5 Healthy Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

easy thanksgiving leftover recipes

Looking for leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipes to enjoy the fruits of your labor all weekend long? Here are 5 healthy recipes from the 8fit app.

Unless you are a master of calculating portions and predicting how much Grandma Carol and Uncle John will eat this year, odds are there are a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator. Instead of defaulting to a classic turkey soup or Thanksgiving sandwich, use your leftover turkey in healthy, creative ways.

Here at 8fit, we have a handful of fun leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipes. So, set some white meat aside and eat great through the holiday weekend.

Indian turkey with rice and kachumber

This recipe is a great balance of protein and fiber. Instead of cooking the turkey for 5-6 minutes like step 6 suggests, add it to the pan with the onions and cook until warm. This will prevent your pre-cooked turkey from drying out and becoming overcooked.

Indian turkey with rice and kachumber

Indian turkey with rice and kachumber Preparation time: 35 min.
Nutrition: 500kcal.

Ingredients (makes two snack portions):
  • a tiny bit of black pepper
  • a tiny bit of salt
  • 4 oz turkey breast
  • 1 ½ oz cherry tomatoes
  • ½ carrot (~1 oz)
  • 1 onion (medium sized) (~4 oz)
  • ½ lemon (~1 oz)
  • 1 tsp tandoori spice blend
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro / fresh coriander leaf (chopped)
  • ¾ tsp honey or agave syrup (~¼ oz)
  • ⅕ cucumber (~¾ oz)
  • ¼ cups rice (dry) (~1 ½ oz)

  1. Bring water in a pot to boil and add a bit of salt. For most rice, use a 2:1 ratio (2 cups water for 1 cup rice).
  2. Stir in rice and turn to medium-heat. Cook for around 30 to 35 minutes for brown rice, or 12 to 14 minutes for white rice.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the turkey breast into pieces and add to a bowl. Pour over 1/2 of the oil, salt and pepper (optional) and the spice blend (to preference). Combine and leave to marinate.
  4. Heat the other 1/2 of the oil in a pan on medium heat.
  5. Peel and chop onion, then divide into two. Add 1/2 to the pan once hot. Cook for 3-4 mins, until translucent.
  6. Add turkey to the pan and cook for about 5-6 mins. Stir occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the kachumber: peel carrot then dice along with washed cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Add to a bowl with remaining onion. Add honey, salt, pepper and coriander (optional), and squeeze all the lemon juice into it.
  8. Once cooked, plate the turkey with the rice and add the kachumber. Enjoy!

Turkey and brie sandwich

Replace deli-style turkey with leftover Thanksgiving turkey breast in this sandwich recipe. Serve the turkey warm or cold and, if you are feeling adventurous, add a smear of leftover cranberry sauce on your whole grain bread before assembling your sandwich.

Turkey and brie sandwich

Turkey and brie sandwich Preparation time: 5 min.
Nutrition: 500kcal.

Ingredients (makes two snack portions):
  • 1 ½ whole grain bread slice(s), 100% whole grain (~2 ¼ oz)
  • 1 ¾ oz brie cheese
  • 1 ¾ tbsp sprouts of any kind (~⅛ oz)
  • ¼ cups salad arugula (rocket) (~⅛ oz)
  • 1 ¾ oz deli-style turkey
  • 2 tsp pesto (ready to serve) (~¾ oz)

  1. Spread the pesto on bread, then top with brie cheese and turkey breast. Enjoy with sprouts and arugula.

Turkey stir-fry

Just like the tacos above, you can use leftover turkey breast instead of ground turkey in this turkey stir-fry recipe. Skip step 2, skip the fast food stir-fry, and create a winning dish.

Spicy turkey tacos

Spicy turkey tacos Preparation time: 20 min.
Nutrition: 500kcal.

Ingredients (makes two snack portions):
  • ¼ cups water
  • ½ avocado (~3 ½ oz)
  • 3 oz ground turkey
  • ⅔ tsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • ½ onion (medium sized) (~2 oz)
  • ½ fresh chili pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin (dry)
  • a tiny bit of salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp fresh cilantro / fresh coriander leaf (chopped)
  • 2 corn tortilla (~3 oz)

  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add olive oil.
  2. In the meantime, peel and chop onion. Remove seeds and slice pepper. Wash and chop cilantro. Peel and chop avocado.
  3. Add onion, pepper, and ground turkey to pan.
  4. Cook it all together about 8 minutes, or until the turkey is nearly cooked through.
  5. Add seasoning (salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder) and water. Stir. Reduce heat and allow to simmer about 5 minutes, until most of the moisture reduces and the flavorings thicken up.
  6. Serve onto toasted tortillas and top with cilantro and avocado.

Spicy turkey tacos

This recipe calls for ground turkey, but leftover Thanksgiving turkey breast will do. Instead of adding the turkey to the pan in step 3, cook the onion and pepper on it’s own. Add the turkey in step 5 with the spices. Follow the rest of the recipe as-is.

Ground turkey stir-fry

Ground turkey stir-fry Preparation time: 20 min.
Nutrition: 500kcal.

Ingredients (makes two snack portions):
  • 6 oz ground turkey
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame oil (~¼ oz)
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh green beans (cut in half) (~4 ½ oz)
  • 1 garlic clove (~⅛ oz)
  • ¾ tsp ginger (dry)
  • 1 ¼ tbsp soy sauce, without sugar
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • a tiny bit of salt
  • 14 peanuts (~½ oz)
  • ½ bell peppers (any color) (~2 oz)

  1. Bell pepper: wash, remove seeds and chop. Green beans: wash, remove stems, and cut in half. Garlic: peel and chop. Set all aside.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add half of the oil. Add the ground turkey. Cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, until cooked throughly. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Heat the rest of the sesame oil in the skillet. Add the greens beans and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper and cook for 1 additional minute. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and ginger powder (seasonings optional) and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the cooked turkey, peanuts, and soy sauce (optional). Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute or until heated. Serve and enjoy!

Turkey and greens

This veggie-forward dish is a great way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Skip step 1 and heat your turkey in the microwave or on a skillet with a touch of olive oil. Follow the rest of the recipe as instructed.

Turkey and greens

Turkey and greens Preparation time: 15 min.
Nutrition: 500kcal.

Ingredients (makes two snack portions):
  • 7 oz turkey breast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 bell peppers (any color) (~4 oz)
  • 1 peach (~6 oz)
  • 2 garlic clove (~⅓ oz)
  • 1 cups kale (chopped) (~2 ¼ oz)
  • ⅓ tsp black pepper
  • a tiny bit of salt

  1. Cut the turkey breast into cubes and steam the cubes over a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the turkey when is done and steam the chopped kale for 7 to 10 minutes or until just tender.
  3. Peel and chop the garlic. Wash and then slice the peppers.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  5. Sauté the garlic and sliced peppers for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the steamed kale and mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, place the veggies on a plate and top with the turkey.
  8. Eat peach as dessert.

For more leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipes, download the 8fit app and try our pro account.