Most everyone who celebrates Christmas loves the big dinner, and there are always lots of ham or turkey remaining, which is something not as many people are in love with. Thankfully, there are many creative ways to use these traditional Christmas leftovers.
The traditional turkey sandwich is the first thing that comes to mind. Turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing layered between slices of bread is the most common way to use leftovers. Change things up a little by using a seeded bread, a toasted roll, or turn it into a submarine sandwich are fun ways to liven things up.
2. Spanish Omelette
It’s always a good day when Phil makes a Spanish omelette! It’s a great way to use up those spare eggs from Christmas baking, as well as leftover potatoes. Make your omelette as usual, but toss in some pieces of turkey or ham as well. Yum!
Not many people can turn down pizza – especially kids, who often don’t look forward to leftovers. Anything and everything can go on a pizza, which you learn when you travel. Think ahead a put a frozen crust in the freezer for just this occasion, or, if you’re more hands-on, bake your own from scratch. You can put turkey, ham, luncheon meat, veggies (frozen, fresh, or leftover), and almost anything you find in your fridge that needs to be used up.
You don’t always have to have turkey paired with bread to make a meal – top your poutine not just with gravy and cheese, but other toppings as well, such as peas, onions, steak slices, and of course, turkey!
Another classic way to use Christmas meal leftovers is by turning them into soup. Make a turkey noodle soup and freeze it to have on hand for winter colds and flu. Or freeze your left-overs in bite-size pieces and simply add some turkey pieces to your soups as you make them. Our favourite is when it’s added to our go-to lentil soup. Add it to corn chowder, veggie soup, tomato soup, or just about anything.
6. Christmas Hash
This is one of my favourite recipes for left-overs any time of the year. Take out a cast-iron frying pan, add a touch of oil, then throw in a generous portion of those left-over mashed and roast potatoes (sliced into bite-size pieces). Then add your leftover veggies; peas, Brussel sprouts, carrots, parsnips, corn, etc. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, mix up and heat through. I love mine with a nice golden crust on the bottom.
Colcannon, an Irish dish, is perfect for using left-over mashed potatoes and cabbage. It’s also quick and easy to make!
8. Turkey Pot Pie
Almost all of your Christmas leftovers can be thrown into a pie crust, baked, and enjoyed. You could even make it now and freeze it for a delicious meal in February.
Of course, wraps are a ‘turn’ on a sandwich, but they also allow you the freedom to dress things up a little differently. Add lettuce, salsa, veggies (raw or cooked), salad dressing, etc., and you have a whole new meal!
10. Croquettes with ham and peas
Turn your leftovers into a fun meal for the kids by using mashed potatoes, ham, and peas and make your own croquettes. Add a touch of curry flavour for a different taste (this was popular in Japan at the time I was there).
Some people love having Christmas leftovers every day for a week. I’m not actually a fan of that – but if you transform them into ‘new’ meals, then I’m all for it! It’s a little like upcycling your meals-haha!
What’s your favourite way to eat your leftovers?