From OHC

November 21, 2022

Chances are, you will be gobbling up a lot of turkey over the next couple of holidays. According to the National Turkey Federation, Americans consume about 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving followed by 22 million turkeys on Christmas. The good news is turkey provides our bodies with plentiful benefits. When the gatherings have passed and the guests have left, what to do with all that leftover turkey?

The hearty and healthy leftover turkey stew recipe below (courtesy of not only takes care of the leftover bird, but it also calls for the remaining gravy and other vegetables you might have. Put this meal together in 20 minutes and fuel your body with these health benefits:

  • Turkey – Loaded with protein, turkey helps your body build and repair bones, muscles, skin, and blood. A high-protein diet will also help manage weight as it can make you feel full. Turkey is rich in vitamins and minerals. The selenium this poultry provides may help your immune system, which is particularly important this season when contagious viruses abound. Moreover, selenium might help prevent some cancers.

    Turkey is considered a low-fat option if you control your portions and do not consume the skin. It is low on the glycemic index so it may help prevent diabetes and heart disease.

    A turkey meal is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help boost brain function. The tryptophan it provides is an amino acid that makes serotonin, a neurotransmitter that impacts mood.

  • Sweet potatoes – Including your leftover sweet potatoes in this stew will give you an excellent source of fiber, which promotes digestive health. You’ll also give your immune system a hand by providing it with vitamins A and C. This orange vegetable contains beta-carotene to support your eyes and potassium to lower blood pressure. Your skin and bones with thank you because sweet potatoes are high in the mineral manganese. Interestingly, this vegetable has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. In case you’re not getting enough protein from the turkey, the sweet potatoes will provide you with more.
  • Green beans – This Thanksgiving staple provides more of the nutritional benefits that sweet potatoes offer, including beta carotene, manganese, fiber, and vitamin C, plus vitamin K to support your blood and bones. Green beans are a cholesterol-free, fat-free food that lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Brussels sprouts – Include these cruciferous vegetables in your stew and give your body abundant advantages as described in our recent blog.

Leftover Turkey Stew


1 tbsp olive oil
1½ cups chopped yellow onion
4 cups unsalted chicken broth
2 cups leftover gravy (see Tip)
4 cups leftover roasted vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cups shredded cooked turkey
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper


Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about six minutes. Add broth and gravy. Let the mixture come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in leftover vegetables and turkey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, two-to-three minutes. Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper.


Here are instructions for making a quick gravy in case you did not have any leftover.

Cook ¼ cup all-purpose flour and ¼ cup unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for one minute. Gradually whisk in two cups unsalted chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about two minutes. Stir in two teaspoons each chopped fresh sage and chopped fresh thyme and ¼ teaspoon each salt and ground pepper.

Makes four servings.

Enjoying a heart-healthy diet is an important piece of cancer prevention. For more cancer prevention recommendations or to request a second opinion with one of OHC’s cancer experts, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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