Christmas is always a time when we eat too much and STILL have a mountain of leftovers the next day! The good news is, when you make the most out of what you have, you can say hello to new dishes with less effort and no waste.

4 Amazing Christmas Leftover Meal Ideas:

Turn leftovers into a completely new dish. Here’s our favourite recipe ideas to use up some of the most common food you’ll still find in the kitchen after Christmas:

  • Ham and Roast Meat

These are almost always guaranteed leftovers after a festive Christmas day. There are a few great ways you can use up leftover ham and roast meat.

 Go for classic Zucchini Slice (similar to a crustless quiche). It’s a super adaptable recipe, so you can even throw in your leftover roast veggies too!

Zucchini Slice Recipe by Wandercooks

If you want to try something a little different, make yourself a Vietnamese Chao Ga (congee). It’s a simple rice porridge base, but you can swap out the meat for anything you have on hand.

Vietnamese Chao Ga Recipe by Wandercooks

A large batch of soup could be another answer to your pile of leftover meat. You can’t go wrong with Split Pea Soup, which freezes well too!

Dutch Split Pea Soup Recipe by Wandercooks

  • Bread, Pudding and Cake

There is one go to recipe which can use up leftover bread, pudding, cake or a combination of all three – Chester Squares. This is a slice originating in Ireland, but can be found in some Aussie bakeries too. It’s like a magical combination of a vanilla slice crossed with a mince pie.

Chester Squares Recipe By Wandercooks

  • Chocolates, Dried Fruit and Nuts

Use up those bowls of leftover snacks or bags of dried fruit leftover from a recipe or two. Rocky Road is an easy way to weave them all together into another sweet treat, you can even melt down any chocolate to add into the mix.

Rocky Road Recipe By It’s Not Complicated Recipes

  • Pavlova

We all know Pavlova doesn’t look its best the next day. So why not serve it up as Eton Mess for dessert the next night? Add a little extra fruit or toppings and we guarantee it’ll be just as good!

Eton Mess Recipe by Wandercooks

Tips to use up ALL your leftovers: 

  1. Make a Flexy Recipe – Great for using up a wide variety of sweet or savoury leftovers, look for recipes that encourage you to use whatever you have in the fridge and are highly adaptable. Think soups, stir frys and curries!
  2. Freeze – If you don’t have the time to cook more, freezing can sometimes be the best option. This gives you time to use it up at a later date. Remember to freeze in portions, so you’re not having to thaw out a whole container of leftovers for a party of 8… for only 2 people.
  3. Gift – If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the food, offer leftovers to your neighbours, family or friends. You’d be surprised just how much people appreciate the gesture!
  4. Animals + Compost – If after all that you STILL have food left which isn’t good enough for humans to eat, consider using it up as pet food, chicken feed or composting it for your worms! Anything left after that can be popped straight in your green bin.


Wandercooks is an Australian online recipe site reaching over 7 million views annually. Our recipes are here to inspire you with fresh new food ideas gathered from our favourite Asian, European and Australian cuisines.