Holiday Leftovers: 5 Wonderful Ways To Serve Turkey

When the relatives leave and the garland droops, only the turkey remains. Here's how to make the most of your leftover Christmas bird.

At the holidays, as long as a meal is made with love and enjoyed in good company, it can't be bad for you. If that describes Christmas for you, great! If not, well, there's always leftovers.

No yuletide spread is finished until leftover foods are sent home to loved ones in containers and tins. The only problem is that many of us only eat turkey once or twice each year. So when we open that foil-wrapped plate on December 27, we're at a loss as to what to do with it. We numbly slather the turkey in coagulated gravy, pile up some diet-destroying dressing, and nuke the whole mess in the microwave until it bubbles.

There must be a better way. Luckily, there is! Turkey is a versatile and lean protein source?leaner than chicken?and it works well as the centerpiece of a number of quick, healthy meals. Let's meat (ha!) a few of them.

1. Creamy Turkey Skillet

When you need a hot dinner that can be adapted to whatever you have in the fridge or the pantry, a creamy turkey skillet fits the bill. Loaded with fiber and good fats, it will you keep you satisfied for hours.

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2. Creamy Turkey Pasta Salad

If you're on a mass-building diet plan, this cold turkey salad dish offers a great change of pace from the onslaught of eggs, sweet potatoes, and protein shakes. The grapes and celery help make it refreshing and crunchy, and it lasts well enough over a couple of days to pack to work. Nutritionally, it offers a good combination of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

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3. Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Following a dietary scheme during winter can be a cold and lonely assignment, but a hot bowl of soup makes for the perfect savory, guilt-free pick-me-up. Tailor this classic recipe to your favorite vegetables, or one you've been curious to try, like kale. You can't go wrong.

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4. Mexican Turkey Soup

There may be no better way to use up leftover turkey than to make up a batch of turkey soup. But don't think you're limited to soups where the dominant flavor is broth.

This non-traditional recipe is loaded in antioxidant content, high in protein, and packs plenty of fiber. Sprinkle some cumin, chipotle, or chili pepper in while it's cooking, and your house will smell as good as the soup tastes!

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5. Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that some people just can't deny themselves. Luckily, it works just as well with turkey as with fatty pork and beef. With oatmeal and salsa for fiber and a flavor kick, this unique take on meatloaf tastes just as good cold (like in a meatloaf sandwich) as it does as a hot dinner. Feel free to add any other diced vegetables as desired.

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