Reinventing Thanksgiving Leftovers

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA  

Your Thanksgiving meal is but a distant memory today, or at least you think so. There are more interesting ways to enjoy leftovers besides the notorious Turkey leftover sandwich. Here are some ideas…  

  • Turkey and vegetables over pasta. Simmer turkey and vegetable remains in Bertolli pasta sauce and serve over pasta.
  • Turkey Burritos. Use light whole-wheat tortillas and fill with turkey and vegetables. Top with salsa and bake until warm.
  • When in doubt, cook soup. Whenever I have a ton of leftover vegetables and meats, I throw everything in the slow cooker with water and stock to make a hearty winter soup.


Tips to staying healthy throughout the holidays… 

  • Drink Water: lots of it, to the tune of ½ to one gallon.
  • Exercise: Don’t delay; don’t think about it, just to it. Exercise is completely underrated during the holidays. It’s the best way to control your weight alone with portion control on “non-holiday” days. Physical activity is also a great way to control stress and anxiety during the holiday season.
  • Eat healthy: Focus on fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein (white meat turkey) and whole grains. Eat like this on a regular basis and you’ll find that days like Thanksgiving, Hanukah and Christmas may have no affect on your weight at all.


Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Turkey & Cranberries

Baked sweet potatoes with turkey and cranberries

Total time: 60 minutes

Makes: 2 Servings



  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 8 to 10 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups left over vegetables such as (brussels sprouts, kale, carrots, broccoli)
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries or cranberry sauce.
  • 1 cup shredded or diced cooked turkey
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion or shallot
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon slivered or sliced toasted almonds



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork all around. Rub with olive oil and place in oven on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan to medium heat and add in 1 tablespoon oil.
  3. Add in onion, cook for about 1 minutes, add in vegetables, cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until warmed through.
  4. Add in cranberries and chicken, cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan, stir in mustard and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
  6. Remove sweet potato from oven. Hold potato with a kitchen towel, use a knife to make a lengthwise cut about ¾ of the way through the potato. Using both hands pinch the ends to expose the flesh.
  7. Split vegetables between the two potatoes, fill and serve.

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN