Need some ways to use holiday leftovers this year? There’s nothing worse than leftovers that sit in your fridge for days on end only to be thrown away. You work so hard during the holidays to make delicious food—reap the rewards with holiday leftovers! Check out these simple, but effective ways to use holiday leftovers. These tips not only make use of food you’ve cooked, but they can also be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
1. Use Leftover Roast Beef and Turkey for Sandwiches
One of the best ways to use holiday leftovers is for sandwiches! After a holiday meal, chances are there is a lot of leftover meat and protein. Use this meat for making sandwiches and even salads. White turkey meat and lean roast beef are excellent sources of protein that are low in fat. Bonus points if you make your sandwich using a leftover roll from dinner!
2. Make Stock out of Your Turkey Carcass
Have you ever wondered what you could do with a leftover turkey carcass? Stock is a great option, as it’s fairly easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of dishes. Simply heat up your turkey carcass with some water and simmer for a few hours. Add veggies like carrots, onion, celery, and garlic if you’d like. Make sure to remove all bones and fragments while straining. Stock is a nutritious base for a bunch of different foods and is actually a very rich source of calcium. Making a DIY stock is a great way to use leftovers.
3. Drizzle Cranberry Sauce over Pancakes, French Toast, or Even Ice Cream
Not sure what to do with that leftover cranberry sauce? I personally like the kind of cranberry sauce that has little bits and pieces of cranberry in it. Whether you buy it in a can or make your own, use cranberry sauce in a variety of sweet dishes in the days following a holiday. Cranberry sauce works great with sweet breakfast dishes like pancakes and French toast. You can even drizzle it over vanilla ice cream!
4. Eat Sweet Potatoes/Yams for Breakfast with Eggs
If you’re still not sure what to do with those leftover sweet potatoes, try eating them in the morning. Most people reach for some sort of carb or starch to get their day started, so why not include a high-fiber carb like yams? Sweet potatoes and yams are also loaded with vitamin A, a key nutrient for healthy, glowing skin.
5. Take Leftover Veggies to Lunch
Leftover Brussel sprouts, carrots, and other veggies make a great side dish to lunch. Pack small containers that you can heat up in the microwave on your lunch time. It’s recommended to get at least five servings of fruits and veggies a day, but most people don’t nearly meet that quota. Adding veggies to your lunch is a great way to increase your nutrient intake effortlessly.
6. Use Mashed Potatoes for Potato Latkes/Pancakes or Shepherd’s Pie
For some reason, mashed potatoes never taste the same when they’re leftovers. Instead of settling for lumpy, dry potatoes, try using them as a base for another dish. You can make potato pancakes with leftover potatoes for a simple vegetarian meal. Better yet, use leftover mashed potatoes as the final layer in a homemade shepherd’s pie.
7. Puree Leftover Carrots and Pumpkin for a Hearty Winter Soup
Leftover veggies like carrots work well in pureed soups. If you have leftover canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling), you can make a hearty winter soup in no time. Simply heat up your leftover carrots and puree them with the leftover canned pumpkin. If you followed tip #2 and also made your own turkey stock, you can use that stock (or other store bought broth) to thin out the soup to the desired consistency.
Play your cards right, and you’ll have plenty of options with holiday leftovers once the season is over. Take holiday leftovers as a time to get creative and have some fun! What are some of your favorite ways to eat holiday leftovers?