. To use your turkey leftovers, just cook everything together first and add the cooked leftover turkey (about 2 cups) for the last half an hour.
Hop across the pond with this British version of chili in this turkey leftovers recipe. Adjust the spice level with the amount of chilies and cayenne pepper to your taste. “Tins” is British for cans, and 500 grams is just over 2 cups. I always recommend avoiding canned food, so you an substitute with by using frozen or cooked beans, too. Stir up a batch as directed, and enjoy.
Stroll over to Italy for this fresh gluten-free soup to use up your leftover turkey. The beans and turkey boost the protein levels while the herbs and fresh vegetables add great nutrients, but also flavor and texture. This soup will not disappoint; it just might be the next best thing to having a bowl in Tuscany.
Leftover Turkey Recipes: Salads
Bright, beautiful, and perfect as a salad, sandwich, or even on rice crackers for a crunchy and healthful snack. Walnuts, roasted leftover turkey, celery, cranberry sauce, and a splash of lemon come together with a vegan mayo.
Fresh and bright with the flavors of fall, this salad incorporates mixed greens, leftover turkey, apples, nuts, cranberries and cheese. Replace traditional cheddar with your favorite raw milk cheddar.
This beautiful salad, spiced with traditional North African spices, carrots, and cheese would be the perfect way to spice up your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. Just toss in a cup or two of pulled turkey and enjoy the happy crunch and flavorful taste of harissa. Harissa is a mix of dried chilies, spices, garlic and lemon.
Crunch comes from the fresh lettuce, and flavors of the Southwest permeate the inside. Substitute leftover roasted turkey in this recipe, and be sure to use organic corn kernels to avoid GMOs.
Off to Asia we go with cashews, mint, coriander, in this healthy turkey leftover recipe. The dressing is really where this recipe comes all together; sweetness, tartness, and just a tough of natural heat from the fresh ginger that is packed with vitamins from the clementine, lime, and pomegranate. Substitute the soy sauce for coconut aminos, and this recipe will delight even the pickiest of eaters.
We all love Thanksgiving dinner, but sometimes we need to mix up the flavor combinations, to breathe life into leftovers. This quick and easy recipe uses curry powder, apples, green onions, celery, pecans, and leftover turkey. Turmeric is what gives curry powder its distinctive color, and extra boost of turmeric’s health benefits.
Leftover Turkey Recipes: Sandwiches
Cranberries, black beans, salsa, cheese, cranberry sauce and turkey will take you south of the border in this Mexican inspired leftover turkey recipe. Yum. Swap out traditional rolls for your favorite sprouted wheat or gluten free rolls, and be sure to use raw cheese and Greek yogurt which will provide a nice tang in this inventive sandwich.
Blend the flavors of two continents together in this wrap. Cranberries, native to North America, turkey, and hummus come together in a tangy, creamy, chewy delightful sandwich. Use my hummus recipe, it is quick, easy, and healthy! Cranberry sauce echoes the flavor of pomegranate that some parts of the Middle East top hummus with. Substitute the tortillas with your favorite gluten-free or sprouted grain tortillas or wraps.
Think about your favorite childhood grilled cheese, and then try this recipe. Crunchy on the outside, and creamy deliciousness on the inside, with a touch of heat from the chilies and sweetness from the cranberry sauce results in simply bites of heaven. Use your favorite sprouted grain bread and raw or goat cheese as healthy substitutions.
Fresh spinach, leftover roasted turkey and cranberry sauce, topped with a slice of your favorite raw cheese, is a quick and delicious lunch. Replace the wheat bread for sprouted bread, and use a vegan mayo.
This quick sandwich is perfect when you want to break away from the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving, but still use up the turkey. The brightness of the pesto (homemade of course), tomatoes, and avocados add a lovely twist, while boosting nutrients. Use gluten free bread, and raw cheese to fit within my Healing Foods Meal Plan. If you don’t have a Panini maker, grill it up, like a grilled cheese.
This turkey leftover recipe calls for roasting the turkey; but leftover turkey will work fine. Watercress gives a bit of a spicy flavor, and the pumpkin seeds add protein, and are a part of my healing foods diet.
Simple, and delicious, this leftover turkey recipe calls for just 5 ingredients. Use your favorite sprouted grain roll or bun and leftover cranberry sauce as healthy substitutions and toast as directed. If you have a Panini machine, it will work well too.
Journey down south to where barbecue sandwiches are at the heart of meals. If your fingers are sticky with sauce at the end of the meal, you are not doing it right! Replace traditional mayo with vegan mayo, and the bacon in the barbecue sauce for turkey bacon, and sweeten naturally with maple syrup. Enjoy on your favorite sprouted grain rolls.
Leftover Turkey Recipes: Paleo Recipes
Sweet potato cakes as buns? Yes! Eat the colors of the rainbow with this Paleo roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, and Brussels sprouts sandwich. Swap the pork bacon, for turkey bacon, and enjoy.
This recipe calls for ground turkey, and sweet potatoes, but this time of year, this Paleo-friendly recipe just screams, use leftovers! Substitute leftover turkey and sweet potatoes, and prepare as directed!
Flavors reminiscent of Thanksgiving, this hash is great anytime of the day. Use up leftover turkey and winter squash or pumpkin, and enjoy! Throw in some leafy greens, and reap the benefits of this healthy Paleo turkey leftover recipe.
Leftover Turkey Recipes: Fast & Easy
Perfect for lunches at your desk, or for your kids at school! Use up your leftover turkey, this time of year, or roasted chicken, anytime of the year. Combine with some fresh vegetables, hummus, and gluten free pita, and it is a balanced, beautiful meal.
This is a perfect turkey leftover recipe, when you have nearly picked the bones clean! Pull of remaining turkey and enjoy all the health benefits of kale in this quick and easy quesadilla. Use gluten-free tortillas and swap out traditional cheddar cheese for your favorite raw cheddar, and enjoy.
A journey to the Middle East, would eventually take you to a restaurant that served up succulent chicken or turkey and rice. This recipe won’t disappoint. Substitute the mayo for vegan mayo, the white sugar for your favorite natural sweetener, and apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar called for in the recipe. Enjoy the complexity of the flavors and textures in this inspired recipe to use up your leftover turkey.
Leftover Turkey Recipes: Entrees
You’ll rethink pizza, leftover turkey and sweet potato once you try these delectable little guys. Use gluten-free pizza dough, and enjoy. The nuts give a healthy crunch, and the figs echo the natural sweetness in the sweet potatoes.
33. Scalloped Turkey
Empty out your refrigerator with this warm and inviting turkey leftover recipe. Shredded turkey, stuffing, gravy, and milk, baked together makes wonderful evening dinner, with all the flavors of Thanksgiving. Swap out the panko breadcrumbs for breadcrumbs made from sprouted wheat, and enjoy.
A beautiful quick meal that uses supergrain pasta, quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, leftover turkey, and fresh vegetables. This lightened up version of the calorie-ridden version we all grew up with stars fresh vegetables, and gets a good dose of healthy protein from the roasted turkey, and quinoa. Swap out the conventional milk with almond milk, and opt for a sprinkling of grated raw cheese.
Winter squash and leftover turkey never quite looked or tasted so good. To make this gluten free, swap out the wheat berries for brown rice or quinoa, and the breadcrumbs for gluten-free substitute. Think of this as a more interesting, and definitely healthier version of a twice-baked potato! Packed with nutrients, fiber, and a great way to use up that leftover turkey.
36. Turkey Tostadas
A quick and satisfying healthy meal, using your leftover turkey, along with fresh avocado, black beans, and salsa. Replace the tortillas mentioned for sprouted grain tortillas, and the crumbled queso fresco with your favorite raw crumbly cheese.
37. Korean Rice Pot
This quick and easy recipe combines sesame seeds, baby spinach, carrots, rice, and leftover turkey, transforming it into a protein rich meal. Substitute coconut oil for the vegetable oil called for in the recipe. Add your favorite chili sauce to the top of the eggs, and enjoy!
Mmmmm. Enchiladas. Leftover cooked turkey smothered in avocado goodness. This recipe brings life to turkey leftovers, and comes together quickly. For the avocado cream sauce, substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream, and the flour for a gluten-free or sprouted flour alternative.
Shepherd’s pie, another gift from England is a great way to use up leftover turkey, vegetables, stuffing and potatoes in one dish. While mashed white potatoes are traditional, feel free to swap out with leftover mashed sweet potatoes.
Risotto is typically considered an Italian dish, but the addition of warming spices including cinnamon, ginger (two fat-burning foods), nutmeg, paprika and cumin, transform traditional Thanksgiving flavors into something dynamic. Substitute the Parmigiano Reggiano with your favorite dry raw cheese, and enjoy.
This beautiful bowl of goodness calls for poaching chicken, but leftover turkey works too. Swap out the peanut butter for another nut or seed butter, as recommended in the recipe. When you don’t have turkey lying around, follow the directions for poached chicken, it is great too.
Flavors of Italy combined with turkey leftovers? Divine. Swap out the cheddar cheese for a raw cheese or sheep’s milk cheese, and use whatever bell peppers you have on hand. Green, yellow, red, and orange peppers would all be equally tasty and beautiful in this quick and easy recipe.
Leftover turkey for breakfast? Yes, and leftover stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. This is not your traditional Eggs Benedict. Swap out the English muffins for sprouted grain English muffins, and enjoy!
Potpies invoke a kind of childhood joy and warmth on cold days. Of course, those weren’t the healthiest meals growing up, but this recipe is loaded with vegetables, topped with a gluten-free biscuit and thickened with gluten free flour, instead of heavy cream.
Leftover turkey, kale, eggs, and cheese seasoned with just the right amount of herbs. Substitute the gouda cheese for raw cheese, and enjoy. Perfect for breakfast, or a light lunch with an accompanying salad.
Journey over to India for a bowl of turkey curry, or simply whip this up at home with your leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Use 1-½ cups of roasted turkey and 1-½ cups of potatoes, along with 2 cups of chopped tomatoes. If you like a more moist curry, feel free to add a splash or two of coconut milk.
47. BBQ Turkey Pizza
Spice up your holiday leftovers with this pizza recipe. Use my Sweet Tangy Barbecue Sauce recipe that is free of refined sugars, sweetened with honey. The pizza comes together nicely; use your favorite gluten-free pizza crust recipe, or stop by your local pizza place that has gluten free crusts, and ask to purchase just the dough. Many will allow you to do that!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my roundup of my favorite leftover turkey recipes from around the world. There are so many terrific ways to use up that delicious holiday turkey, and I’d love to hear yours!
What are your favorite leftover turkey recipes?