4 quick & easy ideas for all that extra turkey

Crispy Turkey TostadasCrispy Turkey TostadasWhile I do love a leftover-turkey sandwich made with Cheddar cheese, lettuce, cranberry sauce and a touch of reduced-fat mayo, I really crave some variety after Thanksgiving. In particular, I crave Mexican food (quite the opposite of traditional Thanksgiving foods).

Luckily for me, these Crispy Turkey Tostadas are a perfect way to use up any leftover turkey. The tostada shells are homemade from fresh corn tortillas-they're super-easy (crisp them in the oven while you prepare the toppings) and have a lot less fat than the fried ones at the grocery store. Serve with high-fiber Easy Black Beans, rice and extra salsa or hot sauce.

Crispy Turkey Tostadas

ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes


1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, preferably with jalapeños
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken (12 ounces; see Tip, below)
8 corn tortillas
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 avocado, pitted
1/4 cup prepared salsa
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.
2. Bring tomatoes and their juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add turkey (or chicken) and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Divide the tortillas between 2 large baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until crisped and lightly brown, about 10 minutes.
4. Mash avocado in a bowl. Stir in salsa, sour cream and cilantro until combined.
5. To assemble tostadas, spread each crisped tortilla with some of the avocado mixture. Top with the turkey (or chicken) mixture, lettuce and cheese.

Makes 4 servings, 2 tostadas each.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 397 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat, 7 g mono); 86 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 8 g fiber; 621 mg sodium; 709 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin A & Vitamin C (20% daily value), Iron (15% dv).

Tip: If you don't have leftover turkey, you can quickly poach some chicken. Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.

If Mexican isn't your thing, here are a few more ideas:

  • Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup is a healthier twist on a classic creamy turkey and wild rice soup that hails from Minnesota.
  • Cheesy Chicken Pasta, an ooey-gooey pasta dish that pleases adults and kids, is like rich and creamy macaroni-and-cheese tossed with cauliflower and chicken (or turkey).
  • Got lots of leftover mashed potatoes too? Try Turkey & Leek Shepherd's Pie-just skip making the mashed potatoes and cover the pie with your leftover ones instead.

By Carolyn Malcoun

When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.

Related Links from EatingWell: