For me, the best part of roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas (or anytime for that matter) is all the delicious recipes you can make from the leftover turkey.
Have you been stuck with loads of leftover turkey and wondered how to repurpose it without piling on the pounds? Well, you’re in luck! This article is all about turning those extra turkey bits into yummy dishes that won’t wreck your Weight Watchers plan.
After the big Thanksgiving holiday feast, our fridges are often filled with turkey, and it’s time to get creative. We’re on a mission to find easy and healthy ways to use up that leftover bird. From soups to salads and hearty mains, we’ve got your back with recipes that not only taste great but are also light and healthy.
Cooked turkey can be used in so many ways. You can use it anywhere you would use cooked chicken – in rice dishes and in Mexican dishes like quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and nachos and in all kinds of soups, stews and chilies.
I’m a big fan of leftover turkey noodle soup, turkey sandwiches, soups and leftover turkey casseroles.
And as I focus on healthy eating and weight loss, I’m on the lookout for for ways to lighten-up old family favorite dishes. So, I’ve gathered a great collection of light and healthy leftover turkey recipes all in one place so they’re here when I need them.
A long-time go-to wild rice casserole, perfect with after-Thanksgiving leftover turkey. And so easy since it’s made in the slow cooker.
Impossibly Easy Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie Made Lighter – A comfort food favorite from freezer and pantry staples that comes together in minutes and always satisfies! A delightful way to use up leftover turkey or chicken.
Dig into a pot pie with a new twist. You’ll find wild rice in the savory veggie-rich filling and the Bisquick® topping. (Found at Betty Crocker.)
Skinny Chicken & Broccoli Casserole – You can substitute leftover turkey for the chicken in this lightened up version of Mom’s favorite chicken & broccoli casserole.
This Chicken (or Turkey) Apple Stuffing Casserole – Creamy and comforting, this casserole is another easy and delicious family-favorite recipe that starts with shredded cooked chicken breast, turkey breast or leftover rotisserie chicken and only requires a handful of additional ingredients. Low in fat and calories, it mixes together in minutes and needs about 30 minutes to bake. If you have enough leftover stuffing, from you Thanksgiving dinner, this recipe will come together even quicker.
Crock Pot Turkey Vegetable Barley Soup – This is one of those easy dump and stir recipes that takes just a few minutes to toss together. Perfect after a long weekend of cooking, when you’re ready to take it extra easy in the kitchen.
Slow Cooker Turkey Green Chile Chowder – This slow cooker turkey green chili chowder reminded me of my mom’s corn chowder, only zippier and heartier, thanks to the addition of green chilies and turkey.
Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Leftovers Soup – It may not be the prettiest soup ever, but we all thought it was pretty darned good. Tasty and comforting.
Crock Pot Turkey Broth – Making turkey or chicken broth (stock) is pretty easy anyway, but using a slow cooker makes the process virtually effortless. For very little work you are rewarded with several cups of delicious homemade broth, free of the artificial stuff often found in the boxed kind
Spicy Turkey, Apple & Spinach Panini – What’s not to like about thinly sliced apples, smoked turkey, spinach and cheddar layered between spicy mayo smeared multigrain bread and grilled until toasty and melty? Substitute leftover turkey for the smoked deli turkey in this panini.
Substitute leftover cooked turkey in this ever popular chicken salad with apples and cranberries. One of the post popular recipes on Simple Nourished Living, it has been shared more than 250 thousand times for good reason.
Substitute cooked turkey in this flavorful curried chicken salad recipe. It’s a tasty combination of sweet and spicy with lots of crunch from the celery and apples.
More Turkey Sandwich Ideas for Weight Watchers
Healthier Turkey Artichoke Panini – Gobble away guilt-free with this lighter turkey panini. Found at Betty Crocker.
Skinny Turkey Cuban – Leftover turkey breast makes a great, lighter alternative to roast pork in this healthier Cuban and it’s a great way to use your leftover turkey this Thanksgiving. Found at SkinnyTaste.
Hungry Girl Turkey Cranberry Grilled Cheese – Made with light bread and light laughing cow cheese from Hungry Girl.
Skinny Turkey & Provolone Panini – Turkey, provolone, roasted red peppers and light chipotle mayo on light wheat bread. found at Laaloosh.
Healthy Turkey Sandwich with Spicy Cranberry Chutney – A healthy spiced up turkey sandwich from Health Magazine found at MyRecipes. Lighten it up further by using light bread or a sandwich thin.
More Weight Watchers Friendly Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she’s not experimenting in the kitchen, you’re likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan’s ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
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originally published 11/2018; republished with updated content and photos 11/2023