Holiday, How To, Lifestyle

What to Do with Holiday Dinner Leftovers (with recipes)

You’ve enjoyed a delicious and extravagant holiday dinner with family, and now you’re left with pounds of ham, way too much turkey, leftover vegetables, rolls and assorted slices of pie. You’re faced with the question: what do I do with all of this food? We’re glad you asked.

Freeze it

  • Freeze vegetables, even if they are in sauce, to be used in soups. Leftover broccoli can be made into a cheesy broccoli soup by adding cheese sauce, potatoes and milk to the thawed broccoli.
  • Freeze the meat with a bit of gravy, allowing you to make a stew in the future. If you also have leftover carrots and potatoes, throw them in too!
  • Freeze leftover bread and rolls – use it for stuffing for a future occasion.
  • Freeze single servings of leftover casseroles or lasagna in tupperware – the perfect lunch to take to work!

Can it (in airtight containers)

  • Can remaining beans with pieces of ham
  • Can your leftover turkey or ham broth
  • Can your leftover cranberry sauce
  • Can leftover broth, meat and veggies together to be made into stew

Don’t have a pressure canner? Here’s an affordable one.

Turn it into Something Else
These delicious recipes that will help you make the most of the leftover meats and desserts. You are no longer not limited to just making sandwiches with the leftovers.

Slow Cooker Ham and Eggs
6 large eggs
1 cup biscuit mix
2/3 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


1. In a large bowl, mix the first eight ingredients until fully combined. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

2. Pour the mixture into a greased 3 or 4-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until the eggs are set. This is ideal for a holiday morning breakfast to share with the family members in town!

Turkey Pie with Leeks and Mushrooms
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups diced turkey breast
2 leeks, washed and thickly sliced
5 oz button mushrooms, washed and quartered
Sprig of thyme, leaves picked off
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp plain flour
1 cup milk
1 chicken stock cube
Black pepper, to taste
Ready-made puff pastry
1 beaten egg and a little milk, for glazing


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat a frying pan with oil and brown the diced turkey breast. Add the leaks, mushrooms and thyme. Heat the mixture for about 10 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized.

2. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and then add the flour, stirring to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute and then pour the milk in slowly, whisking continually. Crumble in the stock chicken cube and season with pepper.

3. Mix the turkey mixture into the sauce mixture. Pour the filling into a pie dish.

4. Grease the edges of the pie dish with a little butter. Roll out the puff pastry and place it on top of the mixture in the pie dish.

5. Brush the beaten egg and milk mixture over the pastry to glaze. Prick the pastry to create an air hole and place it in the preheated oven.

6. Bake the pie for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden brown. Let the pie stand for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Penne Ham Skillet Pasta
1 package (16 oz) penne pasta
¼ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
3 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 large sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
½ tsp of dried basil
½ tsp of dried oregano
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese


1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat.

2. Add the ham, red pepper and onion to the skillet, and cook for 4-6 minutes while stirring. Once the ham is browned and vegetables are tender, add the garlic and herbs. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

3. Stir in the broth and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Then just simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. The liquid should become reduced by half.

4. Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Easy Pie Milkshake
1 slice of any pie (apple, cherry, pecan, pumpkin)
2 cups of vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
Whipped cream, for serving


1. In a blender, combine the piece of pie, vanilla ice cream and milk. Blend and add additional milk, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency.

2. Pour into two glasses and top with whipped cream. So easy and so yummy!


Let us know in the comments if you use any of the methods or recipes listed above.

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