After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, especially the excitement of the big day, a little time to unwind is just what we all need. The gifts have been opened, the cookies left on the mantle for Santa are gone and the house is full of kids home from school. New Year’s celebrations are still ahead, and the holiday spirit is still strong, but now it’s more about relaxation than preparation.
There are still meals to consider, though, especially if you’re hosting guests. Luckily, you have a fridge full of leftovers from your holiday dinner, and with a little creativity, you can enjoy these ingredients in new and delicious ways. Repurposing leftovers also means less time in the kitchen, which is great news after the flurry of baking and cooking that you just accomplished!
If you’re looking for a bit of post-holiday inspiration, then we’ve got some great recipes for you to try using leftovers to help keep your family happy and well-fed.
Leftover Cranberry Sauce
It doesn’t matter if you prefer homemade cranberry sauce or the sweet kind straight from the can — you’ll love the many ways this sweet-tart condiment can be used after the holiday feast is over.
Cranberry sauce is essentially jam, and when you think about it that way, its uses are practically endless! Try it swiped on toast with salted butter, or on wheat bread with almond or peanut butter. It makes a fabulous topping on vanilla ice cream and adds a festive touch to pancakes and waffles at brunch.
Cranberry sauce’s zesty flavor works quite well paired with cheese. Try leftover sauce spooned over softened cream cheese or goat cheese, with crackers or sliced baguette, for an almost-instant appetizer!
Cranberry sauce makes a tasty addition to savory sandwiches. Try it on a gooey Leftover Cranberry and Bacon Grilled Cheese Tortilla Wrap, or with leftover ham on a Ham, Cheddar and Cranberry Grilled Cheese. You can also mix a spoonful of cranberry sauce and a bit of chopped garlic into mayonnaise to make a seasonal aioli that can go on any sandwich!
It seems as if there’s always some stuffing left after the big meal — don’t let all that flavor go to waste!
Create a quick snack featuring stuffing on game day or for happy hour! Whip up simple Bacon-Wrapped Stuffing Bites, which just take a few minutes of prep time. At dinner, Italian-inspired Quick and Easy Leftover Stuffing Meatballs are a crowd-pleasing choice; the recipe smartly uses stuffing in place of regular bread crumbs. A Leftover Turkey and Stuffing Biscuit Bake makes the most of two kinds of leftovers, and is a warming, comforting meal when you come in from the cold.
A beautifully glazed ham is a traditional holiday table centerpiece, and often yields a heap of leftovers. There are numerous ways to use this tasty protein to enhance dishes all throughout the day!
At breakfast, chopped ham is a perfect mix-in for omelets, quiches or frittatas. You can even simply fry up a few thick slices of ham and serve them alongside eggs and toast in place of bacon or sausage.
Of course, sandwiches are a wonderful use for leftover ham. There’s the classic ham and cheese — either deli-style pressed into a panini, or a loaded deli-style sub with pickles — plus hot peppers, lettuce and tomato. Your family will love ham baked into cheesy sliders (substitute ham for the turkey in this recipe), or rolled up into kid-friendly Smoked Ham Pinwheels.
If you’re hosting — or, attending! — a post-holiday gathering, then all you need for a hearty main or side dish is to mix leftover ham into this Green Bean and Ham Casserole. A big batch of Cheesy Ham and Potato Chowder feeds a crowd with ease! And, ham pairs nicely with pasta in dishes like One-Skillet Ham and Veggie Gnocchi and Ham and Peas Linguine.
When you Holiday the Food Lion Way, the fun doesn’t have to stop when the holidays are over! All of your hard work cooking around the holidays can be enjoyed again with clever recipes that use up all of your leftovers. Stop by your neighborhood Food Lion for the other ingredients, snacks and drinks that you and your family need to enjoy the rest of the holiday season.