Kidney Diet Tips

Thanksgiving Tips for Leftover Turkey

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. You wake up from your post-Thanksgiving day food coma only to find that you are left with a full plate of leftover turkey. Let’s be honest. There are only so many boring roast turkey sandwiches you can eat before you won’t want to even look at turkey again until next November! I’ve gathered 10 turkey recipes from DaVita that can turn your leftover bird into new, flavorful dishes you’ll actually enjoy.

Tip:  For recipes that call for ground turkey, finely chop your leftover turkey and substitute it instead. For recipes that call for their own seasonings, pull off the skin.

Here are some other quick and easy options for using leftovers.

  • Spread cream cheese and cranberry sauce on a flour tortilla. Add sliced turkey. Top with a lettuce leaf and a sprinkle of black pepper (if desired).
  • Add leftover turkey and fresh veggies to chopped lettuce to create a chef salad.
  • Add leftover turkey and vegetables to cooked pasta. Toss with oil and vinegar salad dressing. Add your favorite low-sodium seasoning blend.
  • Add leftover turkey and vegetables to scrambled eggs. (Wrap in a flour tortilla for a breakfast burrito.)
  • Need ideas for the rest of your Thanksgiving leftovers? Check out DaVita recipes for more ideas.

Food Safety Tips:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends cooking all poultry to an internal temperature of 165° F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Bacteria grow rapidly between 40-140° F. Try to keep cold foods below 40° F and hot foods above 140° F to prevent bacteria growth.
  • All perishable foods that have been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be thrown away. (To avoid having to throw away food, try to get any leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking it.)
  • To cool food rapidly, divide it into smaller dishes or cut it into smaller pieces. This will help it reach the refrigerator-safe temperature of below 40° F.
  • Once sealed in airtight packaging or storage containers, leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or frozen for 3 to 4 months.
  • Reheat all leftovers to an internal temperature of 165° F.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tip?

Natalie Sexton, MS, RDN, CSR, LD

Natalie Sexton, MS, RDN, CSR, LD

Natalie is a registered dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition. She has and continues to work in many different healthcare settings including acute care hospitals, LTACHs, nursing homes, private practice, wellness companies, outpatient clinics, research, and writing. She stays busy but loves all of her jobs! When she’s not working, she fills her time with family, friends, pets, gardening, crafting, reading, and learning new hobbies.