How to love your Christmas leftovers

Don't let your Christmas feast go to waste – everything tastes better the day after, anyway

How to love your Christmas leftovers

There might be a lot of bits kicking about at the back of the fridge, but showing them some love and turning them into exciting meals is easier than you think. Christmas is the time for filling the cupboards and over-indulging, but almost without exception there will be a substantial amount of food leftover. Say no to waste, and make these uneaten bits of food work for you this year, starting with these six leftover-inspired recipes.


A French-inspired open pie filled with leftover roast veg, herby stuffing and gooey melted cheese is perfect winter comfort food. Leftover meat always gets the kudos, but this simple pie is crowned with all the roasted veg that often just sees the bin. In fact, pretty much any part of your Christmas meal that is still hanging around can fill this delicious pie.


You’ll need:

·     1tbsp rapeseed oil 

·     1 red onion (sliced)

·     500g leftover veg – we used a mixture of roast carrots, parsnips, potatoes and cooked Brussels sprouts (halved)

·     100g leftover Brie or Stilton (roughly chopped)

·     70g cooked chestnuts (roughly chopped)

·     1tbsp chopped sage

·     125g prepared sage and onion stuffing (crumbled)

·     Flour (for rolling out)

·     500g pack Asda Ready To Roll Shortcrust Pastry

·     5tbsp cranberry sauce

·     1 medium egg, beaten

How to make:

·     Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium setting, then fry the onion for 8-9 mins until soft and starting to brown. Set aside to cool. 

·     Put the cooled onion, vegetables, Brie or Stilton, chestnuts, sage and ¾ of the stuffing into a large bowl and toss together.

·     Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

·     Flour a work surface, then roll out the pastry to 5mm thick. Cut out a 30cm circle, using a dinner plate as a guide. Carefully slide the pastry circle onto the prepared baking tray.

·     Spread 4tbsp of the cranberry sauce over the centre of the pastry, leaving a 4cm border clear around the edge. Top the sauce with the veg mixture, then dollop the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the stuffing

·     Fold the pastry border over the edges of the filling, then brush with the beaten egg, to glaze. 

·     Bake for 35-40 mins until the pastry is crisp. Serve hot or warm.



Don’t let those little piggies get away – they’ll be the star of this simple pasta dish. You probably won’t see another pig in blanket for the best part of a year, so make the most of them now. This creamy, pasta favourite, dotted with sausages wrapped in bacon is an inspired way to use up your Christmas piglets.

You’ll need:

·     40g leftover mixed nuts, chopped

·     1tbsp rapeseed oil

·     1 medium onion, finely chopped

·     200g leftover cooked pigs in blankets (about 10)

·     2 large cloves garlic, crushed

·     300g spaghetti

·     50g Parmesan (or any leftover hard cheese)

·     3 eggs, beaten

·     2tbsp double cream

·     10g flat-leaf parsley, chopped

How to make:

·     Dry-fry the mixed nuts in a hot pan for 3-5 mins until toasted. Set aside.

·     Heat the oil in a pan, with the onion and cooked pigs in blankets. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 mins. Add the garlic, then cook uncovered for 2 mins.

·     Cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions. Drain, reserving 2tbsp of the cooking water, then return the pasta and reserved water to the pan.

·     Meanwhile, grate the Parmesan and whisk together the eggs, double cream and 40g of the cheese.

·     Tip the egg mixture, pigs in blankets mixture and parsley over the spaghetti. Mix until the pasta is well coated with the creamy sauce.

·     Transfer to a serving dish, then sprinkle with the toasted nuts and reserved grated cheese to serve.



Wrap your leftover turkey, mash and roast parsnips up in a slice of Parma ham and serve with a splash of madeira gravy for a sophisticated leftover dinner. These tasty patties are an ideal way to use up your leftover bird and veg. All wrapped up in a tasty slice of Parma ham, they’ll take your leftover Boxing Day cold cuts to a whole other level. Mmmm.


You’ll need:

·     400g leftover turkey, shredded

·     600g leftover mashed potato

·     200g leftover roast parsnips

·     25g pack flat-leaf parsley

·     1tbsp dried sage

·     1tbsp plain flour

·     8 slices Parma ham

·     1tbsp rapeseed oil

·     100ml leftover gravy

·     2tbsp madeira or port (optional)

How to make:

·     In a large bowl, mix the leftover turkey, mashed potato, roast parsnips, parsley, chopped and sage. Season with black pepper.

·     Shape the mixture into 8 patties and lightly dust with the flour. Take the Parma ham and wrap 1 around each patty, then set aside.

·     Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium setting. Working in batches, fry the patties for 4 mins on each side until the ham is crisp. Cover and keep in a warm place while you fry the remaining patties.

·     Whisk together the gravy and madeira or port (optional).

·     Once all the patties are cooked, add the gravy mixture to the empty pan. Simmer for 5 mins until you have a thick, glossy sauce.

·     Serve 2 patties per person with a drizzle of the madeira gravy and a green salad on the side.



Forget straight-forward turkey sarnies, this toastie uses up the best of the leftovers. When you’re a bit peckish, toast up a seriously special sandwich, layered with leftover ham, brie, veg and cranberry sauce. For best results, serve with five minutes of peace and quiet!

You’ll need:

·     40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

·     8 slices sourdough bloomer, about 1cm thick

·     4tbsp cranberry sauce or chutney

·     4 slices leftover gammon or thick cut roast ham

·     120g Cornish brie, sliced

·     100g cooked sprouts, sliced

·     200g leftover roast veg, roughly chopped

How to make:

·     Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread. 

·     Turn 4 slices of bread, butter side down and spread over the cranberry sauce. Top with the remaining ingredients and sandwich with the remaining bread, butter side up.

·     Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the toasties, one at a time for 3-4mins on each side until crisp and golden and the cheese has melted. Keep warm in a low oven until they’re all cooked, if you’d like. Cut in half before serving.



The spicy, fruity flavour of your crumbled leftover Christmas pud topping a classic, indulgent brownie makes a super seasonal sweet treat. Chocolate brownies will forever be a crowd pleaser but crumbling on your leftover Christmas pudding gives the sweet treat a really festive feel. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty about the pudding going uneaten.

You’ll need:


·     200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into chunks

·     175g unsalted butter, cubed

·     280g golden caster sugar

·     130g plain flour

·     3 medium eggs

·     1tsp vanilla extract

·     2tbsp brandy (optional)

·     200g leftover cooked Christmas pudding, crumbled

·     80g mixed roasted nuts, roughly chopped


How to make:

·     Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Grease brownie tin and line with baking paper.

·     Put the dark chocolate and unsalted butter in a glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted.

·     Remove from the heat and stir in the caster sugar, followed by the flour. Then, mix in the eggs, vanilla extract and brandy (optional).

·     Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth into the corners. Sprinkle over the leftover Christmas pudding mixed roasted nuts, pushing slightly into the batter.

·     Bake for 35-40 mins until set on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Set aside to cool completely in the tin.

·     Cut into 20 pieces before serving.



A creamy, classic bread and butter pudding but with a sophisticated seasonal twist. Using up strips of Christmas panettone couldn’t be easier this year. Layered and baked with blueberries, cherries and a creamy egg mix this take on a classic bread and butter pudding makes a comforting winter dessert.

You’ll need:

·     10g unsalted butter

·     300g panettone, cut into thick slices

·     25g dried blueberries

·     25g dried cherries

·     2 large eggs, beaten

·     1tsp vanilla extract

·     300ml semi-skimmed milk

·     100ml single cream

·     50g fresh raspberries

·     30g caster sugar

How to make:

·     Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Grease an ovenproof dish with the butter.

·     Arrange the panettone slices, overlapping, in the dish. Scatter over the blueberries and cherries.

·     Lightly beat together the eggs, vanilla extract, milk and cream until the mixture is evenly blended. Pour over the panettone. Scatter over the raspberries and sprinkle the sugar on top.

·     Bake for 40 mins or until golden brown and set in the middle. Rest for 5 mins before serving.


Find everything you need to create delicious Christmas leftover recipes online or pop into your local store.