10 Holiday Leftover Makeover Recipes

Best uses of holiday leftovers ever! Can't wait for leftovers to try these! #holidayleftovermakeover

If you haven't yet heard, FitCakes is in the midst of a recipe roundup-athon for the 12 days of Christmas! And I'm getting all the healthy food bloggers out there involved! I've been meeting all kinds of amazing people and finding sooo many great healthy recipes to try while helping you find the best recipes on the interweb for the holiday season!


Check out the countdown so far:

On the 12th day of Christmas, FitCakes gave to me 12 Healthy Small Bites Recipes


On the 11th Day of Christmas, FitCakes gave to me 11 Kid-Friendly Recipes!


Now there are just TEN days until Christmas.  Does that not blow your mind?  


I think I just heard an explosion - I'll take that as a yes.


From now until New Years, the days are sure to be filled with lots of parties, family/friends over for dinner, and neighborhood Iron-Chef competitions.  Right?  



Alright, the neighborhood Iron-Chef competitions aren't a thing.  Yet.  Still working on that... let me know if you're in the area, we'll totally make this happen.



Still, there is going to be - maybe there already is - more leftover food taking over the fridge than you imagined possible.  I always feel like somehow it multiplies on its own... I mean, I couldn't really have cooked all that in the last 24 hours, could I?  I'm sure at some point I would have realized there are only two people living in my house...



I guess you could chalk it up to all the excitement of the holiday season and the crazy-good looking photos of food all over the interweb.  Regardless, I knew you'd be in search of something - ANYTHING - to do to pare down that pile of sweet potatoes/turkey/gravy/green beans/tofu/whatever.  And of course, we are trying desperately not to gain ten thousand pounds while we're at it.  No, seriously, it's a concern of mine... ten thousand pounds would be a few thousand too many...



So I did the hard work and rounded up some of the best-looking and best uses of common ingredients.  And, hey.  Even if you somehow don't have all the leftovers each one requires... they are all worth MAKING SOME for!





1.  Farmer's Market Burrito Bowl

This burrito bowl is what I love to make when I have a bunch of random leftover ingredients.  Ubiquitous dinner-party foods like rice pilaf, salad, beans, tortilla chips, turkey - or any other meat, really - tend to pile up around the house after hosting.  And as much as I looove eating the same. exact. meal. day after day to finish leftovers... I think transforming them into something completely different might be a little more fun.  Besides, this recipe is all spicy and zesty-like, everything will taste totally new!  Yes.  It's pretty much magic. 

2.  Whipped Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Crostini

This recipe caught my eye because, fact #1 - we always get leftover mashed sweet potatoes after the holidays.  Don't we?  And, fact #2 - it was beyond high-time sweet potatoes got turned into a spread.  If you just have leftover baked sweet potatoes, you can start with the from-scratch spread she provides here.  But if your mashed sweet potatoes are already made (say, with this healthified recipe) add a little goat cheese as per her suggestion, and finish the gorgeous crostini presentation you find here!  PS. I'd use this one to impress any imminent/still-hanging-around guests and/or as a pre-workout meal for the healthy, slow-burning carbs it offers.

3.  Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Pesto Panini

Of course there had to be a sandwich or two in this mix.  But only the best ones got by my radar today!  This one goes beyond your average (well, maybe just my average) holiday-meal flavors with delectable Italian flair.  Try this with a whole-wheat version of the bread to boost nutrition, and make an easy, lightened-up pesto with this recipe, here!

4.  Vegan + GF Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

This is so completely gourmet and overly delicious-looking that I keep almost trying to reach through my computer screen to take a bite of this sandwich.  If only.  The fact that it is vegan makes it, if possible, even cooler, because I think if there is one way to get more folks to eat more plant food it is to make it dang delicious!  Besides, what better way to get the most out of sooo many leftovers?

5.  Cranberry Filled Gingerbread Muffins

These decadent-lookin' babies are actually vegan (and breakfast) friendly, but they look like a scrumptious dessert!  Plus, it gives your cranberry sauce a new lease on life you might not have thought of before.  Sure, I've used it as a spread for bread and mixed it into yogurt, but in GINGERBREAD MUFFINS?  Soo down with this idea.

6.  Skinny Turkey + Wild Rice Soup

UM, can you say comfort food?  What sounds more comfy than hot soup when it's cold outside, anyway?  Of course, soup is practically the first thing that comes to my mind when I'm trying to use up leftover turkey and veggies, but I picked this one for the roundup because it screams of coziness, what with all that wild rice and creaminess involved!

7.  Thanksgiving Leftovers Quiche

I think Immaeatthat.  This really simple recipe is super healthy, versatile, and great for making ONE meal (which - hey! - means not making MORE leftovers!)  Thank you, Kylie, for letting me know how easy it is to make a quiche, because sometimes we totally do need something this straightforward.  I mean, who says healthy eating ever has to be complicated?

8.  Leftover Turkey Pho Recipe

So THAT'S how you pronounce "pho"?  I can't believe I've been saying it wrong this whole time!  Besides that really helpful announcement in her blog post, Christine (clearly) has drool-worthy pics to accompany her healthy take on leftover turkey soup.  Heck, I don't even want to wait for leftovers to make this one!

9.  Turkey + Sweet Potato Taquitos + Jalepeno Cranberry Sauce

You're ready for something wild and different, right?  Totally off-the-charts and amazing like you'd find in some trendy new restaurant.  I know - I feel that too!  Enter this bad-boy.  Actually, it just looks like a bad boy - that's the best part.  These are baked to a crisp and they clearly pack in the flavor without restraint, so the fact that they are healthy enough to dig into is a GIANT plus.  No sweet potatoes mashed up yet?  PSST - you'll want to make these!  (Just so you have another excuse to try these recipes, of course!)

10.  Turkey Pot Pie + Sweet Potato Biscuits

How have I not made this yet? Those sweet potato biscuits are taunting me, they look so soft and fluffy.  I'm going to get into this one ASAP, and see how they do using whole wheat flour!  What do you think?  Excited for leftovers yet?  Me too!