How to spice up your festive leftovers

Boxing Day will never be the same again!

Saturday, 01 December 2018

How to spice up your festive leftovers

Every Christmas, most of us end up with leftovers from the big feast and it's always better to have too much rather than not enough, but to avoid waste and turn your leftovers into something far superior to turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches (for DAYS after Christmas itself),  try these delicious ideas.

There are loads of amazing ways to spice up your leftovers that will make it an absolute pleasure to finish everything up...right down to the very last sprout.

Turkey Biryani

turkey briyani hero

Biryani is basically Indian style fried rice, making it the perfect leftover dish for curry lovers.

My Turkey Biryani combines fluffy basmati rice with a rich turkey masala featuring a deliciously fragrant combination of saffron and whole spices.

The best thing about this Turkey Biryani recipe is that it works a treat with leftover turkey. Simply warm it through in the masala sauce for ten minutes and you’re good to go.

This Christmas leftovers recipe is featured in Twinkl's 12 Days of Eco-Christmas campaign. Why not check out other creative, family-friendly recipes on their website?

Bollywood Bubble & Squeak

Spicy Bubble & Squeak

Bubble & squeak is the ultimate leftover dish because it’s just one big freestyle. Traditionally speaking its nothing more than potato and cabbage shallow fried with a few onions, but you can take it as far as you want.

My Spicy Bubble & Squeak recipe starts with a beautiful spice base that you can add pretty much any leftovers you have to – meat, veg, whatever. Top it off with a sprinkling of garam masala and a fried egg per person for an enticing Indo-English breakfast worthy of the Viceroy himself.

Turkey Tikka Masala

OK, I’ll admit it, this one was a bit of an experiment. One year I'd really gone overboard on the turkey and had so much left I felt certain I’d have to break my golden rule of never throwing any food away. Can you imagine?! I had the family over that night, so instead of buying more meat for the curry, I decided to chuck in my leftover turkey instead...

Hey presto! My Turkey Tikka Masala recipe was born!

You know what? It really worked! I modified the standard Tikka Masala sauce a bit to make it less sweet and creamy, and more of a festive cashew sauce, as this works better for turkey. Having the meat precooked was fine – you couldn’t tell – I think mainly because the recipe calls for a long braising time.

There’s quite a process to follow with this one, so here’s a step-by-step video to help you on your way:


Indian Bloody Mary

Indian Bloody Mary hero

OK, this one isn’t exactly a leftovers recipe, but it’s saved my morning afters so many times I just had to share it with you!

All credit for this wonderful concoction goes to my husband Jeremy, who haphazardly fumbled this masterpiece together one Boxing Day many moons ago. But credit where it's due – he really is the Maharaja of Bloody Marys!

This Indian Style Bloody Mary builds on the original recipe with a few extra touches and, of course, a cheeky sprinkling of garam masala.

Tandoori Turkey Sandwich Filling

tandoori turkey xmas

There’s a reason turkey sandwiches are the most popular way to gobble up leftovers – they’re super easy to put together and go with pretty much anything.

What if I told you that in five minutes flat you could transform that dry old turkey breast into a fresh and zingy sandwich filling?

For my Tandoori Turkey Sandwich Filling, simply shred up your leftover bird with some chilli, mayo, lemon and coriander for a Boxing Day brunch with a difference.


For more amazing ways to spice up your leftovers check out my full Boxing Day recipes page.


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Comments (2)

  • Fiona Manoon

    Fiona Manoon

    30 April 2019 at 05:41 |
    Quite Different and great recipe.
    I am glad to know about it.
    Thanks for sharing .


  • JC Peles

    JC Peles

    09 March 2020 at 18:15 |
    Really not into leftover menus so I thought I'd just take a quick look but I ended up checking everything. I had tried cooking similar stuff before and that online delivery service, really helped me out try some ingredients that are hard to find like some listed above. Anyway, will forward this page to a couple of friends who are starting to get fond of cooking!


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Hari Ghotra