What to do with all those Christmas leftovers

The week between Christmas and New Year's is filled with bargain hunting at after-Christmas sales, gift exchanges and returns, parties - and leftovers! Most of us have mashed potatoes, roast beef, and leftover lamb sitting in the refrigerator, covered with foil and plastic wrap. Turn these foods into delicious Christmas leftover recipes to feed family and friends.

Make the most of leftovers. They make great, unexpected, extra meals. Try these ideas for using them up: 

  • Use leftover roast lamb or beef by cutting up for sandwiches, filled rolls, soups, pies, stews, risottos, wraps, or on top of pizzas. These iron-rich meals can supply up to a third of your child’s daily iron needs.

  • Extend leftover stir-fry meat by wrapping it in filo, adding it to an omelette or toasted sandwich, combining with pasta or rice, or encasing it in a tortilla or wrap.

  • Casserole leftovers can be put in a dish with a mashed potato or kumara topping and baked in the oven, or reheated and enjoyed with rice or pasta.

  • Use leftover mince on a baked potato, in a wrap, in a toasted sandwich, on mini pizzas, in tacos, in burgers, with pasta or rice, or as meatballs. One cup of lean beef mince provides as much iron as two whole loaves of wholemeal bread or four cans of baked beans, and it’s cheaper too!

  • Put cooked meat into the fridge within an hour, covered in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container. Use within 3 days. Alternatively, freeze leftovers in airtight containers and eat within 1-2 months.

  • Adding rice to leftover meat is an inexpensive and tasty way of bulking out leftovers. Simply cut up strips of leftover beef or lamb and add to a packet of cooked fried rice (available in the rice section of the supermarket), for a delicious and quick meal.

We love using left over lamb to make this delicious leftover lamb sandwich, while stir-fries, casseroles, soups, and sandwiches, and pastas make great leftover options. Click on the pictures below to get the corresponding recipe: