Planning to declare you’re all turkey-ed out after Thanksgiving? You’ll be singing a different tune when you find out how good the bird is for your body. A serving of the lean meat (dark or white) will stoke your muscles with 27 to 30 grams of protein. That means turkey falls right in the range of the perfect post-workout way to refuel. Plus, we’ve got some creative (and scrumptious!) turkey recipes you won’t want to miss.
So whether you start from scratch to roast a whole turkey breast or you’re just looking for inventive ways to cook up your leftovers, you’ll want to add these tender, tasty turkey recipes to your holiday meal plan.
9 Turkey Recipes That Take Leftovers to the Next Level
Start from scratch with this simple aromatic-infused roast turkey recipe. Fall flavor faves — like rosemary, sage and thyme — season the meat in a brilliant way. These herbs, plus lemon and garlic, get stuffed inside the turkey to make it taste amazing from the inside out. Photo and recipe: Blair Lonergan / The Seasoned Mom
Inspired by Cantonese takeout (with fewer carbs, fat and sodium — and zero gluten), this chow fun recipe gives new life to the blank canvas of zucchini ribbons and turkey leftovers. Sesame, garlic, tamari and ginger are all in the mix alongside heaps of veggies. So dig in! Photo and recipe: Lindsay Cotter / Cotter Crunch
Use mayo made with olive oil to get a dose of healthy fats alongside your protein in this creamy recipe. Once you mix it, let it chill for 20 or more minutes. Then pile the turkey salad on bread, tuck it inside a tortilla or pita or scoop it up with crackers or veggies. Photo and recipe: Keri / Fashionable Foods
The classic Caesar salad and signature holiday side dish (aka sweet spuds) join forces in this creative dish. It includes shredded turkey on top with dried cranberries, too. The coconut oil and olive oil in the dressing also add a dose of filling fats that help your body absorb vitamin A from the potato, too. Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Simple Roots Wellness
When you’ve had your fill of all-American cuisine, transform turkey bites into an Indian-inspired dinner masterpiece. This one comes chock-full of immunity-boosting spices like turmeric, curry and ginger. A handful of red lentils thicken the texture and amp up the protein factor even more. Photo and recipe: Sarah Barnes / Taming Twins
Calling for four cups of turkey, turkey stock, cranberries, wine and herbs, this entree risotto is the perfect dinner post-T-day. It doesn’t even require constant stirring to achieve its creamy texture. So you’ll have time to hide your holiday gift purchases (or take a trot or two around the block) will it cooks. Photo and recipe: Lori Yates / Foxes Love Lemons
Balsamic and basil form the key ingredients that take this lean protein option on a trip to Italy. Toss the marinated turkey bites with quinoa, leafy greens or spiralized veggies, then use on top of pizza or mix with scrambled eggs. Photo and recipe: Christel Oerum / The Fit Blog
Two of the best foods of the fall, in one delish dish! A can of vitamin A- and potassium-packed pumpkin and a pinch of antioxidant-rich cinnamon lend even more fall flavor (and nutrition) to this quick-cooking turkey chili. A cup is the perfect partner to a slice of cornbread or whole-wheat crackers. Photo and recipe: Abbey Sharp / Abbey’s Kitchen
When you’re feeding one rather than a whole crowd, try this cheesy takeover. One of the easiest turkey recipes on the list, it’s a quick way to cook up those leftovers into a comfort food-style meal. To crank up the fiber, toss some leftover veggies between the tortillas before grilling, too. Photo and recipe: Danielle Green / The Creative Bite