Don’t waste food at Christmas! These Christmas leftover recipes show you how to turn leftovers into new meals. Including a Boxing Day Pizza and Christmas Pudding Truffles with Rum.
Christmas is a time of joy, wonder and excitement, but it can also be a time of unnecessary excess. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can cut food waste and at the same time save money. From online portion calculators to clearing out the freezer before the holidays, a few simple tricks will help you to reduce the waste.
How to Reduce Food Waste at Christmas
- Create a meal plan for Christmas and any days around it, particularly if you have guests. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach and try not to be tempted by too many ‘extras’. Doing an online food shop can stop you from picking up too many items not on your list.
- Use an online portion calculator to give you an estimate of how much food you’ll need for all of your guests.
- Go through the fridge and freezer in the weeks before Christmas and use things up so there’s room to store any leftovers.
- Store food correctly so it lasts longer: keep sprouts and roots in the fridge and store onions and potatoes separately in cupboards.
- Be sure to have freezer-proof containers or bags on hand for storing leftovers, and don’t forget to label everything.
- If guests want to bring food, give them specific courses, drinks or dishes to bring so there isn’t any overlap.
- On Boxing Day, have a buffet to use up leftovers.
- Use up leftovers in a frittata, quiche, curry, stew or soup.
- If you have overbought food, donate it to a sharing site, such as Olio, or your local food bank (non-perishables).
Tesco recently commissioned a survey about food waste at Christmas. In it, they found that vegetables were the most often wasted savoury food, while Christmas pudding was the most-wasted sweet. I’ve developed recipes to help you make the most of them, by turning potential ‘waste’ into delicious truffles and pizza!
Christmas Leftover Recipes: Christmas Pudding Truffles with Rum
These rich and decadent truffles are super-easy to make. Simply whiz up the pudding with melted chocolate and cream and turn potential waste into a tasty treat. They’re a great way to use up leftover pudding, chocolate and cream that might otherwise be binned. You can leave out the rum, or substitute it with brandy or whiskey if you have them to use up.
- 200g (7oz) Christmas pudding
- 200g (7 oz) dark chocolate, melted
- 100ml (3.4 floz) double (heavy) cream
- 2 tbsp rum (optional)
- 2 tbsp chocolate sprinkles
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, but don’t allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Add the cream and stir.
- Pulse the christmas pudding in a food processor a few times to break it up. Add the chocolate and brandy and whiz again to combine.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to set.
- Roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls, then coat in the chocolate sprinkles and store in the fridge.
Christmas Leftover Recipes: Leftovers Pizza with Sage Crust
It doesn’t take long to make the pizza dough, and it’s a great way to use up all sorts of leftovers. Just top the pizza with whatever leftovers you have: vegetables, cheese, meat, stuffing, potatoes… The crisp sage-infused crust gives the Christmas dinner veggies a whole new lease of life.
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) warm water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 225g (2 cups) plain flour (all-purpose)
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 ball of mozzarella cheese (or other cheese that you have to use up)
- 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Whatever leftovers you need to use up: sprouts, roasted vegetables, turkey, stuffing, sliced roast potatoes etc..
- Pour the water into the bowl of the stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let it stand for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved. Insert the dough hook, add the flour, sage and salt to the yeast water and beat for 4-5 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball. The dough will be quite sticky, but if necessary add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is manageable. Don’t add too much or it will affect the end result.
- Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let it stand for a few minutes until the yeast has dissolved. Add the flour, sage and salt to the bowl of water and stir until it forms a loose dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and knead firmly for 10 minutes or until it’s smooth. If the dough is still too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is manageable. Don’t add too much or it will affect the end result.
- Put the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl, turn the dough so both sides are covered in oil and cover tightly with clingfilm.
- Allow the dough to rise for 1 ½ hours in a warm place. (Alternatively, you can use the dough right away, but it will have a very thin crust. To make ahead of time, leave to rise, covered, in the fridge overnight. Take it out of the fridge a few hours before using and punch it down before shaping.)
- Heat the oven to 220C.
- Slice any larger leftovers and place them onto a baking tray to reheat them while the oven preheats.
- Cut a pieces of baking parchment the same size as the baking tray. Sprinkle it with flour.
- Divide the dough in half, then on the floured baking parchment, roll out one of the pieces of dough.
- Top the pizza with half the tomato puree and leftovers. Add small pieces of the mozzarella and half the grated parmesan.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes or until golden and hot. Repeat with the remaining dough and leftovers.
I hope these recipes inspire you to use up any Christmas leftovers and to try to reduce food waste during the holidays. Do you have any tips for using up leftovers? Let me know in the comments!
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Disclosure: This post for Christmas Leftover Recipes was commissioned by Tesco. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to mess up my kitchen and write Veggie Desserts: Vegetables in Dessert, Healthy Food and Lifestyle.