This holiday season is flying by already! My husband Michael and I spent Thanksgiving in St. Barts like we always do, but that never stops me from drooling over all of the juicy turkey, cornbread stuffing, and creamy mashed potatoes on my Instagram feed! We had our family over a week early this year and I wanted to share with you one of my favorite ways to use up those sought-after Thanksgiving leftovers.
You could always turn the turkey bones into stock, make a turkey soup or stack all of those wonderful leftovers between two slices of your favorite sourdough bread for a classic Gobbler sandwich. This year, I went a little healthier and turned my leftovers into a Turkey Chopped Salad with a Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette.
When it comes to easy lunches to prep ahead of time, chopped salads are always my favorite! Once you prep all of the components of your salad, the rest is smooth sailing. Make or buy your favorite dressing and the rest of your week will be hassle-free. Another awesome part about chopped salads is that every bite can be the perfect bite! I love the combination of toasted walnuts, crispy bacon, tangy blue cheese, creamy avocado and juicy plum tomatoes. I can’t think of a better way to use up those leftover turkey breasts. Plus, this tart but sweet vinaigrette really brings it all together!
- 2 boneless, skinless turkey breast fillets, about 1 ½ pounds total, or 1 pound cooked turkey, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, trimmed and finely chopped
- 8 strips (3/4 pound) thick-sliced preservative-free bacon, crisply cooked and finely chopped
- 1/4 pound Roquefort cheese, preferably imported, crumbled
- 2 large plum tomatoes, about 2/3 pound total, trimmed and finely diced
- 4 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and finely chopped
- 1 large black-skinned California avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
- 1 medium-sized red onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium skillet, cover the uncooked turkey fillets with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, turning once or twice. Simmer 5 minutes, turn and simmer until just cooked through while remaining juicy, another 5 minutes.
- Cool the turkey to room temperature in the cooking water. Drain and pat dry. Trim the breasts and cut the meat into ¼-inch cubes.
- In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, bacon and Roquefort cheese. Mound the lettuce mixture in the center of a large wooden salad bowl or a big platter. Around the lettuce arrange mounds of turkey, tomato, egg avocado and red onion. Scatter the walnuts over all. Present the salad at the table, then drizzle it with dressing, season generously with pepper and toss. Plate the salad or let guests serve themselves.
This salad is so refreshing and it really cuts through all of the heavy food we’re eating during the holidays. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know your favorite ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers below.
STAY TUNED because I’ll be showing you some fun cocktails on Instagram LIVE this month! Stay warm out there and be safe.