How to: Use up leftover Christmas food

No matter how solid your zero-waste efforts are, it’s tricky to serve up a Christmas dinner that leaves no extra portions. But by having recipes up your sleeve that can breathe new life into leftovers, you’ll ensure that every last bite gets enjoyed.

Remember: it’s not about getting recipes perfect, or having the exact ingredients listed. The world’s best cuisine has always been forged from constraint-induced creativity, so take this as an opportunity to get inventive.

Below, you’ll find some ideas to start you off.

If you have too much mashed potato

  • Make fish cakes by mixing together equal portions of mashed potato and smoked fish. Blend in an egg, then add your choice of herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Fry both sides until golden.
  • Use your mash to top a hearty shepherd’s or fish pie.
  • Whisk your mash together with flour, eggs, baking powder, chives and milk, creating a tasty batch of potato pancakes.

If you have too many roast vegetables

  • Toss your roasted vegetables together with fresh one - think leafy greens and tomatoes. Whip together your choice of dressing to create a tasty potato salad.
  • Whisk eggs together along with some flavoursome extras - think chopped spring onion or cheddar cheese. Pour the mix into a baking tray, and distribute the roast vegetables evenly. Bake until set, puffed and golden brown for an easy baked tortilla.
  • Fry the vegetables in a hot pan along with extras such as onions and red peppers to create a roast vegetable hash. Add your choice of herbs, spices and leftover Christmas meats.

If you have too many brussels sprouts

  • Create pesto by blending roasted brussels sprouts, garlic, lemon juice and your choice of toasted nuts. Enjoy stirred into a bowl of steaming pasta.
  • Create a leek and brussels sprouts gratin.

If you have too much turkey

  • Cook your leftover turkey meat into a pie filling with your choice of herbs, softened leeks, vegetable stock and creme fraiche. Layer it into a shell of puff pastry and enjoy with a side of steamed greens.
  • Create a flavour-packed ramen bowl complete with strips of turkey, dried shiitake and crunchy bean sprouts.
  • Pile turkey meat onto a pizza base along with your favourite pizza toppings. Try mozzarella and red onions, adding cranberries for a final festive flourish.
  • Adapt your favourite chicken or tofu curry recipe to incorporate turkey instead.

If you have too much Christmas pudding

  • Create a festive sundae by piling spoonfuls of pudding atop ice cream, then drizzling your choice of sweet sauce over the top.
  • Create Christmas pudding truffles by mixing leftover pudding with molten dark chocolate. Add a splash of festive liqueur - think rum or brandy - then roll the mixture into small balls. Coat the truffles in chopped nuts, then chill.
  • Put an extra Christmassy twist on trifle: simply replace the sponge fingers with crumbled Christmas pudding.

If you have too many pigs in blanket

  • Whip up a fluffy Yorkshire pudding mix to create a Christmassy toad in the hole.
  • Combine your pigs in blankets with whisked eggs and vegetables, then fry into a flavour-packed frittata.

If you have too many mince pies

  • Crumble mince pies over scoops of ice cream.
  • Create mince pie brownies. Simply make your favourite brownie mix recipe, then crumble leftover mince pies into the finished mixture right before you pour it into the tray. 
Rachel Ramsay
Content Manager