Festive Food Hacks- Making the Most of Christmas Leftovers

Rebecca Wilson, passionate about recycling across South Yorkshire
Rebecca Wilson
25 Dec 2019

We hope you had an amazing Christmas! The highlight for me is definitely the Christmas dinner. Like many of us though, I find that my household has loads of food leftover. The average family in the UK wastes over £60 of food a month- and this increases even more over the festive period! 

We are all trying to save money over Christmas- and one of the easiest ways we can do this is by using up all of our leftovers.  Here are some very easy and creative leftover recipes for you to try this boxing day (and beyond!)- and something a bit different from the standard turkey curry!


Cheese Board Mac and Cheese

Cheese Board Mac and Cheese


350g pasta

2tbsp butter

1 clove of garlic

1tsp mustard powder

3tbsp plain flour

500ml milk

TIP: if you are struggling for time,  a packet of cheese sauce instead. Cook to packet instructions

250g of cheese from your cheeseboard

3-4 cream crackers (optional)


Cook pasta to packet instructions

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook until softened

Add mustard powder and cook for 1 minute

Gradually add the flour and stir until a paste is formed

Take off the heat and gradually pour the milk in. Make sure to whisk after every addition to avoid lumps in the sauce

Return to heat and cook for 5 minutes until thickened

Add cheeses and stir until melted

Fold in the cooked pasta

Heat oven to 180 °C/ 160 °C fan/ Gas 4.

Pour pasta into a baking dish and top with crushed crackers and additional cheese- preferably parmesan or cheddar

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling

Allow to cool before serving



Turkey and Cranberry Pizza



Leftover turkey


Cranberry sauce

Barbecue sauce

Cheese- Cheddar or mozzarella is ideal but feel free to mix in others too

Pizza base


Heat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan/ Gas 4.

Mix a tbsp. of cranberry sauce with 2 tbsp. of BBQ sauce and spread evenly on pizza base

Add grated cheese, leftover turkey and any other toppings you fancy- look at what other leftovers you have

Add cranberry sauce on top

Bake for 10 minutes- or until cheese is melted and golden

Serve immediately




Festive Toasties 


Leftovers from Christmas dinner- turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, bacon, ham etc.

Handful of grated cheese

Sliced bread



Butter bread slices on both sides

Place bread in a frying pan on medium heat

Add desired toppings to sandwich

Add 2nd slice of bread on top

After 5 minutes, flip sandwich so other side gets toasted

Leave for 5 minutes until bread is golden and toasted

Serve immediately 



For those with a sweet tooth, here are some delicious sweet treats to try with your festive leftovers.



Chocolate Box Brownies


270 g chocolate

235g margarine

425g granulated sugar

170g plain flour

4 large eggs



Pre- heat oven to 190°C / 170°C fan assisted/ gas mark 5

Grease and line baking tin

Melt margarine and chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and return for a further 30 seconds if needed

Add sugar and mix thoroughly

Add flour to mixture

Add eggs in one at a time, mixing in between.

Once fully mixed, add leftover chocolates from Christmas and stir- be sure to remove any wrappers!

Pour brownie batter into prepared tin

Bake on the middle shelf for 40-55 minutes. Test your brownies are done by sticking a knife in the middle- if it comes out clean, they can be removed from the oven

Leave them to cool fully at room temperature



Festive Sweet Treat Slab


Chocolate (200-250g),

Golden syrup / treacle (about 4tbsp),

Biscuits, crackers, cereal, Christmas pudding, mince pies, chocolates or sweets, marshmallows, glace cherries, nuts or dried fruit

-Whatever you have leftover at home!



Gather all your ingredients together.

Break the chocolate into pieces and put in a mixing bowl.

Carefully melt the chocolate then stir in the golden syrup.

Add in the other ingredients a little at a time until you are happy with your mix.

Stir well making sure everything in nicely covered in the chocolate mix.

Be careful you don’t add too many extras or it won’t set.

Use a metal spoon to press it into a cake tin and decorate before putting it into the fridge to set.



Not seen something you like? Check out the Love Food Hate Waste Website for more

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