The weight loss blog

Thanksgiving leftover recipe: turkey risotto

November 24 2017
By Kate Goodin

The Thanksgiving turkey’s been roasted, carved, and enjoyed with family and friends—and now there’s a pile of leftovers in the fridge. There’s only so much turkey we can eat before we need to change it up—and this delicious risotto hits the spot!

This recipe fits in with our healthy eating plan, called Food Optimizing, because it’s filled with lean meat, lots of veggies and filling rice—all cooked in a flavorful broth. It’s also easy, delicious and filling—we bet no one will guess this recipe is weight-loss friendly.

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe: Turkey Risotto

Turkey risotto

4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Total time: 1 hour


1 large onion, chopped

2 slender leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced, well rinsed of grit

1 red bell and
 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

8 oz. dried Arborio rice

A few strands saffron (optional)

3 cups coarsely shredded cooked turkey, skin and visible fat removed

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


  1. Put the onion, leeks, bell peppers, garlic and 1 cup of the broth in a large, deep, heavy skillet. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer for about 10 more minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, put the remaining broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the broth and keep it warm.
  3. Stir the rice into the vegetables and cook gently, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add a big ladleful of the broth and the saffron, if using, and cook, stirring often, until the rice has absorbed most of the broth. Repeat adding broth and stirring the rice until it becomes tender, with a little bite, about 15 more minutes. Add hot water if you need more liquid and you’ve used all the broth.
  4. Stir in the turkey and warm through. Season to taste and sprinkle with the parsley. Divide among warmed soup plates and serve hot.