Holiday leftovers

4 Ways to Reimagine your Holiday Leftovers

For some of us, holiday leftovers are a welcome sight. We can turn the oven off and feast for days on the bounty of leftovers while reliving the holiday meal over and over again. For others, not so much. Many of us grow tired of the same old leftovers and even more tired of looking at the scores of tightly packed containers taking up precious fridge space.

If you’re one to quickly tire of holiday leftovers; we’ve got a solution for you. 4 great recipes that incorporate your leftover turkey, potatoes, ham or rib roast. These recipes are simple and delicious ways to transform your leftovers into something completely new.

Take a look at these ideas below:

Turkey Leftovers

Turkey and Kale Enchiladas

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch kale (10-12 oz), stems removed and discarded, roughly chopped
  • 1 jar (16 oz) tomatillo salsa
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup cilantro
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Sliced avocado, cilantro, sour cream (for garnish)


Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in kale, mixing until wilted. Cook 5 minutes. Transfer 1 cup of the kale to a blender or food processor with the salsa, sour cream, cilantro and ¼ tsp of the salt. Process until smooth. Pour into a separate skillet and cook until hot.

Stir the turkey and remaining ¼ tsp salt into the remaining kale in the skillet. Cook on medium until heated through, about 2 minutes, then stir in ½ cup of the cheese.

Pour ⅔ cup of the salsa into the bottom of a 13 x 19-inch baking dish, tilting so that it coats the bottom. Using tongs (or carefully, your hands), dip a tortilla into the sauce, flip, then place on a plate. Place ¼ of the turkey-kale mixture in the middle of the tortilla, gently roll and place seam-side down in the dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Pour the extra sauce, both from the pan and the plate, over the tortillas. Scatter the remaining 1½ cups cheese on top. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Garnish with avocado and cilantro and serve extra sour cream alongside.

Mashed Potato Leftovers

Curried Shepherd’s Pie

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1¼ lbs ground lamb or beef
  • 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp sweet curry powder (such as Madras)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1½ cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • ½ cup unsalted beef stock
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter


Heat oven to 375°. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the oil on medium-high heat. Stir in lamb or beef, 2 tbsp of the curry powder and ½ tsp of the salt. Cook 5 minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Remove meat to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Stir in carrots and onion. Cook 7 minutes, until softened. Stir in garlic, 2 tbsp of the curry powder, the remaining ½ tsp salt and cayenne. Cook 1 minute. Pour in tomato sauce and beef stock; bring to a simmer and cook 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro.

Meanwhile, gently heat mashed potatoes in a covered pot, stirring in the remaining 1 tsp curry powder.

Transfer the meat to a deep pie dish or 8 x 8-inch baking dish placed on a sided baking sheet. Spread potatoes on top, making ridges with a fork. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with more curry powder, if desired. Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned. Cool slightly before serving.

Spiral Ham Leftovers

Orecchiette with Ham, Spinach & Cream

Yield: 6 servings


  • l lb orecchiette pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz spiral ham, diced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 3 cloves sliced garlic
  • 1 pkg (5 oz) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh-cracked black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orecchiette. Return to a boil and cook 9 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high. Stir in ham; cook 3 minutes to brown. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in spinach until wilted, about 2 more minutes. Add cream, Parmesan, lemon juice and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook 2 minutes. Fold in cooked pasta, then some of the reserved pasta water if more sauce is desired. Serve pasta with additional Parmesan.

Prime Rib Roast Leftovers

Prime Rib Hash

Yield: 4 servings


  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cups frozen  unsalted shredded potatoes (hash browns), squeezed dry
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives, plus more for garnish
  • ½ tsp chopped rosemary
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 12 oz leftover prime rib roast, diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • Ketchup or hot sauce


Over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp of the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Stir in potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, chives, rosemary, ½ tsp of the salt and the pepper. Mix well and press down with a spatula; cook 10 minutes. Stir, scraping the brown bits from the bottom. Press down and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in prime rib, again scraping the brown bits from the bottom. Cook another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, during the final 10 minutes of cooking time, heat the remaining 2 tbsp butter in a large nonstick skillet. Crack eggs into skillet, and fry for 3 minutes, until whites are set. Season eggs with the remaining ¼ tsp salt.

Serve eggs over hash and garnish with more chopped chives and ketchup or hot sauce on the side.

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