If you’re looking for an easy and at least potentially healthy way to use up leftover turkey, consider a rice or noodle bowl.
These bowls can be quickly thrown together, require little cooking, can incorporate lots of nutritious vegetables, and are almost infinitely customizable. In fact, you can even set out all the ingredients and let everyone fill their own bowls with the ingredients they like.
I’ve put together three popular types of bowls with three flavor profiles — Mexican, Mediterranean and Asian. Two use rice as a base and one uses noodles, but even that can be changed to suit your own tastes.
My recipe for turkey taco bowls is more guideline than recipe. Take a little pico de gallo — or store-bought salsa — and combine it with rice, beans, cheese, avocado and more for a dish in which rice stands in for the tortillas. (Or you could use all of this to have actual turkey tacos.)
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I like to heat up chopped turkey with some of the salsa — or just a bit of hot sauce or minced chipotles in adobo — for extra flavor, but you can toss in the turkey plain if you want.
My Mediterranean bowl has a lot of the same ingredients you would put in a Greek salad — feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers. I especially like red onion and pickled pepperoncini to give the salad some bite. You can add a dollop of hummus, too.
To flavor the Mediterranean salad, I make either a simple lemon-garlic-oregano vinaigrette or a shortcut tzatziki sauce with Greek yogurt, garlic and fresh dill.
My Asian bowl could be made with rice like the other two bowls, but I decided to change it up with some udon noodles. If you don’t have udon, you could use other noodles, such as spaghetti or even drained instant ramen — just omit the ramen seasoning packet.
I think that dark meat is especially good in this stir-fry, but white meat works, too. A quick sauce combines soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha. There’s garlic, ginger and jalapeno in there for more flavor, and a combination of crisp-tender onions, snow peas and bell peppers provides nice texture and color — and a few nutrients. Cashews and cilantro crown the dish.
Finally, think about making your own bowls based on what you have.
In fact, if you have more than turkey left over from Thanksgiving, you can put most of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes all in one bowl for a fun mashup. Try equal parts stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with turkey on top, all smothered with gravy. In place of gravy, you could certainly use cranberry sauce.
For a little extra, top it all with a fried egg.