5 Healthy Thanksgiving Leftover Hacks You Need To Try


It’s Thanksgiving and everyone at the table just stuffed themselves to the brim. 

Grandma is already on the couch knocked out in a food coma, sis can’t look at another pumpkin pie without feeling nauseous, and dad had to move his belt back 3 spots just to feel like his pants still fit.   

You glance over at the counter and notice you have more food to pack up than you started with! 

Three people roasted turkeys, grandma brought a ham, and everyone thought they were on cranberry sauce duty. 

Instead of eating Thanksgiving dinner for the next five days straight, why not turn those leftovers into some healthy and tasty treats that taste better than a microwave meal. 

Do yourself and your taste buds a favor and check out these 5 Healthy Thanksgiving Leftover hacks!

Thanksgiving Soup 

Did your family tear through the Thanksgiving turkey? Don’t throw away the bones! The leftover turkey carcass is rich in minerals and healthy nutrients like vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. 

Bone broth is healing to the gut, it reduces inflammation, improves digestion, and restores collagen in the body. So toss your turkey bones and any meat scraps remaining into your stockpot to make a delicious and nutritious Thanksgiving turkey bone broth

You can use the stock in a variety of dishes, drink it plain for its nutritional benefits, or create a tasty Thanksgiving Soup with your holiday leftovers. 

Thanksgiving Casserole 

While the word “casserole” might bring to mind canned green beans and condensed soup, casseroles can be healthy if you pick the right ingredients. 

Your Thanksgiving leftover casserole can be as simple or complicated as you make it. For a quick fix, simply take all your favorite ingredients from your leftovers and layer them in an oven-safe dish to bake. 

In this tasty Thanksgiving Casserole recipe, you’ll get all the complementary and comforting holiday tastes with a bit of crunch from the chopped pecan topping. Feel free to swap out ingredients, add seasoning, or make your own version that meets your dietary preferences. 

Use mashed cauliflower or sweet potatoes instead of white mashed potatoes. Swap in green beans for brussels sprouts. Serve with a little turkey gravy or add a layer of leftover sausage from your stuffing ingredients. Make your own signature casserole that your family can enjoy as a tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. 

The Ultimate Turkey Sandwich

In 1976, a small sandwich shop opened in Little Italy, Wilmington, Delaware created the iconic Delaware sandwich. Named after their beloved aunt, the Bobbie is made with slow-roasted and pulled turkey, cranberry sauce, and homemade stuffing on a freshly baked roll. Today, Bobbie’s are to Delaware what cheesesteaks are to Philly. 

While famous, this sandwich isn’t complicated to make. Plus, you can customize it however you want when you’re whipping it up in your own kitchen. Toast some seeded or sprouted bread, add a schmear of primal kitchen mayo, some leafy greens, leftover turkey, a layer of cranberry sauce, and a sprinkling of stuffing. 

No one likes a dry sandwich, so this recipe recommends using gravy to add some moisture to your turkey sandwich. 

Thanksgiving Super Salad

Breakfasts and lunches are great opportunities to eat strategically “healthy” during the holiday months. With a tasty, protein-and-produce-packed smoothie for breakfast and a delicious thanksgiving salad for lunch, you’ll have a much healthier day, even if dinner with the whole family isn’t the most nutritious. 

During the holidays, carbs come in all forms. Stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, sweetbreads, and baked treats fill our tables. To keep your carbs a little lower, grab a few handfuls of your favorite greens and top them with some turkey and other Thanksgiving leftovers you love. 

This Thanksgiving salad combines greens, turkey, and cranberry sauce with sliced fennel, peeled carrot, toasted almonds, and blue cheese crumbles. Toss the greens in some cranberry sauce or a homemade lemon balsamic vinaigrette that pairs perfectly with roasted turkey. 

Thanksgiving Leftover Dessert

If you managed to scavenge some cranberry sauce away from your hungry family, there are plenty of ways to turn this tart sauce into a sweet treat. My favorite is this Leftover Cranberry Sauce Bread. It’s full of filling flax seeds, warm holiday spices, and, of course, the tart taste of cranberries. 

Perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as a simple dessert after dinner, serve this bread warm or cooled with a dollop of cranberry sauce on top. 

Staying healthy during the holidays just got a lot easier…

These 5 Thanksgiving leftover recipes will make sure that nothing goes to waste. Try one or all of them out this week, and enjoy your leftovers in a way that honors and supports your body and health. 

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