New Life for Holiday Leftovers

Transform your holiday leftovers into dazzling new dishes and give yourself the night off.

  • Mashed Potato Latkes with Zucchini and Dill
    Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Fonda Shaia

    Leftover Mashed Potatoes: Latkes

    Looking for new ways to use your holiday leftovers? Check out these satisfying dishes, starting with latkes. Latkes are often made with shredded potatoes, but these vegetable and dill-flavored potato cakes are made with mashed potatoes. The recipe gives instruction for making the mashed potatoes, but if you have some in the refrigerator, just add the zucchini and leek to what you have. You'll need about 4 cups of mashed potatoes.
  • Easy Shepherd's Pie
    Photo: Marcus Nilsson

    Leftover Mashed Potatoes: Shepherd's Pie

    Shepherd's pie was originally created as an economical way to use the leftovers from the Sunday dinner roast. It's a savory pie of cooked ground or diced meat that's mixed with vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes, so you can use not only your leftover meat but your potatoes as well. The recipe calls for a 16-ounce package of frozen mashed potatoes, which is about 2 cups.
  • Vegetable Samosas with Mint Chutney
    Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Leftover Mashed Potatoes: Vegetable Samosas

    Samosas are a popular and filling snack in India, and this recipe uses up your leftover mashed potatoes and other veggies like onion, carrots, and peas. Traditionally samosas are fried, but this recipe keeps the fat content down by baking them.
  • Loaded Potato Soup
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke

    Leftover Ham, Peas, Dinner Rolls, Potatoes: Soup

    Leftover potatoes, peas, and ham are the base for this hearty, comforting soup. To acheive the crusty dinner roll "croutons", place the soup in broiler-safe bowls and top with rolls and cheese; broil in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. However, if you don't have broiler-safe bowls simply place the roll pieces on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese, broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, and then top the soup.
  • Vegetable Shepherd's Pie
    Photo: Sang An

    Leftover Sweet Potatoes: Shepherd's Pie

    In this colorful version of a traditional shepherd's pie, mashed sweet potatoes are used for the topping instead of regular mashed potatoes. For the filling, use any onion or celery that you may not have needed in your dressing.
  • Sweet Potato-Pecan Pancakes
    Lydia E. Degaris

    Leftover Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Pancakes

    What better use for a small amount of leftover mashed sweet potato–either fresh or canned–than nutty sweet pancakes? You'll also need a small amount of chopped pecans.
  • Harvest Pizza
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke

    Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potatoes: Pizza

    Use up your leftover turkey and sweet potatoes in this family-friendly dish. Instead of sauce, smooth mashed sweet potatoes onto pizza dough and top with shredded turkey, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and Havarti cheese. You can also substitute the Havariti Monterey Jack.
  • Turkey Tostadas with Spicy Cranberry-Chipotle Sauce
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke

    Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce: Turkey Tostadas

    Top toasted tortillas (tostadas) with a mixture of turkey, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, black beans, queso fresco and cilantro. To really put these tostadas over the top, drizzle on a sauce made from your leftover cranberry sauce and chipotle pepper. You'll need 3 cups of leftover turkey and 1 cup leftover whole-berry cranberry sauce.
  • Turkey Noodle Stir-Fry
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker

    Leftover Turkey: Stir-Fry

    Turkey sandwiches are so last year! Top egg noodles with stir-fried mushrooms, vibrant red bell pepper, snow peas, and two cups of your leftover bird.
  • Mexican Turkey Stew
    Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Leftover Turkey: Stew

    Give your leftover turkey a spicy Mexican makeover when you add it to this hearty soup. Round out the soup with a variety of veggies and top with roasted pumpkin seeds to add a fun, nutty flavor.
  • Pumpkin Muffins
    Photo: Karry Hosford

    Leftover Canned Pumpkin: Muffins

    If you bought one too many cans of mashed pumpkin for your pies, or if you just happen to have a partial can remaining, use it in these sweet and spicy muffins. The brown sugar topping makes them extra-special.
  • Beef Vegetable Soup
    Jennifer Davick

    Leftover Vegetables: Soup

    A hearty vegetable soup is a common way to use up all your leftover veggies. This recipe calls for a 32-ounce bag of frozen mixed vegetables with peas, carrots, green beans, and lima beans, but you can use 8 cups of any vegetables that you have on hand. If you have fewer veggies on hand, you can half this recipe and get 9 cups of soup instead of 18.
  • Green Bean, Feta, and Black Olive Salad
    Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Leftover Green Beans: Mediterranean Salad

    This light side dish is a welcome break from heavy holiday food. Combine bulgur and 2 cups of your leftover cooked green beans with the bright flavors of mint, red onions and lemon.
  • Cranberry Pumpkin Upside-down Cake
    Annabelle Breakey; Dan Becker

    Leftover Fresh Cranberries: Upside-Down Cake

    If you've got some fresh cranberries in the freezer, use them as a tangy accent for this tender pumpkin cake. You probably already have some canned pumpkin and walnuts on hand for the holidays.
  • White Chocolate-Cranberry Crème Brûlée
    Jennifer Davick; Mindi Shapiro Levine

    Leftover Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry Créme Brulee

    Don't serve all of the cranberry sauce with the turkey–you'll want to save half of the can for this decadent créme brulee.
  • Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke

    Leftover Cranberry Sauce: Cocktails

    The classic Old Fashioned gets a true holiday twist when you muddle together fresh orange slices and leftover cranberry sauce with bourbon and a dash of bitters.
  • Bacon, Gruyère, and Ham Strata
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Leftover Bread: Strata

    The key to great strata is sturdy, dense bread, so leftover bread is perfect. This recipe calls for sourdough bread, but use whatever you have. Because it also contains chopped ham, this strata does double duty for "repurposing" leftover holiday food. Make it ahead and serve for brunch or a light supper.
  • Pan-Fried Trout with Cornbread Salad
    James Carrier

    Leftover Cornbread: Cornbread Salad

    If you made a few batches of cornbread for your dressing but didn't use it all, make a bread salad to serve with pan-fried trout. Just cut the cornbread into cubes and bake for about 20 minutes until toasted. Then combine with pumpkin seeds, spices, kale, lemon juice and vinegar. Spoon the bread salad onto serving plates and top with a trout fillet.
  • Cranberry-Orange Trifle
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Leftover Pound Cake: Trifle

    Not only can you use make the most of the remaining pound cake, you can also use any fresh cranberries you may still have in the freezer. When you're making a trifle, you can actually use any kind of un-iced cake such as pound, angel or a plain yellow or white cake.
  • Red Wine-Tomato Pasta

    Leftover Red Wine: Pasta Sauce

    If you have just a little bit of red wine left in the bottle, drink it! Or use it in rich tomato sauce for pasta. This sauce recipe features plenty of on-hand pantry items such as canned tomatoes, dried herbs, and a package of dry pasta.
  • Green Bean Casserole Sandwich
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

    Leftover Green Bean Casserole: Sandwich

    Don't toss that last bit of green bean casserole. You can use it to make a tasty sandwich instead.
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