Christmas Dinner Leftover Ideas

Every year most households buy way too much food for Christmas Day and are then left with copious amounts of leftovers to live off for the next few days. So I’ve complied a list of recipes I’ve found on the BBC Good Food website and my own ideas for tasty ways to use up your leftovers this year.

Boxing Day Curry

A Boxing Day curry is always popular, so why not make a Thai Green Turkey Curry this year using my Thai Green Chicken Curry For One recipe. You can chuck in whatever leftover vegetables you want too and increase the quantities of the curry sauce for how many people you have to feed. Another quick and tasty curry you could make using your leftover turkey is my Chinese Chicken Curry.

Leftover Turkey Risotto

Make a turkey risotto using Chicken and Mushroom Risotto For One recipe. Swap the chicken for your leftover turkey, and again increase the quantities for the number you’re cooking for. You could even add some chunks of leftover gammon if you have any too for extra flavour!

Leftover Turkey Fajitas and Sweet Potato Wedges

After a traditional Christmas dinner, it may be a welcome change to have something completely different like Mexican food. Plus you also don’t want to be stood in the kitchen cooking for all day again, so pick up an Old El Paso Fajita kit for a quick and tasty meal. It may be ‘cheating’ not making your own fajita sauce, but I really like the Extra Mild and Smokey BBQ kits they do, and it saves on cost as they include the wraps too.

To make the fajitas, fry some sliced red peppers and onions in FryLight spray and once softened add the turkey. Stir in the sauce and heat through until the turkey is piping hot. Serve with in tortilla wraps, sour cream and guacamole.

To make the sweet potato wedges: peel and cut the sweet potatoes into similar size wedges. Place them on a baking tray, then spray with FryLight and sprinkle with paprika. Cook at 200°C or gas mark 6 for 30-40 minutes and until soft. Or if you bought too many normal potatoes and didn’t use them all for roasties, make normal potato wedges instead.

Leftover Turkey Stir Fry:

Make up a simple stir fry sauce by mixing 4 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp tomato puree and 2 tbsp dry sherry in a bowl [for 2 people, increase the quantities for more people]. Slice an onion, 1 red chilli and a garlic clove and fry until softened. Then add the turkey and any leftover vegetables you have – broccoli and carrots work well in a stir fry so use these if you have them! Add a 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sauce and heat until all the ingredients are piping hot and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve with noodles.

“Throw in all your leftovers” Omelette:

You can put almost anything in an omelette, making it the perfect leftover recipe. Leftover cheeseboards supply the cheese you need, and you could experiment with different flavours depending what you have. A good combination would be a Pigs in Blanket Omelette for a tasty Boxing Day Brunch.

Mum’s Broccoli and Parsnip Soup:

I love it when my Mum visits me at university as she always makes up a batch of her Broccoli and Parsnip soup for me, and it’d be the perfect recipe to use up your leftover broccoli and roast parsnips! Chuck the leftover cooked broccoli and parsnips into a large pan, then cover with half milk and had water. Add a chicken oxo cubes and 1 tsp mixed herbs, then bubble away for 5-10 minutes [if you’re using uncooked veg, cook it for 20-25 minutes to give the veg time to soften!]. Keep an eye on it as the milk will boil faster than the water so you may need to turn it down. Blend the soup until smooth using a hand blender. This soup also freezes well too, so you can make up a big batch of it.

Turkey Thai Salad

After a heavy, indulgent day on Christmas, you may fancy something light and fresh like this Thai salad. To make it, finely slice a cucumber, 2 bunches of spring onions and a red and green pepper, and shred your leftover turkey. Place in a bowl and add 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander and 2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh mint. To make the dressing combine 1 chopped fresh chilli, 1 crushed garlic clove, the juice of 1 lime, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp light soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp sugar in a small jar and shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix well and serve.

Leftover Chocolate Cheesecake

Everybody always has chocolate in abundance around Christmas in every type you can think of. So this year you could adapt my Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake recipe using whatever chocolate you have to make a tasty chocolate cheesecake! It also makes a great dessert for entertaining too, so could be a perfect Boxing Day party treat!

Other Ideas and Recipes:

  • Leftover Turkey and Ham Pie
  • Oven-Baked Bubble and Squeak – this is probably a lot of people’s go to recipe on Boxing Day already, and it’s a great, easy recipe for using up all your leftover vegetables and potatoes
  • Cheese and Cranberry Toastie  this is a great recipe for using up leftover cranberry sauce and cheeseboards. They use stilton, but you could use any cheese you like
  • Boxing Day Soup use up any leftover vegetables you have in this adaptable, easy recipe. Soup is a great option too as you can make a big batch and freeze it.


  • Spiced Parsnip and Ham Soup – another great soup recipe which uses up leftover roasties, parsnips, gammon and double cream (if you have any left from dessert).


Leftover Christmas Pudding:

Lots of you asked for ideas on ways to use up your leftover Christmas Pudding. Unfortunately I don’t like Christmas Pudding so I haven’t got any recipes I use myself, but I was able to find these great ones on the BBC Good Food website!


  • Christmas Pudding Ice Cream – I love this inventive but easy recipe. Simply blend shop-bought vanilla ice cream, mix with your leftover Christmas pudding and freeze for 2 hours! You could easily adapt this recipe using any pudding you have leftover…I’m thinking Sticky Toffee Pudding Ice Cream would be yummy!


What do you like to do with your leftovers? What do you always have leftovers of and need a recipe for? 


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