Leftovers! Creative repurposing - your best and favorites?

Whether it’s holiday meals or other situations where you have lots of leftovers - what are your most creative / favorite ways to repurpose them?

Yes sandwiches, salads, pot pies, casseroles, soups. But what’s a little further from recognizable?

Years ago, I ate and loved a Madhur jaffrey chicken curry recipe at someone’s house - itvwas made with leftover turkey meat.

One year, slash-rate carcasses I bought for stock after Christmas yielded so much cooked meat (3 or 4 lbs iirc) I froze it and got utterly fed up trying to think of ways to repurpose it. It went into thai green curry and tom kha soup, vietnamese summer rolls and faux Peking “duck” rolls, shepherds-ish pie, tinga for tacos and enchiladas, arroz con “pollo”, indian shami kababs, and so on.

What do you make?

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Leftovers are always the Saturday after for me. This morning was a sausage stuffing frittata (with some fried tomatoes).

Tonight will be a simple but ginormous turkey sandwich.

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Leftover lamb shoulder gets cut into smallish pieces and frozen for next time we fancy a Middle Eastern mezze, when it comes out, gets dusted with shawarma spices and fried till a bit crisp.

Lamb leg gets a different treatment, being sliced and warmed up in a “devilled” sauce - leftover gravy, redcurrant sauce, Worcestershire and Tabasco.

But my favourite comes from the leftovers of the Christmas turkey and whatever else may be lying about in the fridge (ham, mushrooms, stuffing, a bit of cream - that sort of thing). And this is a dead simple pie - nothing more than a sheet of supermarket puff pastry. Everything goes into the middle and the corners of the pastry are drawn up to form a sort of star shape. Baked till crisp and hot and served up with a salad.

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This week I’ve seen a bunch of recipes for holiday leftovers in various UK/NZ/OZ food mags but can’t find them all on their sites, unfortunately.

Here are some ideas for turkey from BBC Good Food. Maybe there are some ideas you’ll find interesting:


I made this last week. It’s my ultimate leftover meal. I had a 6th or so bottle of white wine in the fridge. Also a quarter of cauliflower and a quarter tin of Heinz cream of tomato soup in the fridge. In the cupboard was just about 2 portions of caronoli rice that has been knocking about for 6 months. I knew I had Parmesan cheese and butter. So I bought some onions on the way home. I made a stock with the tomato soup, water and a stock cube. Used that to make the risotto with the wine, onions and rice. Added the butter and cheese at the end. Topped with roasted cauliflower. Only thing I bought was the onion

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That looks and sounds delicious!

Yes, we have had similar leftover thanksgiving turkey ideas all around for weeks!

But it’s always nice to hear what people actually do with their leftovers, vs media ideas.

And not just turkey, or holiday food, though that is on many of our minds at the moment!

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I rarely repurpose leftovers - I try to make all of my meals enjoyable enough that I am willing to eat the same thing again! :slight_smile: That said, there is always too much turkey after Thanksgiving to just eat it plain over and over. Usually I feed it to the cats, which IMO is the best use for turkey, but tonight DH and DSD wanted Prosperity sandwiches (a St. Louis take on a Hot Brown), so I made Mornay sauce and let them assemble their own on leftover Parker House rolls.

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On the radio today, someone mentioned what has become a new tradition in his group of family and friends: a Thanksgiving Friday or Saturday leftovers swap/potluck party. Sounds like a nice idea to me. You can have a buffet with your circle, then bring home some dishes that weren’t on your Thursday table, and enjoy a different turkey dinner on Sunday.

Personally, I prefer croquettes made with turkey and stuffing to the standard slices of meat and mound of stuffing.

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I trust my own leftovers to bring to a swap/potluck because they were stored/refridgerated properly. But others might leave everything out too long, not thinking anything of it,. Not to yuck your yum, but it really depends on how well you know and trust your neighbors, family or friends. I might pass on it myself.

Excellent, mate. Love the use of the soup!

I made a stir fry last night with the Thanksgiving turkey and leftover crudites.

Cut the turkey into bite sized pieces and marinated in soy sauce, sambal oelek, ginger paste, s & p.

Made the sauce with basically the same things plus fish sauce, water, garlic and corn starch.

Gently pan fried the turkey to crisp it up and then removed it from the pan, stir fried the veggies, (cauli, brocc, carrot and peppers), threw the turkey back in, tossed and sauced. Over white rice.

Preety good.

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As much as my family enjoys the turkey, I think they all really like the turkey congee the next day even more. Usually just with the carcass, but if I have more than the usual leftovers I might add a thigh too.

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