This one pot turkey and white bean skillet with spinach is just 5 ingredients and about 15 minutes to make. It’s simple, tasty and perfect for using up leftover turkey!
We have made the sad decision to stay home for Thanksgiving this year.
Normally, we head to the beach and spend the week with my parents. There are boat rides, walks on the beach, sunsets on the porch, a 5K turkey trot, and my mom and I team up in the kitchen to do all the prepping and cooking for our meal.
But 2020 happened, and we decided it just wasn’t safe for us to all be together in the same house for the week. I know it’s the right call, but it makes me so sad. (And I definitely shed more than a few tears. So did my mom. So did my daughter.)
Alas, we are hoping to see my parents for a little backyard dining for Thanksgiving, and we’ll just make the most of it. I’m thankful we live in the same city and can at least do that.
But let’s move on to today’s recipe.
This one-pot turkey white bean skillet with spinach is something that just had to come out of me.
This is one of many, many twists I have on my family’s classic “one pot wonder” as we call it. (Also known as a low carb leftover chicken recipe with spinach cause that’s a bit more descriptive.)
It’s such a go-to dish in our house. And while the original is a favorite, I do also love changing up the flavors and switching out the ingredients to make it seem new and different.
And the prospect of making a post-holiday version was just so tempting.
So here’s my leftover Thanksgiving turkey edition of the one pot wonder!
We’ve got sautéed onion and garlic, leftover chopped Thanksgiving turkey, some canned white beans and some fresh spinach to wilt down.
It takes maybe 5 minutes to prep, no more than 10 minutes to cook, and it makes your leftovers into something brand new.
I’m also all about the really easy recipes for the first few days after Thanksgiving, when we’re still recovering from the multi-day cooking extravaganza of preparing that big meal.
I also love that this is on the lighter side. Some leftover turkey recipes are all about adding a pound of cheese or heavy cream or a ton of butter. And after turkey day, I just can’t with all the heavy foods.
So give your body a break, keep your kitchen time to a minimum and get ready to dig into this simple, delicious skillet meal.
Now, I’ve got some notes and substitutions coming up on how to make this one pot turkey white bean skillet. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making turkey and white bean skillet:
- This recipe requires cooked turkey, so please plan accordingly. If you don’t have leftover Thanksgiving or roasted turkey, you could also substitute a rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken.
- We use cannellini beans, which add a great creaminess, but you could substitute another mild white bean like Great Northern beans if you prefer.
- You can use an entire 5-6 oz. bag of baby spinach, a few handfuls of regular spinach, or you could substitute any leftover Thanksgiving veggies you may have, such as green beans or Brussels sprouts.
- Or add in some extra vegetables, like mushrooms or zucchini. (Sauté those along with the onion in the beginning, until they are tender.)
As is, this recipe is just 5 ingredients and ready in about 15 minutes.
It’s also gluten-free and low-carb (well, just a few carbs from the beans).
However, there’s lots of ways you can add on to and serve this up if you’re looking to make it more hearty.
Serving ideas for turkey white bean skillet:
– Pair with some crusty bread, leftover rolls or Parmesan herb drop biscuits.
– At the holidays, I love serving this over some warmed leftover mashed potatoes. Especially when I drizzle gravy over the whole thing. Swoon!
– It would be great paired with some creamy polenta or even served with steamed brown or white rice.
– You could also use this mixture to stuff some baked regular or sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash or other winter squash.
And of course, you should feel free to add any and all the toppings you want to this dish.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.
Topping ideas for this easy turkey skillet:
- Shredded mozzarella or grated Parmesan cheese
- A sprinkle of an Italian blend cheese
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Leftover warmed gravy
- Chopped fresh herbs
- Sliced or diced avocado
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Hot sauce
Total deliciousness any way you do it!
I hope you have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving this year, however different it may look. And I wish you lots of enjoyable meals with your leftovers!
P.S. Stay tuned because I have one more recipe using leftover turkey coming up next week.
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- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups chopped leftover cooked turkey
- 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach (see notes)
For serving (optional):
- Shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, or an Italian blend cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the turkey, beans and spinach and stir until heated through and the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, topped with cheese, if using.
Turkey: This recipe requires cooked turkey, so please plan accordingly. If you don’t have leftover Thanksgiving or roasted turkey, you could also substitute a rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken that's been chopped (or even shredded).
Beans: We use cannellini beans, which add a great creaminess, but you could substitute another mild white bean like Great Northern beans if you prefer.
Spinach: You can use an entire 5-6 oz. bag of baby spinach, a few handfuls of regular spinach, or you could substitute any leftover Thanksgiving veggies you may have on hand, such as green beans or Brussels sprouts. You can also add in some extra vegetables, like mushrooms or zucchini. (Sauté those along with the onion in the beginning, until they are tender.)
Serving ideas for turkey white bean skillet:
- Pair with some crusty bread, leftover rolls or make some Parmesan herb drop biscuits.
- At the holidays, this is great served over some warmed leftover mashed potatoes with gravy drizzled over the whole thing.
- It would be tasty paired with some creamy polenta or even served with steamed brown or white rice.
- You could also use this mixture to stuff some baked regular or sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash or other winter squash.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g