Healthy Meals Made with Thanksgiving Leftovers | Colavita

Healthy Meals Made with Thanksgiving Leftovers

By Elana Iaciofano • November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving is a food lover’s dream come true and definitely one of our favorite Holiday’s here at Colavita. But there’s always a never-ending pile of leftovers that ends up going to waste. 

And yes, we use our turkey carcasses for stock and the leftover meat for sandwiches. We eat the leftover apple pie at 3am (who, ME??), and casually let the green bean casserole take up space in its Tupperware until it’s time to finally throw it away…

But what if there was a BETTER way?

This year, we invite you to reinvent your leftovers into easy, exciting, and even healthy recipes. Now that's something to be thankful for! 

We begin at the beginning. With breakfast! Start your morning with this warm and Creamy Polenta with Leftover Cranberry Sauce. You’ll have a breakfast on the table in about 5 minutes. The creamy polenta pairs well with the tartness of your leftover cranberry sauce. Top it off with cinnamon and chopped pecans (all recipes listed below).

If you’re the smoothie type, this recipe is just what you need. The main ingredient for this delicious Pumpkin Pie Smoothie is your leftover pumpkin pie. You can even make your own nut milk (we used soaked cashews for ours) for extra creaminess that’s completely plant-based.

Now for lunch: a super simple Couscous Buddha Bowl that’s not only healthy but requires little work because it’s composed of all your leftovers! As a base for all those leftover veggies, we whipped up some fresh Colavita Couscous.

Finally, reinvent the rest of that turkey for dinner with these two healthy variations of Thanksgiving Ramen. Traditionally, ramen consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a broth, but our version uses our own Colavita Spaghetti. For the broth, you can use chicken stock but if you’re feeling up for it, you can make your own stock from the rest of your Thanksgiving turkey. Top the ramen with your choice of greens, mushrooms, slices of leftover turkey, and of course no ramen is complete without a perfectly, soft-boiled egg.

I sampled ALL of these recipes because we created, tested, and filmed them for our Youtube channel. They are delicious. I particularly enjoyed the smoothie and the polenta bowl. I would (and will) make any of these again, even if I don't have the Thanksgiving leftovers handy.

Please have a look at the videos on Youtube, subscribe (we would be delighted), and if you make any of the recipes, please feel free to post and share on Instagram tagging #colavitaoliveoil. We would be happy to feature your creation in our Insta stories! 

We at Colavita hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!


For the Polenta Bowl:

  • Nut milk works just perfectly as a substitute for diary milk.
  • Feel free to add an extra splash of milk to the finished dish.

For the smoothie:

  • No pumpkin pie leftovers? You can create this with 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, a splash of maple syrup, and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice.

For the Buddha Bowl:

For the Ramen:

  • I love this with homemade turkey stock. For added umami, dissolve a tbsp of miso paste into the stock.


Breakfast Polenta with Cranberry Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes



  1. Cook the polenta according to the package instructions.
  2. Turn the heat off and add the EVOO and milk to the polenta.
  3.  Whisk over low heat until you achieve a creamy consistency.
  4. Scoop polenta into a bowl.
  5. Spoon leftover cranberry sauce on top of the polenta. 
  6. Add chopped pecans and extra cinnamon for garnish!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Makes: 1 smoothie
Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 pumpkin pie slice, crust removed
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 3/4 cup nut milk (or milk of your preference)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • Optional: 1 tbsp of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add extra milk if the consistency is too thick. 
  2. Enjoy immediately.

Thanksgiving Leftover Buddha Bowl
Serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • Leftovers from Thanksgiving: green beans from the casserole, or other leftover vegetables such as Brussels sprouts or carrots
  • Sweet potatoes (roasted or mashed)
  • Turkey (shredded)
  • 1 cup Colavita Couscous
  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate seeds
  • Avocado, sliced, divided 4 ways 



  1. Cook the couscous according to package instructions and divide evenly between 4 bowls.
  2. To each bowl, add vegetables, turkey, and sweet potatoes.
  3. Garnish with avocado slices and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Drizzle each bowl with 1 tbsp Colavita Olive Oil and either Colavita Baslamic Glaze or Colavita Raspberry Balsamic Glaze.

Healthy Turkey Ramen with Colavita Spaghetti
Serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 3 cups Leftover turkey from Thanksgiving Dinner, shredded
  • 1 pkg Colavita Spaghetti
  • 4 soft boiled eggs
  • 3-4 Colavita Hot peppers, diced (optional)
  • 1 qt chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Optional: drizzle of sesame oil and sesame seeds


  1. First, prep the mushrooms. Soak them in very hot water in a small bowl for about 10-15 minutes until soft. 
  2. Remove them from the water and coarsely chop them. Set aside, also reserving the mushroom water.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain.
  4. Add the grated ginger, reserved mushroom water and turkey stock to a medium stock pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Once warm, portion the stock between 4 large soup bowls. 
  6. To each bowl, add some of the cooked spaghetti, leftover turkey, 1 poached egg, fresh spinach, and shiitake mushrooms.
  7. Garnish each bowl with hot peppers, scallions, sesame oil and sesame seeds. 
  8. Serve immediately.

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