Waste not, want not

Just when you think the excitement’s over, these Christmas leftover recipes will help revive your spirit with something a little bit different.

Picture this: It’s around 11am on 27th December. You’re knee-deep in tree needles, wrapping paper and cardboard, and you can’t fit another thing in the fridge. It’s time to tackle those leftovers.

Making the most of it
Your beautifully roasted, free-range turkey may be slightly past its heyday come 26th or 27th, but you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of the whole carcass. If you’re clever, your turkey should stretch to at least three meals after the main one on Christmas Day.

Assuming you’ve polished off most of the breast meat with Boxing Day pickles, you should be left with some lovely chunks of the moister, darker meat. These are great in a curry or as a pie filling as they don’t dry out – you can also add in any ham, sausages or stuffing still lingering in the fridge.

Or try something a bit different with this spicy Moroccan stew, which would work just as well with leftover beef or lamb.

Fruity tagine

Aromatic ras el hanout, tangy tomatoes and wholesome chickpeas combine to make the perfect antidote to the excesses of the main Christmas feast.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, thickly sliced
carrots, thickly sliced on the diagonal (or use leftovers)
parsnips, thickly sliced on the diagonal (or use leftovers)
garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons ras el hanout
500ml turkey,lamb or beef stock
1 jar of tomato passata
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
140g mixture of leftover dried apricots, prunes or Medjoul dates, roughly chopped
300g (approx.) leftover turkey, beef or lamb, cut into bite-sized chunks
A good drizzle of clear honey
Salt and pepper, to season


½ small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon flaked almonds, toasted
Greek style natural yogurt

Serving options

Serve with your choice of couscous, cooked according to the packet instructions, or sautéed leftover roast potatoes. Top with a generous dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of almonds and coriander.


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then cook the onion gently for eight minutes or until softened.
  2. If using fresh vegetables, add the carrots and parsnips and cook for a further eight minutes until they start to soften and brown a little. Then add the garlic and ras el hanout, and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Tip in the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas, dried fruit and 150ml water. Season, bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Check the vegetables are tender, then add the turkey (and leftover carrots and parsnips if using pre-cooked) and simmer for 5 minutes to heat it through. Stir in the honey right before serving with the couscous or potatoes, and garnish each dish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of almonds and coriander.

Sweet treats
Christmas leftovers aren’t just about the meat – you’ll probably have loads of half-eaten desserts to contend with too. However much you like Christmas pudding, it can get a bit ‘samey’ by Boxing Day. For a fun holiday treat, why not eat it for breakfast?

Christmas Pancakes

These indulgent American-style pancakes will brighten up your morning.


150g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
125ml-150ml milk
125g leftover Christmas pudding or cake
Small dab of butter or oil for frying

To serve

Brandy butter
Orange zest


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl with the caster sugar. Mix, then make a well in the centre and gradually stir in the eggs and milk, until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Roughly chop the leftover Christmas pudding and stir into the batter. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes, then wipe a frying pan with a little butter and place it over a medium heat.
  3. When the pan is hot, pour 2-3 spoonfuls of the pancake mixture into the centre. Once bubbles form on the surface, flip over and cook for another minute, then stack on a warmed plate. Repeat to use up the remaining batter.
  4. Serve while still hot, with leftover brandy butter and a grating of orange zest.

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