Love Your Leftovers….

I’m back!
All Christmas’d out and raring to go….

How was your Christmas?
Ours was lovely, I hope yours was too 🙂

Now, obviously you lot are a canny bunch and will have cooked exactly the right amount of food so that are no leftovers, and we have all achieved zero food waste over the festivities. Right?
OK, hands up-we have a smudge of turkey left, and a smudge of cranberry sauce, and slightly more than a smidge of bread sauce.
Every year I make too much bread sauce. Every year, only hubby and I eat it. And every year I resolve to make less next year…. Think I will write in big bold letters next to the recipe, to quarter the recipe next time!

I thought it might be handy to do a leftover’s round-up, to make sure that none of our precious festive food ends up in the bin:



  • Obviously cold in sandwiches, with stuffing and cranberry sauce-mmmmmm!
  • Turkey and ham pie-make a white sauce, mix it with some diced up left-over veg, turkey and/or ham, and top with rough puff (quick and easy recipe here)
  • Fruity turkey tagine– I made this a couple of evenings ago, and not only is it yummy, it used up the end of the bag of parsnips and carrots that was in the veg basket
  • Turkey curry-it’s obligatory isn’t it? I’ve just made one up that is currently bubbling away in the slow cooker:
    Finely slice a large onion, and fry in a little onion, then add 2 crashed garlic cloves, stir and allow to fry gently over a low heat for 5-10mins. Add 2 good handfuls of diced cold turkey, add any spices/curry powder that you have/takes your fancy (I used 1 tsp ras-el-hanout-I made some for the turkey tagine from this recipe here, 1 tsp thai spice mix, half tsp mild curry powder) and stir well to coat the turkey and onions. Add 3-4 large tbsps bread sauce if you have any. Pour in one can of coconut milk, 1 can boiling water, and add one chicken stock cube. Turn up the heat and stir well. Add a handful of raisins, and a good sprinkle of ground almonds, and bring to the boil. Tip the whole lot into the slow cooker, and leave to bubble while you go about your day. Serve with rice
  • This recipe from Nigella for turkey hash is a refreshing take on leftover turkey-I blogged it a couple of years ago

Cranberry sauce
-we had a whole thread going on the Make Do and Mend-able Facebook group page about uses for leftover cranberry sauce (it’s just how we rock…). Here are some of them:

  • Cranberry muffins
  • Use in sandwiches instead of chutney-a warm baguette with turkey and/or brie and cranberry sauce 🙂
  • Chicken/turkey and brie with cranberry sauce, wrapped in filo pastry
  • Bread pudding made with cranberry sauce and dark chocolate
  • Cranberry and apple/pear crumble
  • Failing that, you can freeze it!

Bread sauce
This is more for my own benefit…!

Christmas Pud
We had a minor Christmas pud disaster-I was massively chuffed to discover the option of cooking my pud in the slow cooker, and did so very smugly. I also re-heated it in the slow cooker on Christmas Day, BUT when I went to take it out, it was all sloppy and not at all pudding like 😦
We were saved by my sister in laws pud that she had bought for charity from her work. But now we have a LARGE bowl of sloppy Christmas pud that I refuse to throw out…

If you still need more inspiration, there are some great round-ups here from Jamie Oliver, here from the Guardian, and here from Recycle for Wales. The Love Food Hate Waste site is also a great resource, that allows you to search for recipes based on whatever you have leftover.

Whilst looking for recipes for this post, I saw a stat that on average 35% of our festive food ends up in landfill!!! That’s awful. If you spent £100 on your Christmas food shop, you may as well have chucked £35 straight into the bin 😦

So what are your top tips for making sure you use up the last morsel of your festive food?
And what’s the one thing you always end up with too much of?!




25 thoughts on “Love Your Leftovers….

  1. I have just been through my fridge today. I keep telling the family ,fresh first .Eat anything fresh before it goes out of date .Its way too easy when there is junk food around .So i will be putting a plate of grapes in front of my son later .Call it encouragement !

  2. unfortunately I deliberately cook slightly too many veg over the christmas period, because our favorite meal is the day after boxing day. Cold cooked meat, bubble and squeak and branston pickle, yum!

  3. We had loads of leftovers this year ( catering for the same amount of people that we had last year when in fact we had five less!). However I am co chuffed with myself as we had zero waste. Turkey and veg curry, turkey and veg hash, sandwiches ( obviously ) amongst other things. V pleased with myself 🙂

  4. We had a goose Christmas day, so I stocked the giblets for gravy and gave them to the cat for her breakfast afterwards (and her dinner too!) and I’ve just stocked the carcass today and picked off all the meat, I’m planning to make a goose soup – not quite figured out how yet!

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