Thanksgiving Leftover Salad

After the Thanksgiving dinner feast, I love to get creative with so many leftovers. To take a break from carbs (and stay in my healthy eating plan), I avoid potatoes, yams, and mac-and-cheese. I do love to use turkey, a lean protein, along with any greens and mix them with a healthy superfood, like quinoa. Quinoa finds its origins in the Andes of Peru where Incas called it the “mother grain” because of its nutritional value. It is not a grain but a pseudocereal (like buckwheat) and it has a high content of protein as well as amino acids, iron, and more!

Thanksgiving Leftover Salad by Alejandra Schrader

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups leftover turkey (boneless, skinless) diced in ½” cubes
  • 1 cup leftover green beans
  • ¾ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse and drain quinoa. In a medium saucepan, combine turkey broth, quinoa, and garlic; set on stove at medium-high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest with the lid on for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff quinoa using a fork into a medium bowl and let it cool.

In a blender, combine cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Blend on high.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, green beans, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add fluffed quinoa and half of the dressing. Toss to coat. Add additional dressing couple of spoons at a time, if needed, until desired consistency is reached.

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