Using up Christmas food

Filed in Blog by on December 27, 2010 6 Comments
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Turkey and leek pie - the perfect 'leftovers' meal

Turkey and leek pie - the perfect 'leftovers' meal

Morning all,

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas spent with loved ones.

We celebrate Yule, so we’ve been busy using up leftovers since last Tuesday. I tend to be much more frugal when it comes to planning food, but it’s the one time of year where Mr Green maxes out. Last year we got caught out on a ‘buy one get one free’ offer on pate and this year I was determined not to have any food waste.

My challenge was Mr Eyes-bigger-than-my-belly forgot that Little Miss Green tends to get over excited and loses her appetite around this time of year. She wanted turkey, he wanted beef. I was worried about cooking beef (I’ve never cooked it before and had visions of a dry, tough piece of inedible meat) so Mr Green took out an insurance policy by getting chicken as well!

Turns out I excelled myself and the beef couldn’t have been better – that’s what comes of using a local butcher who cuts you the best piece and tells you how to cook it 😉 Plus we’d already got half a chicken breast left over from the previous Sunday’s dinner.

I only made two puddings – they were each allowed to choose one. Mr Green chose apple and almond tart while Little Miss Green went for the more decadent tiramisu. Both were huge hits.

Here’s how we’ve been using up the leftovers since the festivities:


Chicken pasta

Chopped chicken with left over sweetcorn and peas mixed into pasta with cream cheese stirred through


Roast dinner

Another ‘mini roast dinner’ – Left over beef and turkey with potatoes, parsnips, carrots, broccoli and gravy


Beef stew

Beef stew with dumplings – that put an end to all leftover vegetables!


Turkey pie

Turkey and leeks covered in white sauce and made into a pie

We tend to eat our main meal in the evening, so lunches were ‘picky plates’ comprised of bacon and sausages,  soup, pate and quiches..

Still looking for ideas? Don’t forget my ‘Twelve days of Christmas leftovers‘ for some fantastic recipes and have a nose at the Love Food Hate Waste recipes for inspiration too.

What are you planning to do with your leftover Christmas food?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. Hazel says:

    My favourite is probably the turkey pie. I don’t tend to make pies that often as I can be bothered to make pastry, so turkey pie after Christmas is a big treat! I also make muffin sized ones (complete with pastry heart or initial on top) to freeze for lunch boxes, which go down very well.

    This year, I’m in Hungarian mode, having had a Hungarian guest for Christmas. I made Beigli for the first time, which is their equivalent of Christmas cake, but is an enriched bread dough with either a ground walnut or a ground poppy seed filling. Both are delicious and I will be making it again, Hungarians at the table or not! Anyway, he was a perfect guest and brought us some zero-waste hostess gifts of Tokaji dessert wine, home made liqueur in reusable bottle and home made paprika in a Bonne Maman jar! The paprika is like none I’ve ever seen in the shops, so I’m making this to try it. I’ll omit the peppers (or add other veg) and just add cooked turkey to heat through when the sauce is cooked.

    Otherwise Bubble and Squeak is our favourite way to use up potatoes and brussels. Serve with poached egg or cold meat- yum!

  2. Julie Day says:

    We ate up all our turkey for tea on Xmas Day. Did you get the recipe for turkey and leek pie from Jamie Oliver? I watched his Best Ever Xmas tv programme today and that was one thing he made.

  3. Alyson says:

    We had chicken and will be using leftover chicken to make chicken and pea rissotto, one day, and chicken soup the next. Didn’t have any other leftovers, for once I managed to do the right amount of shopping.

  4. I used our left over ham, bread and hard cheese from the cheese platter in a Cheesy Ham Bake.

    There are still plenty of sweets left over but I can guarantee they won’t go to waste.

    I am now planning the New Years day feast. It is not as extensive as the Christmas fare but we still tend to celebrate with the foods we love but don’t often eat. I am thinking of a mango and chicken salad. It is WAY too hot to cook so salad suits me just fine 🙂 Plus, there are some mangoes and avocados left from the Christmas food shop.

  5. Hazel says:

    The Turkey Paprikash was delicious :o) As the meat was cooked I just added it at the end to heat through. Definitely a nice change. It needs sour cream, but if you have leftover double cream, try adding a bit of lemon juice to it and using that up.

    Turkey and Leek and Beef, Onion and Parsnip pies in the oven as I write. I made Roast Veg soup with the root veg (including boiled carrots), which was good too. The chickens got the last of the mashed swede, which had gone a bit grey-looking, otherwise I’ve used everything up!

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Hazel: I’m a bit lazy with pastry but I’m trying to make it more often because both Mr G and LMG love it. Glad your Turkey Paprikash was good; I’ll look it up as one of LMG’s favourite spices is paprika. It sounds like you had a wonderful time and some really thoughtful gifts too!
    @Julie Day: I just made it up, but I’ll check out the Jamie Oliver one as I always love a good recipe 🙂 Thanks Julie
    @Alyson: Well done on gauging the right amount of food; that’s brilliant.
    @Megan Bayliss: You have HOT weather? How lovely! I love the snow and winter season but it’s nice to look forward to only wanting to eat salads. THanks for the cheesy ham bake recipe, I think my two would love that 🙂

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