7 Creative Ways to Use Holiday Leftovers

Eat healthy and reduce food waste at the same time with these creative recipes.

Dec 19, 2020

(Yuganov Konstantin / Shutterstock.com)

Holidays are a wonderful time to make traditional foods that are so loved by your family. It’s also the time when you have massive amounts of leftovers from your festive meal.

Don’t throw them away, food waste accounts for more than one third of the food Americans purchase, cook, and serve according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. This translates to 70 Billion pounds of food going into landfills every year.

At a time when one-in-six Americans face food insecurity, according to Feeding America, using leftovers makes a huge amount of environmental, social, and economic sense. You can actually plan ahead when you cook meals so that you have the necessary ingredients to use the leftover turkey or Christmas ham.

With a little imagination, your extra food can turn into tasty soups, casseroles, salads, and more. Here are six recipes that are sure to please:

Leftover Corn and Ham Fritters

This recipe from Taste is an easy and delicious way to use up Christmas ham and leftover corn. Everything else you need is in your refrigerator or pantry including cherry tomatoes (or chopped whole tomatoes) milk, olive oil, flour, baking soda, and sugar. Serve this for breakfast on boxing day – the day after Christmas – or pair with a salad for a healthy lunch.

(Iuliia Kochenkova / Shutterstock.com)

Leftover Vegetable Soup

You probably have leftover fresh vegetables in your crisper or cooked veggies in your freezer. You can turn them into a healthy soup. Combine them with onion, and leftover stock or broth to make a nourishing soup that is perfect on cold weather days. You can even try one of these  hearty soup recipes.

(Mark Yuill / Shutterstock.com)

Leftover Turkey Pasta Casserole

You can upgrade your Christmas leftovers by making this unordinary creamy casserole from Good Housekeeping that includes Gruyere cheese, mushrooms, and spinach. You can cook fresh pasta or use the leftovers from your Christmas Italiano. This two-pot meal includes a skillet and a casserole dish so cleanup is a snap.

(minadezhda / Shutterstock.com)

Leftover Ham Cloud Eggs

Who doesn’t love an unusual egg dish for their morning after Christmas meal? These colorful cloud eggs are fun and easy to make with this recipe from Delish. You may never go back to the same old ham and egg scrambles or omelets.

 

Leftover Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad

Salads do not have to be boring. Check out this recipe from Good Housekeeping that dresses shredded chicken (or turkey) with hot wing sauce for an exciting salad lunch. All you need is leftover chicken, hard boiled eggs, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, dressing, and hot sauce but you can add other veggies you have on hand.

(cherrydonut / Shutterstock.com)

Leftover Bread Pudding

Who says you can’t use leftovers for dessert? BBC Good food shows you the way to use those leftover rolls and turn them into a sumptuous bread pudding breakfast dish or dessert that you can serve with leftover whipped cream.

(Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com)

Leftover Latkes Scramble

Are you looking to do something with leftover latkes (fried pancakes) from your Hanukkah festive meal? Cooking Light has you covered. it doesn’t matter if the latkes are made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, or other vegetables. You can add onion, apples, kale, or even leftover brisket to this easy egg scramble. This is so much better than just reheating latkes in the microwave

(Elena Shashkina / Shutterstock.com)

BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.