10 best ways to use up Christmas leftovers

Seasonal Ideas

With Christmas fast approaching, you’ll no doubt be having flashbacks of the marathon food shop that lead to that huge, delicious sprawl on Christmas day. Frustratingly for us cooks, sometimes there are leftovers. We do too much and go too far.

So, what to do with all the leftovers this year? Don’t fret! It turns out that actually, they can be a blessing in disguise. The feast can continue for days after. Here, we take a look at some of our new, favourite post-Christmas Day recipes – the best ways to use up Christmas leftovers.

1) Turkey Biryani

We love Hari Ghotra and this genius solution to the leftover Turkey problem is one of our favourites. As Hari says, ‘the sauce is rich and full of flavour and the whole spices add a delicate fragrance. By layering with the rice it makes a great all in one meal’. You can find the recipe on her website here.

Alternatively, you can follow one of our very own Biryani recipes and simply replace the chicken with Turkey. Be sure to pick up our Biryani spice blend with its bold, fragrant blend of warm, aromatic notes. It’s delicious!

2) Turkey Tikka Masala

Continuing with the Turkey theme (because let’s face it, this will be the number one leftover that’s taking up vital room in the fridge), another of Hari Ghotra’s recipes – turkey Tikka Masala.

We can’t help but agree with Hari that when it comes to leftover Turkey, the best thing you can do is to curry it. Although this one was a bit of an experiment – ‘I wasn’t entirely sure that the cooked turkey would work’ – we think it’s brilliant. From the ingredients, we’ve written down the things you can source directly from us:

3) Spicy Turkey Noodles

Another creative use of leftover turkey is these delicious, spicy turkey noodles. We found this great recipe on BBC Good Food. Even if you’re feeling a little fragile (dare we say, nursing a hangover) and haven’t got much energy to cook up something big on Boxing Day, this recipe is so easy, you won’t mind. It’s done and dusted with two quick steps.

4) Paella

Whether it’s leftover turkey, ham, chicken or any other type of meat, a paella is always a great option. Being such a fluid dish that changes regionally throughout Spain, the wider Mediterranean and indeed the whole world, you can use all sorts of different ingredients in this and it will still turn out delicious. That is the essence of the dish – use what you have available to you.

You can follow our Paella recipe here and simply replace the meats in the ingredients with your leftovers. You may even have some spare white wine that can be used, alongside any roast vegetables. It’s perfect!

5) Turkey Ramen

Love Ramen? Need to use up that Turkey? Turkey ramen is a healthy, delicious way to do it. We love this recipe from Adam Bush, found over at Olive Magazine. Given that the turkey stock also requires onion, carrot and celery, you may well be able to use up a large amount of your leftovers all in one go.

Note that the recipe calls for the use of dried chilli flakes. We used our crushed red chillies and they worked perfectly, adding a real kick.

6) Moroccan-spiced Turkey pie

Inspired by a Moroccan Pastilla, this spiced filo pastry is another genius, delicious way to get through that leftover turkey. We found this great recipe on BBC Good Food. Again, don’t be afraid to use up some of the other leftovers in the fridge. Any meats and vegetables will work well as substitutes or additional ingredients for the filling.

You’ll need to make use of a few spices, which can all be found right here on our website:

7) Refried roasties turned into Batata Harra

Whilst scanning through BBC Good Food, we came across the idea of refrying your roast potatoes. Of course that’s if, by some miracle, there are any left! You can find the recipe here.

This got us thinking. Rather than refry the roasties using this recipe, why not make use of them by creating Batata Harra? You can use our very own recipe right here, simply replacing the potatoes in the ingredients list with your leftover roasties. This gorgeous little side dish goes well with every kind of Middle Eastern cuisine. Or pretty much anything else you can think of! It’s the perfect spicy treat for your Boxing Day meal.

8) Slow-roasted lamb shoulder pita

Next on the list, this delicious slow-roasted lamb shoulder pita. Fittingly, we found this tasty recipe over at ‘Delicious.’ – read the recipe here. Not only is it tasty, it’s very easy to make and you can switch out the meat used.

So whether it’s duck, ham, lamb, turkey or beef, this sandwich will ensure there’s nothing left taking up valuable space in the fridge before new year celebrations get under way.

9) Leftover toasties with homemade soups

All this talk of sandwiches got us thinking – using your leftover ham and cheese, why not make toasties and serve them up alongside either our spiced sweet potato soup, or award-winning chef Eyck Zimmer’s roast pumpkin soup with cinnamon scented croutons. Both work really well as the perfect lunch snack for a cold, winter’s day.

In fact, you could even serve these up as a starter on Christmas Day!

10) Pork Empanadas

Lastly, rounding off our list of the best ways to use up Christmas leftovers, we have these lovely little pork (lechon) empanadas. We found this recipe over at Que Rica Vida.

Empanadas are a type of baked or fried turnover consisting of pastry and filling. They’re synonymous with South American cuisine and you’ll find them being served up at street food stalls all over the continent. Whilst they’re not particularly festive, they’re a great little side dish for any meal that will help you make use of all that leftover pork.

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