Christmas is a time for stuffing yourself with as much food as you possibly can. But, try as you might, there are always leftovers! Whether you made your own Christmas dinner or your family sent you home with a plate covered in cling film, you’ll need some ways to use them up. Luckily, there are all kinds of imaginative ways you can reuse your leftovers!
You can stick to traditional flavours or branch out into something more exotic. Go beyond the usual Boxing Day turkey sandwiches and turkey curry and try out some of these our favourite easy recipes. You won’t need a lot of space, time or too many ingredients. Perfect for cooking up on Boxing Day or in the following days!
Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak
Bubble and squeak is a classic dish for anyone who grew up in the UK. And it’s the perfect way to for use up all your leftover veg. You can use what you’ve got, including potatoes, sprouts, carrots and parsnips. All the vegetables get mashed together in a hot pan. Meanwhile, chipolatas and tomatoes go under the grill, before adding mushrooms and then bacon. While those ingredients keep warm in the oven, crack four eggs into your vegetables. That goes into the oven too, until the eggs are cooked, and then you can serve up both dishes. A brilliant way to make sure you don’t waste any of the leftover food!
Fruity Turkey Tagine
This fruity turkey tagine has Moroccan flavours of Ras el Hanout and uses up both your turkey and your leftover veg. It couldn’t be easier to make and you can do it all in one pot. Start by gently cooking an onion, then adding carrots and parsnips. Those are followed by garlic and Ras el Hanout spice mix. In goes some turkey or chicken stock with chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, dried fruit and some water. When the vegetables are tender, the cooked leftover turkey goes in to warm through. Some honey gives it extra sweetness, with coriander and almonds finishing it off. This flavourful dish is ideal with couscous and natural yoghurt.
Chestnut and Bacon Soup
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are one of the best things about Christmas. But what to do when you have some left over? This soup is perfect for a light lunch on Boxing Day, or even for supper on Christmas Day. It begins with sautéing onion, bacon, celery and carrots. Cover with stock and add thyme and chestnuts, and you can leave it to simmer while you put your feet up. Then all that’s left is to purée the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender. Add some crispy rashers of bacon to finish it off. This recipe is also ideal for making ahead and freezing. Just leave it to cool and pour it into freezable containers (before adding bacon).
Christmas Leftover Pie
Along with turkey, there’s often a lot of leftover ham at Christmas. This pie recipe uses up both meats and uses easy shop-bought pastry. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, then make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan and adding flour, stirring until the mixture comes away from the sides. Next melt more butter in another pan and fry mushrooms until soft, then tip onto a plate. Add more butter to fry leeks, season, cook until soft and then add to the plate with mushrooms. Add stock, cream, sage, thyme and wholegrain mustard to the pan. Bring the mixture to the boil, then stir in the roux to thicken the sauce. Put the mushrooms and leeks back in the pan with frozen peas, turkey and ham. You can top it with pastry or with mashed potato, before putting into the oven for 30 minutes.
There’s nothing more quick and simple than a stir-fry when you don’t want to spend ages in the kitchen. And it’s even easier when your meat is already cooked. You can use whatever vegetables you like with this recipe, but make sure you shred them finely so they cook quickly. If you want to cheat, buy in a pack of frozen stir-fry veg from the supermarket to make things super easy. Heat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat with a tablespoon of oil. If your turkey isn’t cooked yet, fry it for a few minutes first. Mix it in a bowl with soy sauce and Chinese five spice. Fry onions for two minutes, before adding garlic and chili for a minute. Toss in your veg and turkey for two minutes, then add a little water and cover for a minute before serving with rice or noodles.
These brilliant recipes will make sure you don’t waste any food over Christmas. It’s easy to repurpose your leftovers into some delicious new dishes in no time at all. Show us how you’ve made the most of your festive leftovers on Twitter @ChurchillRL or send us pictures on our Facebook page!