Top Tips to Revamp Your Thanksgiving Leftovers into Work Lunches

You’ll be thankful for these top tips to make your Thanksgiving feast last while taking work lunch prep stress away by transforming leftovers.

One of the best things about Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers! Make your feast last while taking work lunch prep stress away by transforming leftovers. You’ll be thankful for these top tips to revamp your Thanksgiving leftovers into work lunches. 

Top Tips to Revamp Your Thanksgiving Leftovers 

Have a cornucopia of leftover ingredients from Thanksgiving dinner? Save time while living more sustainably by giving them a new life in your work lunches. Here are healthy tips about common leftover Thanksgiving ingredients and creative ways to repurpose them.


Turkey is an excellent source of protein, rich in energizing B vitamins to help you power through the work day. It also provides your mind and body with immune support with iron, zinc, and selenium (1). It’s also a main source of the amino acid, or protein building block tryptophan, which can help boost the happy brain chemical serotonin

Leftover tips:

  • Turkey sandwich: slice and serve turkey on whole wheat bread with a bit of mustard, lettuce, or your accompaniments of choice. 
  • Turkey salad: chop and serve on top of your favorite green salad or mix with some spices and greek yogurt or a bit of mayo to serve on bread or crackers. 
  • Turkey Wrap: replace the not always healthy deli turkey with the fresh stuff. 
  • Protein box: turkey pieces, pack hard boiled eggs, apple, and crudite.
  • Thanksgiving dinner leftovers: place turkey and other leftovers such as veggies and potatoes in a box and enjoy the Thanksgiving meal again.


White potatoes and sweet potatoes both have their own benefits, both supply immune boosting vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, for improved vision while white potatoes give more potassium for better blood pressure (2). 

Leftover tips (feel free to interchange white potatoes for sweet potatoes in these recipes):

  • Potato frittata: this recipe is perfect for packed lunches. Make in advance and portion out for work with a side of fruit or salad. 
  • Sweet potato stew: try out this unique Lifesum recipe made with lentils, coconuts, vegetarian broth, and sweet potato. 
  • Potato or sweet potato salad: serve chopped potatoes cold in a bowl with greens for a take on Nicoise salad, or mix with mayo or yogurt and seasonings. 
  • Potato soup: add broth, garlic, leeks, onion, carrots, or any vegetables of your choice, blend and serve warm. 

Roasted vegetables 

Vegetables are nutrient powerhouses, offering a wide variety of vitamins and minerals important for our overall function and wellbeing. The fiber in vegetables helps our digestive system which can prevent some types of cancer (3). Vibrantly colored vegetables, like those served for Thanksgiving, also include phytonutrients which take the benefit to the next level (4). 

Leftover tips: 

  • Stir fry: pan fry some green beans or Brussels sprouts with protein such as shrimp or tofu and soy sauce and spices to your taste.
  • Pasta dish: leftover vegetables go great in pasta dishes. Chop them and mix them into your favorite pasta dish or try adding them to a sauce
  • Soup: add carrots, green beans, or other veggies into a broth or light cream based soup. Or if you have some extra broccoli, try our tasty Broccoli soup
  • Buddha bowl: mix veggies with protein of choice and add some grains or beans such as with this Spicy Chicken Bowl.

Pack it safe 

Keep in mind those delicious leftovers need to be handled safely to help prevent foodborne illness. Leftovers should be stored within two hours of cooking. In order to ensure they get cooled to the proper temperature in time, place them in smaller portioned shallow containers. So rather than throwing your turkey right in the fridge, giving bacteria a chance to grow at a dangerous rate, make sure to separate it into sections. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for three or four days or the freezer for about two to six months (5). 

More revamped leftover recipes 

For more magical ways to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers (or any leftovers!) into new and exciting dishes to take to work, check out these tips from our in house chef: Sustainable Cooking: Tips from Our in-House Chef and check out recipes by ingredient in Lifesum.

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