Skip to content

Holiday Leftover Weeknight Meal Plan

Holiday Leftover Weeknight Meal Plan

The recipes and photography for this post were provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

When the holidays are over, don’t just settle for endless days of reheated leftovers! This meal plan transforms common holiday leftovers, like cooked ham and mashes sweet potatoes into something the family will want to eat again.

The Menu

1. Quick Ham and Bean Soup

  • Leftovers: 3-4 cups of cooked ham

2. Chicken Pot Pie Bowls

  • Leftovers: 2-3 cups cooked chicken + mashed sweet potatoes

3. Sheet Pan Snack Dinner

  • Leftovers: Raw vegetables, dips, nuts, crackers

4. Shortcut Huevos Rancheros

  • For when the leftovers run out, this recipe is a three-ingredient fix that requires only pantry staples.

Shopping List


  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Parsely
  • Lemon


  • Eggs
  • Butter


  • 3- 14.5 oz. cans of white beans
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1- 14.5 oz. can black beans
  • 16 oz. jar of salsa


  • 1-2 cups corn
  • 1/2 cup peas


  • Olive oil
  • Ground cumin
  • Fried thyme
  • Smoked paprika
  • Bay leaf
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper

*I suggest reviewing each of the recipes below before finalizing your shopping list. Additional ingredients may be necessary depending on your stash of leftovers.

Click Here to Print the Holiday Leftover Weeknight Dinner Plan Shopping List.

The Recipes

Quick Ham and Bean Soup


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-14.3 oz. cans of cannellini beans, divided
  • 3-4 cups cooked leftover ham
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat the olive oils in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and saute for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic, cumin, thyme and paprika and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock and bay lead and bring it to a simmer. Continue to cook, uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are tender. While the soup simmer, puree 1 can of the beans ( with the liquid from the can) in a blender or food processor until smooth; set aside.
  3. When carrots are tender, stir in the canned and pureed beans, ham and corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper and finish with parsley.
Holiday Leftover Weeknight Meal Plan: Quick Ham and Bean Soup

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Quick Ham and Bean Soup.

Chicken Pot Pie Bowls


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Mashed sweet potatoes


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add vegetables and saute for 10 minutes, or until carrots are crisp-tender ( you can keep the skillet covered to help these soften more quickly.) Add poultry seasoning and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch and stock, then stir into vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add chicken and peas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste, then season with salt and pepper. Serve over mashed sweet potatoes.
  4. Slow cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes: In a small slow cooker ( 3-4 quart), add 3 lbs. of uncooked, peeled whole sweet potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, then mash together with 3 tbsp. and salt to taste. I usually hit them with my immersion blender whisk to make them extra creamy.
Holiday Leftover Weeknight Meal Plan: Chicken Pot Pie Bowls

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Chicken Pot Pie Bowls.

Sheet Pan Snack Dinner


  • Chopped fresh or lightly -steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and tomatoes)
  • Fresh sliced fruit (apples, pears, orange wedges and berries)
  • Dried fruit ( dates, figs and cherries)
  • Olives
  • Deli Meats
  • Slices cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Smoked salmon
  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Sliced and toasted baguette
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Goat cheese spread
  • Olive tapenade


  1. There are no rules when it comes to assembling this snack dinner tray. I like to place a dip or two, like hummus, in the center of the tray and pile various ingredients around it. Have fun transforming leftovers into a beautiful tray of food everyone will want to dig into.
Holiday Leftover Weeknight Meal Plan: Snack Dinner Platter

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Sheet Pan Snack Dinner.

Shortcut Huevos Rancheros


  • 1- 14.5 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 16 oz. jar of salsa
  • 4-6 eggs
  • To Serve: chopped cilantro, green onions, avocado and tortillas


  1. In a medium skillet or cast iron pan, bring black beans and salsa to simmer over medium-low heat. Create little wells for the eggs, then drop in eggs. Cover and continue to simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until whites are just set.
  2. Serve topped with cilantro, green onions, avocado and warmed tortillas.
Holiday Leftover Weeknight Meal Plan: Shortcut Huevos Rancheros

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Shortcut Huevos Rancheros.

Heinen's Grocery Store

By Heinen's Grocery Store

In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

Leave a review!

Your name will be displayed if entered. Email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

Related Recipes & Stories