Refreshing Ideas for Enjoying Your Christmas Leftovers

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Christmas dinner, turkey, repurpose, reuse, recycle, recipes, ideas, leftovers

Christmas dinner is over and as per usual you have prepared too much. Now you are left with a mountain of leftovers and aren’t entirely sure what to do with it all. Here are a few big ideas, complete with links to working recipes, for repurposing all the Christmas favourites.

Create the Perfect Sandwich

Sometimes, simplicity reigns supreme. Stack your favourite leftovers high between two slices of bread for a sandwich fit for a Boxing Day feast. For an extra special twist, draw inspiration from America with a French dip turkey sandwich idea. This creation isn’t just loaded with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and yes, even sprouts, it also features oozing cheese and a side of gravy for dunking. If you’re looking for an alternative to the classic sandwich, consider these turkey Chelsea buns, layered with meats, veggies, and cheese before rolling up and baking – a perfect savoury snack.

Spice Up Your Turkey

According to research in the UK, each year, a staggering 7.9 million slices (equivalent to 263,000 turkeys) go to waste. To avoid your leftovers meeting the same fate, carve them promptly, let them cool to room temperature, and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. A

After the traditional Christmas flavours, your leftover turkey cries out for some zesty spice to rejuvenate it. A turkey curry is a timeless choice, and you can adjust the heat level to your liking by varying the curry paste. For a fragrant and warming kick, consider a North African-inspired turkey stew with vibrant orange, ras el hanout, and chorizo flavours. If you prefer the classics, a hearty turkey and cannellini pie is hard to beat.

Bring on the Brunches

Thick slices of gammon and ham provide a hearty foundation for a brunch that will fuel you for family for days spent poolside. You can chop them into an omelette or use them to create a decadent cheese and egg-topped croque madame.

Cheese Blends

After the Christmas cheeseboard, you may find yourself with odds and ends of various cheeses. Don’t let them go to waste; turn them into something substantial. Consider a classic cauliflower cheese, a hearty mac and cheese (perfect for using up leftover ham), or a comforting bowl of cheese, potato, and onion soup. Swap out the existing cheese for whatever you have on hand, and let your creativity run wild. You might end up with a nutty Emmental base, a rich blue cheese sauce, or a crumbly goat’s cheese topping.

Revamp Christmas Pudding

Whether you love it or loathe it, Christmas pudding often graces our tables each year. Instead of serving it cold with cream, consider using it to infuse a classic dessert with subtle, spicy fruitiness. The Christmas pudding crumble tops a traditional apple and blackberry fruit base with a nutty, buttery crumble that incorporates bits of Christmas pudding.

Master the Art of Hashing Leftovers

Leftovers are made for effortless concoctions, and that’s where the humble hash truly shines. Mashing together cooked potatoes, vegetables, and meat before baking or frying results in a comforting, rustic dish suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Each year, a staggering 11.3 million roast potatoes, along with 22.8 million carrots and parsnips, and 7.9 million cups of stuffing go to waste in the UK alone – all of which can be repurposed together. Start with a simple potato and stuffing hash recipe and get creative by adding your leftover treasures.

Give Panettone a Makeover

If you receive slices of this festive Italian cake as gifts, you might find yourself with leftovers. Treat it like brioche and use it as the base for an impressive brunch. Try toasted panettone with ginger mascarpone or baked French toast with cherries, which also makes use of cranberry sauce. For an impromptu dessert, layer slices in an impressive panettone and orange cake – no baking required, thanks to the panettone taking the place of sponge cake.