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Christmas Leftovers: 6 Top Tips


Festive leftovers are on of the best things in the world!

Off-cuts or odd ends? Slops, scraps or spares?

No matter what you call them, festive leftovers are one of the best things about those cosy ‘pyjama days’ between Christmas Day and New Year. So much so, we’ve decided to dedicate this entire blog post to them. And who knows, after seeing our list of leftover recipes there might not be anything left over at all, this year!

Why use leftovers?

Firstly, it’s estimated approximately seven million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year. Almost 300,000 tonnes is said to be wasted at Christmas, including two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pies. That’s a staggering amount. Using our leftovers reduces the amount of perfectly edible food we throw away.

What’s more, leftover meals are both an amazing opportunity for foodie experimentation and an excellent exercise in thriftiness, saving you a pretty penny in the process. They’re also an excuse to revisit and reuse some of those incredible festive flavours without the pressure of cooking a full-blown Christmas dinner. 

Let’s take a look at some tip top ways to use leftovers...

1. Bubble and Squeak

There’s no better way to start our list of leftovers than with this classic ‘nothing goes to waste’ British staple. There’s no better way to start the day, either, especially after a few festive tipples! In what is actually a tremendous hangover-helper breakfast, Bubble and Squeak sees those Christmas dinner leftovers shredded and fried to crispy goodness. We highly recommend serving on toasted bread with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for added oomph

2. Turkey sandwiches

Speaking of bread, no leftovers list would be complete without a shout out to turkey sarnies. However, when it comes to the filling, there’s always room to be a little more ambitious than a dollop of cranberry sauce or some leftover stuffing. Revisit the rest of your Christmas dinner remnants - roast potatoes, sprouts, cabbage, that lonely chipolata - and get them all involved for a proper festive feast-wich! 

Top tip: Be generous with gravy salvaged from the stock and take your humble turkey sandwich to new heights!

3. Spanish omelette

How about traditional with a Spanish twist? The Spanish omelette is a fantastic alternative to bubble and squeak. A typical Tortilla de patatas would involve potatoes and eggs fried with caramelised onion, but there’s no reason why your other leftovers should sit this one out. Grab your ‘big’ pan, use plenty of quality frying olive oil and revive those rich flavours of Christmas dinner on Boxing Day and beyond!

4. Christmas carbonara

Leftover cheese? Spare pigs-in-blankets? Coming in at number four on our list of leftovers is the Christmas carbonara. We don’t even discriminate when it comes to the cheeses - anything leftover is fair game! The pasta purists may cringe at this notion but leftovers are about saving time and money, reducing waste, and making the most of those flavoursome remains. Besides, can you really go too far wrong with bacon, pasta and cheese? 

Top tip: A well-placed drizzle of La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil flavoured with White Truffle would be well-placed to add a luxurious finish to any pasta dish!

5. Spanish Leftovers Stew

Growing tired of the same flavours? Our lentil, chorizo and vegetable stew is an incredibly popular winter warmer that would accommodate any leftover turkey or chicken with ease. Very hearty and deliciously comforting, we prefer to serve with a generous drizzle of fruity La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a chunk of crusty bread for a simple Spanish-inspired meal. 

6. Boxing Day Bake

Another superb ‘nothing wasted’ leftovers dish is the Christmas pasta bake. This versatile recipe will handle almost any Christmas leftovers you throw at it, with the only additional ingredients being pasta (and maybe more cheese). Quick to fix, filling and freezer-friendly, this is exactly what leftover cooking is all about.

Top tip: Crumble stuffing scraps and your cheese board offcuts onto you Christmas pasta bake before popping in the oven for extra crispy deliciousness! 

“Go on, have another one...”

7. (Bonus) Pudding power! 

An honourable mention before you desert your desserts…Christmas pudding lasts ages, so please don’t toss it out on boxing day! Where a pudding relying on fresh fruits for moisture will go off quicker, Christmas pudding is soaked in alcohol and has a higher sugar and dried fruit content. This means that, relatively, the classic Christmas puds will keep exceptionally well and stored correctly should see you well into the new year. And what’s more, those rich flavours are said to improve over time!

So, leftover lovers! Did you see something that tickled your fancy? Or have you got your own secret recipe tucked up your sleeve for all those scrumptious scraps? If you’d like to share ideas and recipes then please do visit us on social media - we’ll be waiting on Facebook and Instagram to continue the Crimbo convo!