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5 unusual ways to reuse Christmas leftovers

The Christmas period is always a time for eating lots of food, but what can we do with the leftovers from the festive spread? Here, Scott Hawthorne from Skips & Bins shares some unusual ways that you can reuse your festive food.

Image credit: Quang Anh Ha Nguyen via Pexels

One of the best things about Christmas is gathering with friends and family to eat lots of festive dishes. But when Christmas Day is over, how can you use up the leftovers? The Boxing Day turkey sandwich is a common meal, but there are plenty of other ideas that you might not have heard of. So, here are some ways that you can turn your Christmas leftovers into tasty new dishes.

Look through the dishes we’ve listed here, and you’re sure to find some firm favourites that you can come back to year after year to use up those leftovers and transform them into exciting new meals.

Bubble and squeak

Bubble and squeak is a classic warming dish, but did you know that it can also be the perfect way to use up lots of Christmas leftovers? It will use up your leftover mashed potato, and you can also mash any spare roast potatoes to add to the mix.

Then, you can make the dish more exciting (and Christmassy) by adding brussels sprouts, pancetta, cabbage, and chestnuts. All of these ingredients will make this a filling, tasty lunch or breakfast, and it will really make a dent in all the food you need to use up!

Carbonara with pigs in blankets

Pigs in blankets are one of the most well-loved Christmas foods, and they are also a great addition to a comforting pasta dish. Just make your usual carbonara with egg yolks and parmesan, and then slice your pigs in blankets and add them instead of bacon.

This will add a rich taste to this dish and make it something special. You can also garnish with some fresh parsley, if you have any leftover from dressing your Christmas Day spread.

Brussels sprouts pesto

If you have lots of brussels sprouts left from your Christmas meal, but you don’t feel like eating more heavy, roasted food, pesto can be a great option. This way, you don’t need to waste anything, but you can still eat something a little lighter. Pair it with some pasta and a salad, and you’ll have a refreshing lunch or dinner.

All you’ll need is the sprouts, lots of fresh basil, garlic and olive oil. Blend these ingredients in a food mixer with some salt, pepper and chilli to season, and then enjoy with your favourite pasta. You can also add in some parmesan for a cheesy flavour.

Turkey tikka masala

One of Britain’s favourite dishes, tikka masala is perfect for the cold weather. Turkey is a great meat to use in a tikka masala, as it can take on a lot of flavour from sauces, seasonings and spices. For the sauce, you’ll need lots of spices (garam masala, ginger, paprika, cumin seeds, and ground coriander), passata or tinned tomatoes, tomato purée and natural yoghurt.

Start by frying the spices, and then add your turkey in pieces. Then add your tomatoes and cook thoroughly, adding in the yoghurt at the end of the cooking to make the sauce creamy and luxurious. This is a fun way to make your turkey leftovers into a whole new meal.

Turkey ramen

Another way to make use of leftover turkey, is to use it in a ramen dish. You might not have had turkey in ramen before, but like chicken, it can be easily added. Make a soup base using miso paste, garlic, soy sauce, and chicken stock. You can even use your leftover gravy in place of the chicken stock!

When you’ve brought the soup to the boil, let it simmer while you add the other ingredients. This includes your noodles, turkey, and vegetables like spring onions, carrots, mushrooms and cabbage. When the ramen is done, you can also add a boiled egg — or poach an egg in the broth before serving. This idea could be the one for you if you feel like you’ve tried every conventional way of using up the turkey after Christmas Day.

After Christmas, it’s common to have lots of food left over. While it’s always nice to snack on festive dishes, eventually you might want to eat something different. So, use these tips to turn your leftovers into whole new dishes that you can enjoy in the days following the festive period.