So Much Leftover Turkey!

On Thanksgiving, you cooked a bird big enough to feed the entire family, and now there’s leftover turkey for DAYS. What to do with it? Do you…

a) keep pretending that it’s still Thanksgiving and heap platefuls with all the trimmings (even though you’re getting totally bored with that)…


b) find ways to transform (and dare I say “elevate”) the turkey?

Elevate the Turkey

I don’t know about y’all, but I can only eat the same meal so many times, before I get really bored. So, after maybe a couple platefuls, I’m ready for some transformation.

I try to stay away from too much animal fat, because it makes my arthritis worse. Also, I’m not going low enough on the carbs to justify heaping on the fat, if you know what I mean. Plus, plant foods are what I’m really after, on a daily basis. So, I’m not likely to be making turkey pot pie or other super rich things with my leftover turkey. I did that last year and it tasted amazing, but I was also hurting for days, so I’ve learned my lesson.

Leftover Turkey? Make turkey pomegranate salad.

More Plants, Please!

Instead, I am looking for ways that I can pair the leftover turkey with anti-inflammatory foods.

How can I steer away from traditional ‘Merican fare and give it some lighter, healthier, Mediterranean flair, while still bringing lots of flavor?

One way is to make a salad. And not just “turkey salad”, smothered in mayo, a la chicken salad….but turkey in an actual salad, with greens, fruit, nuts, cheese, and dressing. That’s my kind of salad.

The Wonders of the Pomegranate

Don’t get me wrong. I love cranberries. But, at this point, I’ve used them in so many different ways and I’m ready for something different.

You know what’s also ripe and ready for the holiday season? Pomegranates! They are so full of nutrients and antioxidants, which is indicated by all of that rich red pigment. By the way, if you should get one that is really pale on the inside, rather than a rich red, it’s not actually ripe. You might want to take it back to the store and try again.

I’m always interested in the spiritual meanings of foods, because that helps me set my intention and I LIVE on intention.

Pomegranates are believed to have been planted by Aphrodite, the Goddess of love. They symbolize beauty, love & abundance, among other things. So, around this time of year, when I’m wanting to celebrate the abundance that I have and call in more, I look for pomegranates, at the store. 

The Salad Components

For the bed, I used sweet baby lettuces, which come pre-washed and packaged, by Whole Foods.

I had some activated pecans in my fridge, as well, which are an autumn staple over here, at Chez Claire.

I realize that crumbled bleu cheese doesn’t exactly scream “AUTUMN!”, but I knew it would be fab with this combination and I was right.

I made a lemon herb vinaigrette to toss this in, as well. Oh my Goddess, so good!


You’ll get about 600 calories from this salad, with 16 net carbs, 34 grams of protein, and 43 grams of fat. It’s very high in Vitamin A and has a good amount of Vitamin C, calcium, iron, and will meet about 7% of your daily potassium needs.

More Carbs, Anyone?

Let’s say you were going to eat this salad, before working out, and you needed to add more carbs, without going overboard. What to do?

You could throw some white cannelini beans into the mix. They have a rather neutral flavor and would give you about 15 grams of net carbs, per half cup serving. If you want to be mindful of calories, maybe nix the chicken and just do the beans. Cannelini beans add a lovely soft texture to this salad, as well, which is a nice contrast to the crunchy greens, pecans, and pomegranate seeds.

Turkey Pomegranate Salad, made with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving

Turkey Pomegranate Salad

Claire Amber
A fresh way to use some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, this delicious salad is relatively low-carb.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 1 person
Calories 600 kcal


  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 large spoon
  • 1 plate
  • 1 fork


  • 3 oz turkey thigh, sliced
  • 1 oz pecans, chopped
  • 1 oz crumbled bleu cheese
  • 2 oz sweet baby lettuces (wash and packaged) Whole Foods brand.
  • 1/5 whole pomegranate Cut a section out and remove seeds and pith from the peel.
  • 2 tbsp lemon herb vinaigrette Homemade, see link to recipe in the notes.


  • Slice the turkey into bite-sized pieces.
  • Chop the pecans.
  • If you're concerned about the pomegranate staining your cutting board, lay a piece of plastic wrap down, first.
  • Slice a section of the pomegranate out, making two lengthwise cuts towards the center, about 2 inches apart.
  • Remove the seeds from the peel and put in a small bowl.
  • Put the lettuce, turkey, bleu cheese crumbles, pomegranate seeds, and pecan pieces into a mixing bowl that's big enough to toss the salad.
  • Pour two tablespoons of the lemon herb vinaigrette on the salad and toss.
  • Taste.
  • Add more salt or pepper, if desired. Toss again.
  • Plate and serve.
  • Enjoy!


The recipe for the lemon herb dressing can be found by going to the following link: Herb Vinaigrette
KeywordsLeftover turkey, Low-carb, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving leftovers, Turkey

More Low-Carb Leftover Turkey Ideas

What other low-carb things could you make with your leftover turkey? Well, there’s turkey bone broth, turkey vegetable soup, turkey chaffle sandwiches, turkey casserole, and a whole slew of other dishes that are slim on the carbs, but filling and wholesome.

Almost anything that you can make with chicken, you can make with turkey. So, what are your favorite ways to use a chicken? Get creative! One thing that comes to mind is turkey tossed with pesto sauce and baked, with mozzarella cheese melted on top. I’m going to have to try that, especially since I have some pesto sauce in the freezer, from my last batch. Yum!

Kalyn’s Kitchen has put together a really nice composition of leftover turkey recipes and ideas, if you want to check that out.

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Would you try this recipe? What’s your favorite way to use leftover turkey? I’d love to know if you found this post to be helpful or if you have any questions. Please feel free to leave a comment, below. 

Love and Blessings!

Claire Amber, Fired Up Diva

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