Meal Preparation for Feast Leftovers

by Nancy Brenseke 10/20/2019

Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay


Friendsgiving celebrations, Thanksgiving feasts, holiday parties, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year's, birthdays, and everything in between; the fact is, the last two months of the year bring an avalanche of holiday get-togethers and foodie extravaganzas. With all the sumptuous feasting and delicious excess come leftovers and the need for a healthy dose of recuperation. 

Fortunately, there are ways to use those leftovers in delicious ways, such as:

  • Meal planning — Map out the coming week and account for every meal using your holiday leftovers. Don't be afraid to get adventurous with where and when you use the different flavors, be they savory or sweet.
  • Think about the days after... before — Flip convention and consider planning your holiday meal based on the leftovers you'll have after. Maybe cooking a surplus of turkey or pork will help you stay on track once the holidays are through, so be sure to prioritize those recipes over others.
  • Store food appropriately — You might even consider investing in some reusable containers, if you haven't already. Perhaps you'll need to clean out your fridge to make room for everything you plan to store. Whatever the case, make sure you have the containers, bags, or other wrapping materials you need in order to seal all leftovers thoroughly and retain freshness.
  • Position and consume based on freshness — The last thing you want is to take something that will go bad in a couple of days and lose it in the depths of your fridge. Put food items that will expire sooner towards the front of your fridge, or if possible store them on the counter.
  • Get creative — Don't fear venturing off the beaten path with how you combine your leftovers. Make waffles out of stuffing, and drizzle some cranberries over turkey to make a holiday riff off chicken and waffles.

Below are a few hand-selected some of our favorite recipes that leverage leftovers into delectable post-holiday meals.

  • Stuffing waffles with fried turkey and cranberry sauce — Really, this is a genius brunch idea that will both wow and amuse your guests while also being super easy to make. Just fire up your waffle press and you'll be good to go! 
  • Potato cakes — A savory snack or dinner side dish that puts mashed potatoes to good use.
  • Roast potato, turkey, sausage, and stuffing pie — Go through a ton of leftovers in one fell swoop with this catchall pie, which is very forgiving in quantities of ingredients and gives you some flexibility in terms of what you can choose to put in.
  • Corned beef sandwiches — Got extra latkes?  Make a corned beef sandwich, and even use an apple and sour cream slaw to finish them off.
  • Brisket pot pie — For a meal that keeps well and can be easily reheated, take brisket leftovers and turn them into a pot pie, shepherd's pie, or other similar cooked dish.
  • Repurpose fruitcake — Yes, even fruitcake can be used up in a whole bunch of ways.

These are only a selection of our favorite recipes, but you can find way more things to do in order to repurpose leftovers—and you can even do this with considerations like vegetarian and vegan dining. Whatever you do, don't waste the leftovers!


About the Author

Nancy Brenseke

I love the ocean, sand and sunshine! That's why I call Hilton Head Island/Bluffton my home! I relocated to Hilton Head Island over 20 years ago from North Carolina after graduating from East Carolina University - Go Pirates! I continue to be successful in real estate for the past 13 Years and with my experience working with top resorts and gated communities, I have cultivated attention to detail, understand the importance of listening first and have the positive "Can Do" attitude in all situations. I offer my sellers and buyers the BEST advice to achieve their real estate goals. I enjoy spending time with my family boating on the May River, attending festivals along Old Town Bluffton and building sandcastles on HHI beaches.  

"Nancy Brenseke is the type of realtor that everyone should contract to sell their property. She is very knowledgeable and gave us valuable information when listing the townhome. The whole process went smoothly and Nancy was responsible for that. She always communicated with us which kept us confident that all aspects of the closing were under control and on track. I highly recommend Nancy Brenseke." ~ Deb Bluffton, SC

"I would highly recommend using Nancy for your real estate needs. She is extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Nancy's representation is top-notch." ~ Jill - Nashville, TN

"Nancy went the extra mile on everything around selling the condo. I would use her again and would recommend her to anyone I come in contact with. Our condo sold in 1 day! She was excellent and hardworker. She helped in all aspects of selling, from marketing with great number of pictures, to home inspection with helping us find contractors to fix the inspection issue so were were able to close." Eric - Cumming, GA