Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey is the best. The turkey, cranberry and cream cheese sandwich is a dish I look forward to every year. The Turkey Tetrazzini is said to be better than the Thanksgiving meal itself. Feeling guilty? The quinoa and the salad help give you the nutrient boost you're craving after your carbo-loading day of thanks. 

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey is the best. The turkey, cranberry and cream cheese sandwich is a dish I look forward to every year. The Turkey Tetrazzini is said to be better than the Thanksgiving meal itself. Feeling guilty? The quinoa and the salad help give you the nutrient boost you're craving after your carbo-loading day of thanks. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, melaniewinters.com is a compensated affiliate, meaning we may make a small commission when you click on/purchase something through the links in this post. 


I hate leftovers. But I LOVE leftover Thanksgiving. Heck, I made 27 pounds of Turkey for 20 people just to make sure I had some leftovers. While the carb-induced slumber I just awoke from is not something I wish to repeat on a daily basis, I will certainly take one for the team to enjoy a creamy turkey tetrazzini, or a Turkey-Cranberry-Cream-Cheese Sandwich. Don't worry though, my first two leftover turkey go-to's will add a bit of health back into your day and get you back on track just in time to binge-eat again Christmas Eve. 

Turkey, Spinach & Tomato Quinoa

Leftover Turkey Quinoa-1030909.jpg

This is an easy dump and bake recipe that helps get some fresh vegetables in, as well as that superfood we all know and love - quinoa. I was never a fan of quinoa's "earthy" flavor, but knowing that it is packed full of fiber, high-quality protein, iron and potassium, I've learned to love it and brighten up it's taste with other great ingredients. 

Ingredients

1 c. quinoa

2 c. chicken stock 

6 T. butter (3/4 of a stick)

1 clove garlic - minced 

salt, pepper, kabob or poultry seasoning to taste 

3 roma tomatoes- chopped

2 large handfuls of baby spinach

1 1/2 - 2 c. chopped cooked turkey

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large sauce-pan, bring quinoa and chicken stock to a boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cook covered for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender (stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan). 

In a small-sauce-pan, melt one stick of butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and seasonings and cook over low for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Once quinoa is ready. Add tomatoes, spinach, turkey and half of the butter mixture and stir to combine.  Spray a 2.5 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, dump mixture in and spread evenly. Brush top with melted butter.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5-10 minutes. 


Serves: 4-6 

Time: 1 hour


Sun Basket 3 Meals Free

Turkey and Apple Salad

This ones more recipe inspiration than actual recipe. You could also go above and beyond and make your own balsamic dressing but this was a quick and easy, throw together in 2 minutes dinner to help deflate after carbo-loading so I used store-bought. 

Ingredients

A couple handfuls of chopped romaine. 

A couple handfuls of baby spinach. 

1 Granny-Smith Apple- chopped

1 c. chopped cooked turkey

Brianna's Homestyle New American Creamy Balsamic Dressing

 

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients. Add dressing to taste (I use 2-3 T.). Serve immediately.



Turkey Tetrazzini

Okay so this one isn't a healthy, let's slim down before Christmas binging, sort of meal. But it's my husband's one, leftover turkey request so I will oblige. Plus, you can't go wrong with wine-cooked mushrooms, cream cheese and bacon. I couldn't even try to reinvent the wheel on this because Ree Drummond's recipe is to die for. Check it out, here.  To make it gluten free, use Bob's Redmill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and Barilla's Gluten Free Spaghetti. 

I love making a giant batch of this and having leftovers for the entire week. It takes a bit of time in the kitchen to prepare, but that's time saved during those busy weeknights!

I love making a giant batch of this and having leftovers for the entire week. It takes a bit of time in the kitchen to prepare, but that's time saved during those busy weeknights!

My husband honestly just said, "this is better than the real deal - we should just make this for Thanksgiving". Leftover success. 

My husband honestly just said, "this is better than the real deal - we should just make this for Thanksgiving". Leftover success. 


Turkey-Cranberry Sandwich

Serve a half-sandwich with that Turkey Apple Salad or a cup of soup and you're not doing too bad health-wise.  This is the sandwich I have in mind as I'm cooking up that beautiful Thanksgiving turkey and planning for leftovers. This is the sandwich I crave all year long, but refuse to make until this magical time of year, making it all the more special and delicious. 

Grab some bread (Udi's or Canyon Bakehouse or my go-to's for Gluten Free). 

Toast the bread. 

Spread cream cheese on the bread. 

Spread some cranberry sauce over that. 

Top with leftover turkey. 

Enjoy. 

Turkey-Cranberry Sandwich
Turkey-Cranberry-Cream-Cheese Sandwich

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