Leftover Turkey Recipe: Healthy Chile and Lime Turkey Soup

couple making soup together in kitchen

When there’s no room left in your freezer and you are tired of turkey sandwiches, it is time to move on and get rid of that turkey. Turkey soup is a great way to redesign your leftover turkey. It also freezes well so you can enjoy it later when you aren’t all turkeyed out.

Turkey soup might be the typical leftover turkey meal for a lot of people–however, this recipe brings a different flavor that won’t have you thinking about Thanksgiving. The soup packs a flavor punch of chile and lime. This Mexican inspired leftover turkey recipe is by New York Times and with earned a 5 star review.

No more turkey sandwiches for you!

This recipe has only 5 steps and is perfect for making big batches for your family to enjoy. Feel free to add your own spice and adaptations to it. It will become your new after Thanksgiving tradition.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches long
  •  Cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 8 cups unsalted turkey or chicken broth
  •  Vegetable oil for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 4 corn tortillas, at least a day old, cut in 1/2-inch strips
  • 4 to 6 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded
  • 1 or 2 firm-ripe avocados
  • 6 scallions, chopped

Leftover Turkey Recipe: Chile and Lime Soup

1.) Heat vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and let soften, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

2.) Toast the cumin, coriander and peppercorns in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute, then grind in a spice mill or mortar. Add the ground spices to the pot, along with the garlic, cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne and salt.

3.) Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a brisk simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then taste for salt and adjust. Keep hot, covered, over very low heat.

4.) Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch into a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and looks wavy, add the tortilla strips and fry until barely colored (1 to 2 minutes). Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt. (The oil may be strained and saved for future frying.)

5.) In a medium saucepan, heat the shredded turkey meat with a little of the hot soup. Divide the meat among 4 to 6 soup bowls and add a few slices of avocado to each. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each bowl, then garnish with tortilla strips, scallions, jalapeño slices, chopped cilantro and a generous squeeze of lime juice.

A few of my adaptions:

Instead of frying my own tortilla chips, I just buy some Fritos or crunchy tortilla strips at the grocery store. The jalapeños are up to your taste. Some of my family can’t handle the spice so I always leave out the jalapeño and let people decide how much they want to add.

Your leftover turkey recipes don’t have to be straightforward and have the same flavors and feel of Thanksgiving. This recipe is a healthier alternative to having turkey sandwiches packed with carbs from the bread and added calories from sauce and condiments. The Lime and Chile Leftover Turkey Soup is a great way to step out of your Thanksgiving leftover comfort zone, without following a complicated recipe. This 5 (I skip step 4 so really 4) step recipe is great for families and is easy to freeze and enjoy later.

Let us know what you think of the recipe and comment below. If you are interested in more healthy inspired recipes check out these other recipes we love.

Get your protein on! High Protein Snack Mix

homemade snack mix with nuts

keeping you full till dinner

I am the first to admit I am a snacker. Especially at work. It is easier to eat chips or pretzels throughout the day instead of waiting by the microwave to cook my frozen meal. I usually end up grabbing a snack at the vending machine and eating empty calories throughout the day until dinner time. Here is a mix and match, high protein snack mix to keep you full till dinner time.

The best thing about this snack is you can make it with anything laying around the house already. Have some cereal that is about to go stale? Why not add it!

I always make a big batch and store it in an air type container. I pre-make the bags so all I have to do is grab a bag in the morning. It can’t get much easier than that!

Choose your favorite combination. Go crazy and figure out your mix!  My personal favorite is what I call Chocolate Covered Strawberry. Check it out at the bottom of the page.

I would love to hear what your mix snack mix style is. Comment it below. Enjoy!

No cooking needed. Pour, mix and go!
  • Pretzels
  • Baked cheese squares
  • Cereal
  • Popcorn
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame crackers
  • Wasabi beans
  • Bagel chip
  • Chocolate chips
  • Raisins
  • Craisins
  • Dried cherries
  • Dried Strawberries
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Siracha
  • Chocolate
  • Peanut butter
  • Ranch
  • Buffalo
  • honey

Chocolate Covered Strawberry:

  • Base: Popcorn and Pretzel
  • Nuts: Almonds and Walnuts
  • Sweets: Dried Strawberries, Craisins
  • Drizzles: Chocolate

It is important to balance out what you eat with exercise. Check out the fitness blog to find tips on staying fit and workouts to try.

5 Low Calorie Candy for Halloween

person picking out candy at a candy store

5 low calorie candies and sweet treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your diet

The candy bowl full of sweets your kids collected from Halloween can be tempting. They won’t miss one king-sized snickers bar right? Halloween doesn’t have to break all the hard work you have done to maintain a healthy lifestyle or discourage you from starting a new healthy meal plan. If you are craving something sweet, it doesn’t have to be full of empty calories and added sugars.

Try to curve that craving with these 5 low calorie candy options.

Honey Sticks

different flavors of honey sticks
Honey sticks are a great sweet treat that have hidden health benefits. According to the healthline.com, there are many benefits to raw honey including being low in calories, a good source of antioxidants and helps with digestive issues. It is also great for soothing sore throats. You can shop locally for your honey sticks at farms and farmer’s markets. They are usually fairly cheap and come in a variety of flavors like lavender, blackberry, and apple. With only 20 calories, 4g of carbs, and 4g of sugar. You can try a variety of flavors without cheating on your healthy diet.

Fruit Leather

Mixed Berries-blueberry, raspberry, strawberry

If you want all the sweetness of candy but without all the added sugar, fruit leathers are your best bet. The soft yet chewy texture is similar to other fruit chew candies but with more nutritional value. Nowadays you can find fruit leathers in major grocery stores. Places like Aldi and Trader Joes always have them sitting by the register ready for you to grab. The individual wrapped portioned will keep your portions under control. The 50 calories, 12 g carbs, and 10 g of sugar snack with keep your sweet tooth satisfied.

Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate with nuts

If you are a chocoholic, dark chocolate is a great dessert to have. There have been many studies on the benefits of eating dark chocolate. Typically the darker the better. The higher percent of pure cocoa eliminates the need for added sugars and creams. Try to get chocolate as dark and bitter as you prefer. Typically dark chocolate ranges in calories depending on the brand and extra add-ins. For an Intense Dark Ghiradelli Square it is 60 calories, 4 g of carbs, and 1 g of sugar. If you are missing some extra flavoring, I like to dip mine in a little all-natural peanut butter.

YumEarth Naturals Gummy Bears

yumearth organic, natural, gummy bears

There are a bunch of healthier alternatives to gummy candies. Our favorite is YumEarth. They are made with organic ingredients and use natural flavors and no artificial dyes to color their candies. What is great about this brand is there focus on allergy-free products. They give a detailed outline of their ingredients on the webstie including which candies you can enjoy if you are gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan. This 60 calories, 13 g of carbs and 11 g of sugar option is a great option if you want to cut out the processed and artificial ingredients in candy and stick with more naturally sweetened products.

Go Fun Sized

mini candy-m&m, snickers, mars. twix

It is ok to to eat your favorite candy. Just keep in mind the portion size. While many kids may compline over houses that give out smaller sized candies, you can surely take them off your kid’s hands. If your favorite candy is Reeces, don’t feel guilty have one or maybe two of them. Fun-sized candies can vary in nutrition info. To give you a benchmark, a fun-sized snickers bar is around 80 calories, 10 g of carbs and 9 g of sugar.

We hope these low calorie candy for Halloween, helps keep your hand out of the candy bowl. The nutrition information we gave may vary depending on what product and brand you eat. For more nutrition information, search the foods through the log-it screen on the HealthMetric app and get the full nutrition label.

 At the end of the day it is all about balance. You should never feel bad about cheat days or the days you just need an extra sweet treat to end the day right.

Don’t feel defeated after having a higher calorie or sugar day. It is not the end of the world or end of your healthy habits you worked so hard to accomplish. It is just another step on the road that will lead to the healthier you.

You can learn from the foods and events that may steer you off your path. If you know certain food you just can’t say no to, simply don’t say no. Make up those calories in the other foods you eat or an extra 15 minutes of exercise.

You don’t have to cut out your favorite desserts completely, just pay closer attention to the serving size and try some of these alternatives before you indulge in your favorite sweet treat.

Want to see more tips on becoming the healthier you? Check out our other blog posts.