You went grocery shopping, you bought things, you cooked, you have leftovers.

Food costs are at an all-time high. This is your moment to pledge not to pitch food into the kitchen trash can! Whether you have cooked leftovers, extra cheese, extra bread products, or leftover herbs and veggies, there’s more you can do. Freeze any leftover bread products (you can also freeze extra cheese). Try to use up the veggies for lunches. However another fun way to use them up after the holiday celebration is to host a Snack Party.

 

Have a Snack Party

One of the best ways to avoid throwing food away is to eat it! Why not make leftovers fun by giving them a makeover? At first you may think “I don’t want to serve leftover food to my friends!” However, restaurants do this all of the time. Leftover veggies get made into soup, stale bread becomes a crouton, etc.

Hosting a fun party a big holiday will it be fun and you'll feel good about wasting less. Bonus: you won't have to run out and spend money on a party, because you can use what you have. Win, win! Share on X

Creating a snack spread from the leftovers allows you to hang loose and enjoy the company of your friends. Because, yeah, sometimes holiday meals with family are stressful.

Try a few of these ideas and host an awesome Post-Holiday Soirée. Make it a tradition! Let me know how it goes!

10 Ways to Rock Your Leftovers

  1. Boards are hot right now, so why not a turkey board? Chop up or shred that extra turkey (or ham) and get it ready for the snack board. Add chunks of cheese, dried fruit, and serve with crackers or crostini (see below). Be sure to include a good mustard and some dipping sauces or spreads.
  2. Make a filling for phyllo cups. Mix chopped turkey with crumbled goat cheese or feta, and cranberry sauce, and serve it up to friends for your Soirée
    or cocktail hour.
  3. Make turkey nachos (or quesadillas). For nachos, add tortilla chips to a baking sheet. Top with chopped turkey, shredded cheese and salsa and a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. Heat in a 350 oven for 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  4. Make mini ham biscuits. Use refrigerated dough or make your own mini biscuits. Bake and then slice in half and build a mini snack-size sandwich.
  5. Leftover mashed potatoes? Try these potato balls.
  6. Serve a Brussels Sprouts skillet. Instead of making ALL the side dishes ON thanksgiving, plan to enjoy a side dish afterward. You can also use up some of the leftovers with this skillet. Place cleaned, halved Brussels Sprouts into a cast iron skillet. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add chopped leftover turkey and cranberries. Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and return to the oven for 10 more minutes until heated through and lightly browned. Garnish with a balsamic glaze or another favorite condiment.
  7. Make Crostini with leftover dinner rolls. Slice leftover rolls into 1/4-inch slices. Lightly toast in a low oven (250) for 5-8 minutes, top with chopped tomatoes and cheese, or serve with the turkey-cheese board. You can saute any leftover veggies for toppings.
  8. Make individual Shepard’s Pies. Layer 1/2-cup ramekins (coated with cooking spray) with chopped turkey, gravy, chopped green beans, and a small spoon of cranberry sauce. Spread leftover mashed potatoes on top. Top with a spoon of shredded cheddar cheese. Place them on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until tops are golden.
  9. Make pumpkin pie pops. Another way to use the leftover pie is to make it into stick pops. These are easy to serve at a party, and eat standing up. Add what’s left of the pie into a medium bowl and mash it up until blended. Then, using a cookie scoop, scoop it out onto a baking sheet. Add a stick, and freezer for an hour. Dip the frozen pops into melted white chocolate. Refrigerate before serving. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days, or enjoy later by freezing up to 3 months.
  10. Make a trifle. If you have pie or cake left, create a new dessert bowl with it. Like the pie pops, you will crush your leftover pie (or cake) to use as one of the layers. Trifles require no measuring, you can just use what you have. If you have a box of instant pudding, make that and layer that into it too. Alternate layers of the crushed pies with cream (and pudding if using) into small dessert glasses.

Feel free to share your favorite ways to use holiday leftovers in the comments.