Who thinks they may have some leftover turkey in the near future? If so, keep this Fresh Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Chopped Salad near the top of your list of recipes for the week so you can throw it together after Thanksgiving. Not only will it help you use up some of your leftover turkey, this nutrition powerhouse of a salad will help you feel great at the same time.
I don’t know how your Thanksgiving celebrations go, but I hear of more people having way too much turkey than running out, and I say that’s a good thing, right? I mean, you go to a lot of work to make a beautiful, tender, juicy turkey, and it would be a shame to not be able to enjoy it for at least one additional meal.
By now you may have noticed that I LOVE Brussels sprouts. Not only do they taste great and work well with a variety of cooking methods, they are about as healthy of a vegetable as you can eat. For starters, they are part of the family of cruciferous vegetables (similar to kale, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower), and eating more of these types of vegetables has been shown to decrease your risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Plus, people who eat more cruciferous vegetables are more likely to live longer. Cool, right?
Now, as for cooking Brussels sprouts, my FAVORITE method is to roast them (see this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner), however, I recently starting swapping thinly sliced Brussels sprouts for lettuce for my lunch salads. I am HOOKED! Eating raw sprouts in a salad makes it SO incredibly hearty because the sprouts are not quite as tender as typical salad greens. This means it will take longer to eat a good size salad based on raw Brussels sprouts, and research has shown that part of feeling full and satisfied while eating is the amount of time it takes to eat. The longer it takes, the more full you will feel.
This Fresh Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Chopped Salad doesn’t just have turkey and Brussels sprouts. There are several other vegetables to add even more flavor and nutrition, and I haven’t even mentioned the creamy garlicky dressing that makes it all taste SO GOOD!
When I was thinking about this salad and what type of dressing would be good, I knew it had to be creamy. I’m not saying a good ole’ balsamic vinaigrette wouldn’t taste good, but a creamy dressing was what I was really craving for this!
Making a creamy dressing that doesn’t involve dairy (which I avoid eating) isn’t quite as simple but can definitely be done, and I’m positive you will be happy with the results. The best part is that you don’t just have to reserve this dressing for salads. It makes a great vegetable dip too!
The dressing gets most of its flavor from roasted garlic, but don’t let that scare you off from making this. It’s really simple to do. Check out this post to watch a video and see for yourself how easy it is. Besides the roasted garlic, I added a couple cloves of fresh garlic to give it an added bite and even more flavor. Just make sure all your guests eat the salad too, so no one notices your breath!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and I hope you can take plenty of time to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for!
P.S. If you can’t quite wrap your mind around eating raw Brussels sprouts, check out this recipe for Apple-Bacon Brussels Sprouts Salad for a warm salad using lightly sautéed Brussels sprouts. You can easily toss in some shredded or chopped leftover turkey for a healthy meal!
Fresh Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Chopped Salad How-To Photos:
Roast a head of garlic. If you need to see exactly how this is done, look at this post.
This is what the garlic cloves will look like when you squeeze them out of their peels after roasting.
The dressing contains fresh avocado, which helps make it super creamy!
Fresh lemon juice is also in the dressing, but it doesn’t take over the flavor!
A blender makes mixing the dressing super quick!
The salad is based on raw Brussels sprouts. They are so healthy for you and can easily be substituted for leafy greens in any salad you like!
Simply cut off the bottom of each Brussels sprout, cut the sprout in half and then thinly slice the halves.
Toss all the ingredients together in a big serving bowl. Add the dressing, toss again, and you’re all set! It’s a great way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
- 1 head garlic, roasted*
- ¼ medium avocado, pitted and peeled (use remaining avocado in the salad)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened, unflavored coconut milk**
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown or coarse ground mustard
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, halved
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 cups raw Brussels sprouts (about 7 ounces), trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken
- 1 cup coarsely shredded carrots
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- ¾ cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- ¾ medium avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
- For dressing, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the peels into a blender. Add avocado, oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, mustard, fresh garlic, and salt. Cover; blend well until very smooth. Scrape sides of blender container; cover and blend again to make sure all is well blended and mixed.
- For the salad, in a large serving bowl combine Brussels sprouts, turkey, carrots, celery, tomatoes, half the green onion tops and half the parsley. Toss to combine. Drizzle with about two-thirds of the dressing; toss to combine. Top with remaining green onion tops and parsley. Top with chopped avocado. Drizzle with additional dressing or serve remaining dressing alongside salad for people to add more to individual servings.
- *To see how to roast garlic, see this blog post! https://www.freshfoodbites.com/roasted-garlic/
- **I prefer to use the coconut milk found in the refrigerated dairy section of the grocery store for this recipe. It has a more neutral flavor compared to canned coconut milk.
- Dressing can be made ahead. Store in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Dressing will thicken during refrigeration; let it stand at room temperature about 10 minutes and then stir it before tossing with the salad. Because the remaining ¾ of the avocado will not hold well for 2 days, just use that part for another meal or snack and use a different avocado when you make the salad – use the whole avocado rather than ¾ since the dressing will already be made.
- 6 main dish servings (about 8 cups mixed salad)