Thanksgiving leftovers are a blessing and a curse — they're delicious and save you from cooking, but they're not always calorie-friendly. And while you may be eager to get back to healthy eating after a holiday of indulgence, the tempting fridge full of food can hold you back.
No one likes to throw out food, and with these healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes, you'll be able to get back on track and put the extras to good use.
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1. Turkey Pumpkin Soup
If you've got some leftover turkey and pumpkin, this recipe combines these ingredients into a delicious soup that requires just 20 minutes to prepare and makes a great high-protein, low-fat meal.
Thanks to the pumpkin, this recipe supplies 4 grams of fiber per serving. Especially after a holiday feast, prioritizing high-fiber foods will help regulate digestion and can help prevent spikes in blood sugar, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Get the Turkey Pumpkin Soup recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Sweet Potato Salad
Now's the time to get creative with those leftover sweet potatoes. This salad skips the mayo for a healthier potato salad alternative. At only 114 calories per serving, this dish makes a great side to your leftover turkey.
Sweet potatoes are especially high in vitamin A, providing more than 500 percent of your daily recommended value per tater. Vitamin A helps support your immune function, vision and reproductive system, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Get the Sweet Potato Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Thanksgiving Leftovers Eggs Benedict
Enjoy your leftovers first thing in the morning with this 20-minute egg recipe. Eggs are also loaded with choline, a lesser-known but essential nutrient. While most of the systems in your body use choline to function properly, it's especially important for your brain health, including your memory, mood and muscle function, according to the NIH.
Get the Thanksgiving Leftover Eggs Benedict recipe from The Endless Meal.
4. Turkey Tacos
Mix up your meal prep with these turkey tacos. Instead of sour cream, this recipe uses plain yogurt, which is a great natural source of probiotics, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Probiotics (good gut bacteria) not only promote digestive health but can also help your body's nutrient absorption and immune function.
Get the Turkey Tacos recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Gluten-Free Turkey Roll-Ups
Many of us experience some bloating after Thanksgiving dinner — luckily, the asparagus in this dish can help reduce some of those effects. Asparagus contains potassium, which can help counteract sodium-induced bloating.
This gluten-free wrap makes the perfect on-the-go lunch. It features romaine leaves stuffed with bell pepper strips, asparagus spears, brown rice and sliced turkey. Don't have cooked rice on hand? Feel free to make it from scratch, but be sure to add extra water. Stickier rice binds together and is less likely to spill out of the wraps.
Get the Gluten-Free Turkey Roll-Ups recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Leftover Stuffin' Muffins
Wondering what to do with your leftover stuffing? Enjoy it as an on-the-go breakfast with this simple, healthy savory muffin recipe.
The spinach in these muffins is also a great way to increase your overall iron intake. Just a half cup of spinach packs 17 percent of your daily iron needs, according to the NIH. Iron is a crucial mineral for overall bone and muscle health.
Get the Leftover Stuffin' Muffins recipe and nutrition info from Budget Byte$.
7. Turkey Red Curry
Incorporating some spicy foods into your meal can help warm you up, especially as colder weather sets in. This turkey curry recipe will not only provide a hefty amount of protein (41 grams) but will also give you a good serving of vegetables.
Although you may typically associate vitamin C with citrus fruits, broccoli — a key player in this recipe — actually provides 85 percent of your daily recommended value, according to the NIH. Vitamin C is not only great for boosting immunity, but it also helps your body process protein.
Get the Turkey Red Curry recipe and nutrition info here.