Some of our favorite tips and recipes to repurpose holiday leftovers

  • 1 Minute Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Don't let holiday leftovers contribute to weight gain. Instead, try these ideas to repurpose calorie-laden, lackluster leftovers into a delicious week of meal planning.

Holiday leftovers

Smart strategies for dealing with holiday leftovers

Some people look forward to leftovers, while others can't imagine eating the same food for several meals. Whatever your opinion, it is best to have a plan for managing them. Check out the ways to deal with all those holiday leftovers and some healthy recipes using them, too.

Strategic freezing

Leftovers make future meals less time-consuming. Gather lean protein, green veggies, and a whole grain in a reusable container. Freeze each container creation for a lunch-to-go or dinner for a night you'd rather not cook.

For leftover desserts, try freezing small, individual servings in plastic snack bags. Avoiding tempting treats when they are out of sight is much easier. Individual dessert servings also defrost more quickly, providing a portion-controlled solution for that sweet tooth.

Repurposing holiday leftovers

Try reusing holiday leftovers and morphing them into something new. Here are a few recipes using common holiday proteins.

Use up to 3 cups of shredded turkey in this classic post-Thanksgiving recipe. Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice from The Seasoned Mom calls for a wild rice blend, adding extra minerals and fiber to this filling soup.

Leftover ham offers loads of flavor in this Leftover Ham and Bean Soup recipe from Jo Cooks. The parsnips and white beans propel the potassium and fiber. Enjoy this soup for lunch or dinner.

If you are a fan of casseroles, you’ll want to save some holiday leftover turkey for this one. A low-fat version of a classic comfort meal, this Turkey-Vegetable Bake from EatingWell uses brown rice and vegetables galore for a complete meal.

Looking for a turkey salad recipe? Save on calories with this Turkey Salad with Grapes, Apples, and Walnuts from Food Done Light by serving inside lettuce cups instead of bread.

Importing and saving recipes

MyNetDiary makes it seamless to import these recipes from the web. Look for the Recipes tab and follow the steps by tapping on "Import Web Recipe." MyNetDiary imports recipe ingredients and directions directly into your personal database. You can make changes if needed and save the recipe as your own for easy and accurate tracking.

Give yourself permission

If your refrigerator is stocked with leftovers you like, why not permit yourself to enjoy them in moderation? Store the leftovers in single-serving portions, then decide when to eat them.

By front-loading the meals into your tracker ahead of time, you can help prevent exceeding your calorie budget and discourage impulsive eating. Check out this article for tips on entering, editing, and sharing recipes in MyNetDiary.

Have a potluck

Finally, if you have an abundance of holiday leftovers, why not reheat them and invite the neighbors over for a potluck? What a great way to enjoy good company and good food and extend your holiday celebrations!

Related content

6 Healthy holiday appetizers that won’t blow your calorie budget

3 Expert strategies to prevent blood sugar spikes this holiday season

Tips to maintain your health goals for the holidays and beyond

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

Holidays / Parties->Thanksgiving Holidays / Parties->Winter Holiday Season
Nov 10, 2023
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

Start Your Free
Food Diary Today

Sign up Devices