This year’s Christmas leftovers ideas

Christmas leftover recipes turkey and cranberry mayo sandwich

Last year we had a big list of ideas for all kinds of festive leftover foods – you can find that here if you’re interested – so this time around I thought I’d share exactly what we’re up to with our Christmas leftovers at Golightly Gardens.

To begin with, we planned our food shopping fairly well this time around, so there are deliberate leftovers but not tons and tons of them. After cooking a lot on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we’re now having a lazy couple of days with cold cuts and some simple recipes, including a couple of favourite dishes that are tasty and thrifty.

On Christmas evening, Beau sliced up the leftover turkey after it had properly cooled. He saved some for sandwiches for Boxing Day lunch along with, mayo, salad and leftover cranberry sauce (see picture above), and put a little bit more aside to cook with tomorrow. The rest has been split between two bags and frozen, and will probably end up in fajitas or salad bowls. That’s the thing about turkey, it freezes well (if you bought a fresh one in the first place) and it’s pretty healthy, so it can be used up later in January when you might be wanting some lighter, fresher meals.

The other half of Boxing Day lunch was spiced parsnip soup. I sauteed a finely chopped onion, than poured over some liquidised leftover roast parsnips that were mixed with vegetable stock and leftover bread sauce. There were a couple of leftover carrots in there too. For the price of an onion and a teaspoon of veg stock granules we made three portions of delicious, filling soup (pictured below). This is easily my favourite thing to make with leftover parsnips, and the spices and cream in the bread sauce made it extra tasty. I don’t eat turkey so I had mine with a cheese sandwich on the side for a nice vegetarian meal.

Spiced parsnip soup with leftover roast parsnips and bread sauce

Tomorrow we’re having bubble and squeak cakes to use up the leftover roast potatoes and brussels sprouts. This is another household favourite, and it’s really easy to make. I chop up the veggies fairly small, then pour about a tablespoon or so of boiling water over them in a flat-bottomed heatproof bowl and leave to stand for a couple of minutes before adding salt and pepper and mashing the mixture roughly with a potato masher. Then I form it into burger patty shapes and chill them on an oiled baking tray to firm them up. Once we’re ready to eat, they go into a hot oven for 20 minutes or so until the tops go crispy.

That’s a lot less greasy than frying them, and they can be served with leftover bacon, ham or eggs to make a more filling meal. Beau often has bacon left over from making pigs in blankets so that’s a good way to use it up if it can’t be frozen.

This year we don’t have any leftover mince pies or Christmas pudding so I don’t have to worry about those. There’s some chocolate orange trifle left over from Christmas Day but that’ll all be eaten on the 26th and 27th because it’s a real corker of a dish this year. I used Cointreau mixed with mandarin juice instead of the traditional sherry and it turned out to be the dessert version of crack. Probably just as well, as I don’t think there’s much you can do about leftover trifle apart from turn it into the world’s unhealthiest smoothie…

What kind of leftovers do you have in your house this year, and do you have any favourite ways to use them up?


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