If Thanksgiving is all about eating, then the day after Thanksgiving is all about the feelings that come with that kind of indulgence. There are the emotional ones, of course. We recount the day’s events and think, I shouldn’t have had three slices of pie or Why did I let myself chow down on that much ham and gravy? Most of these thoughts have to do with our physical reactions to the feast since it’s not uncommon to feel uncomfortably bloated or understandably fatigued as we shuffle around our homes in sweatpants.
But instead of lamenting the meal—because, let’s be serious, it’s worth every bite—help your body recover with these healthy and easy-to-prepare meals. From a mix of detox smoothies to a range of veggie bowls, plus a couple of soups that are good enough to serve to lingering guests, these 11 post-Thanksgiving recipes have all you need to boost your energy, restart your metabolism, and bounce back from those heaping portions. Plus, once you see how colorful these meals are, too, you’re much more likely to put a smile on your face.
Pause Netflix and get up from the couch. Once you make one of these delicious meals, you’ll start to feel like yourself again.
This smoothie recipe from Hello Glow is exactly what you should whip up if you’re still feeling full from the Thanksgiving feast. It’s mixed together with green apple, spinach, lime juice, banana, and cucumber, which all do their part to aid in digestion and provide an energy boost. “When my immunity is down and my system needs a detox kick, I add as many of these ingredients in my smoothies,” Ana Stanciu writes. “It does wonders!”
Nothing is better than a day of relaxation after the Thanksgiving festivities, and this recipe from Food Faith Fitness is exactly the type of thing you’d want to eat after a leisurely stroll or a few episodes on the couch. Packed with cauliflower florets, cremini mushrooms, spinach, pomegranate seeds, and fresh garlic—plus a fresh pesto with minced jalapeno and cilantro—this detox bowl has everything you need to reset. “Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with extra cilantro,” Taylor Kiser says.
If you’d rather top an avocado smoothie bowl with pomegranate seeds, then use this recipe from Food Faith Fitness to get started. Kiser used mashed avocado, kale, frozen banana, and protein powder to comprise the bowl, and then made a cream topping with cashews and coconut milk. Lastly, a garnish of pomegranate seeds and coconut flakes finishes things off. “It’s an easy, healthy, superfood-filled breakfast or snack,” she says.
Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest also recommends a green smoothie as a detox option, and her recipe is just what you need when the pumpkin pie slices went down a little too easily on Thanksgiving. It’s made with frozen pineapple chunks, banana, mango, baby kale, and freshly squeezed orange juice for a tasty flavor that may not be entirely reflected in its shade. “The mean green smoothie passed the test of almost all of 13 people in my household,” she says.
Curl up to this recipe from Half Baked Harvest when you need a comforting meal that’s not packed with calories. Low-sodium chicken broth, white miso paste, coconut milk, soy sauce, and fish sauce create a base for a range of colorful ingredients to shine, including lemongrass, ginger, chili peppers, and black rice noodles. Serve it up in a big, steaming bowl and heartily dig in. “I like to call it detox ramen because it has everything that makes me feel awesome,” she says.
After a day of eating not much more than meat and carbs, this salad recipe from Half Baked Harvest should definitely catch your interest. Not only is it full of vibrant colors—thanks in part to cooked chickpeas, Tuscan kale, purple cabbage, broccoli florets, and grapefruit—but it’s also topped with a delectable lemon tahini dressing. “I’ve found that the longer the salad sits and marinates in the dressing, the better it becomes,” Gerard says. “Seriously, this salad is everything, and for the most part, it’s pretty simple to throw together.”
Picked Plum’s take on the detox soup has two big things going for it: It’s gluten-free, and it takes less than 15 minutes to put together. Once you gather the onion, spinach, and watercress, mix it with ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cumin. Top the green concoction with goji berries and serve with lemon wedges. “I will make myself a bowl of green detox soup and eat it with a side salad or cucumber sandwich,” Caroline Caron-Phelps says. “It’s plenty filling for lunch and can be eaten as a late night snack, too.”
Instead of heating up leftovers, you should take all of a few minutes to recreate this recipe from the Pickled Plum, which also can be served in all of 15 minutes. Bell pepper, red cabbage, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and apple slices are tossed in a dressing that includes maple syrup, so you’ll still have the sweetness you crave. “Not only are purple veggies stunning, they are also very good for us,” Caron-Phelps continues. “Darker vegetables are known to be higher in antioxidants and vitamins which makes them a nutritional powerhouse.”
This smoothie recipe from Sugar Salted can be made for days after Thanksgiving since small tweaks to the ingredients can either make avocado, citrus, or berries mix with the standout (and surprising) beets. You’ll also keep frozen banana, vanilla paste, and Greek yogurt in constant rotation for texture and flavor. “If you’ve never had beets in a smoothie before don’t freak out on me, I promise you they work,” Alice says. “You could get away with using half of what I do or simply add an extra piece of fruit in the mix and you won’t even know you’re having beets.”
Keep the merriment going for the day after Thanksgiving by serving up this breakfast smoothie bowl recipe from The Butter Half. The frozen strawberries give the dish a beautiful hue, while the banana and chia seeds provide even more colors and flavors. It takes five minutes to serve, boosts metabolism, and ensures that the day will start with an energy boost, too. “You don’t want your smoothie bowl to be soupy or, well, like eating a smoothie with a spoon. They need to be thick, kind of like ice cream,” Abbey Rodriguez says.
“The trick is adding as little liquid as possible, and making sure you use frozen bananas.”
If you still have guests over for the day after Thanksgiving, then consider serving this soup recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Its rich, filling flavor comes together with minced garlic, chopped carrots, purple cabbage, broccoli florets, kale, lemon, and lentils, and it all can be topped with a big hunk of bread. “This soup is packed with all kinds of winter vegetables, green lentils for protein, and spices like garlic, ginger, and cayenne that will help fight off winter colds plus rev your metabolism,” Gerard notes.
In other words, it’ll make your guests leave happy.