Jess Roberts’ guide to getting creative with your Christmas leftovers…

Leftovers Recipes

Even after everyone’s eaten their weight in food on Christmas Day, leftovers are inevitable – it seems impossible not to cook too much of everything. Leftover sprouts (what do you mean, you don’t want a third helping?), an assortment of potatoes, a smattering of sausages and meats, and even a dessert or two are all headed for the fridge, just waiting to be made into an uninspiring Boxing Day buffet. But it doesn’t have to be this way – to help you create some yummy dishes with your leftovers and bring a bit of diversity to your post-Christmas dinner table, we’ve compiled some great recipes that you can whip up faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

1 Sprouts


Ever since Jamie Oliver started frying Brussels sprouts with bacon, there has been something of a sprout resurgence. In keeping with this delicious duo, here’s a recipe for tortilla pizzas topped with Brussels sprouts, bacon and Stilton cheese.

Ingredients – Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
6 rashers smoked, streaky bacon
250g Brussels sprouts
4 tortillas
75g Stilton cheese
For the white sauce
Small knob of butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml double cream
1 tsp nutmeg, grated

1. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan assisted/gas mark 7. Over a medium heat, warm 1/2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add the bacon and cook until just beginning to crisp, before removing from the pan with a slotted spoon and leaving to drain on kitchen paper. Add a spot more oil to the pan and then tip in the sprouts and cook until softened and starting to caramelise.
2. To create the white sauce, melt the butter in a pan. Add the garlic and leave for approximately 30 seconds, then add the cream and grated nutmeg. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
3. Place the tortillas on oven trays and spread on the white sauce, followed by the Brussels sprouts, bacon and Stilton. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the tortillas are crisp and the toppings are bubbling.

2 Pudding

Christmas Pudding

Even if you manage to consume your weight in turkey and stuffing, you’re probably going to end up eating a spoonful or two of Christmas pudding too. However, if somehow you don’t manage to demolish the whole thing, why not try turning the leftovers into a deliciously fruity Christmas crumble.

Ingredients – Serves 6
60g butter
100g plain flour
150-200g Christmas pudding
1 large cooking apple
2 pears, ripe
2 tbsp cranberry sauce
2 tbsp Demerara sugar

1. Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Rub the butter and flour together to create a breadcrumb consistency before crumbling in the Christmas pudding.
2. Peel and thickly slice the apple and pears, discarding the cores. Place half of the fruit in the dish and add 1tbsp cranberry sauce, followed by the remaining fruit, sauce and 1tbsp sugar.
3. Spoon the topping onto the fruit and then sprinkle the remaining sugar on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes. Serve hot or cold with custard or cream.

3 Turkey


Cooking the right amount of turkey on Christmas day is as improbable as finding a picture of the Loch Ness monster that doesn’t look as if it was taken through a rusty sieve. If, like us, you think too much turkey is better than too little, then tin-foiled cold cuts are something with which you’re probably quite familiar. This recipe for a turkey cacciatore is delicious and a great way to use up your meat without having to live on turkey-and-stuffing sandwiches for a week.

Ingredients – Serves 4
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
3 cans chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp sugar
1 small splash of vinegar
500g leftover turkey, shredded into chunks
125g mozzarella
2 generous handfuls fresh breadcrumbs

1. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan assisted/gas mark 7. Fry the onion and garlic together in the oil until they soften. Add in the tomatoes and sugar, along with the splash of vinegar and oregano and let it all simmer for 20 minutes until thick. Stir in the turkey and transfer into a baking dish.
2. Tear up the mozzarella into chunks and scatter over the dish. Cover with the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes until the topping is golden and bubbling and the turkey is piping hot throughout.

5 Cranberry

Cranberry Sauce 

There’s often quite a bit of cranberry sauce left over from the Christmas dinner – in our house, we buy loads, thinking everyone is going to have a monumental portion of the red stuff, and always seem to find ourselves overrun with sauce afterwards. With this recipe for cranberry chocolate brownies, you can use up your excess sauce, and maybe even some other foodie Xmas gifts you might have received too.

Ingredients – Creates 12 Slices
200g butter
150g dark chocolate, in chunks
40g cocoa powder, sifted
150g self-raising flour
200g soft brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
50g dried cranberries
100g macadamia nuts
60g cranberry sauce

1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan assisted/gas mark 4. Melt the butter and the dark chocolate together in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or in the microwave.
2. Mix together the cocoa powder, flour and sugar, and then stir in the melted butter and chocolate mixture, followed by the eggs. Add the cranberries and macadamia nuts and swirl in the cranberry sauce.
3. Pour the mixture into a baking tin which is lined with baking parchment. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and allow to cool before slicing.

Hannah Burton

Hannah Burton

Hannah is a keen foodie with a passion for travel, books and history. She regularly creeps out the office with her weird crushes (Mr Tumnis and Thomas Cromwell, among others) and is a lover of fun facts, punnery and quizzes.

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