Leftovers!

By Tawny Maya McCray

September 11, 2009 6 min read

You slave long and hard over Christmas dinner for your family and friends, and when it's over, you have a ton of leftover food to use up. Here are a few ideas for how to turn those scraps into brand-new meals that will dazzle all over again.

Pillsbury has a large list of leftover recipes, which can be found at http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/recipe-collections/Holiday-Classics-Recipe-Collection.htm. The mouth-watering offerings include smokin' turkey and salsa pizza, cheesy turkey-rice casserole, deep-dish turkey pie and ham and asparagus lasagna.

One reviewer said of the ham and asparagus lasagna: "Very good! Would definitely recommend to friends and family. Also good with chicken."

Another reviewer, speaking about the deep-dish turkey pie, stated simply, "I could eat this once a week for life."

Kraft Foods has its own ideas for making the most of your leftovers. Those recipes -- which include barbecue turkey pita, creamy corn and turkey soup, hot roasted turkey mountain and favorite holiday turkey melt -- can be found at http://www.kraftfoods.com/KF/ENTERTAINING/HOLIDAYSEVENTS/HOLIDAYHOWTOCENTER/HolidayRecipesMenus.aspx.

One reviewer who enjoyed the barbecue turkey pita exclaimed: "My family loved this so much I've even served it for dinner guests! Quick and easy!"

Another remarked of the hot roasted turkey mountain: "I've made hot turkey sandwiches before with leftover turkey, but adding the stuffing, duh! What a simple concept, yet I never really thought of doing it! Thanks for the idea. We loved it!"

So whether it's a sandwich, a soup, lasagna or a pizza, there are plenty of ways to create something new out of your leftover Christmas dinner and not let any of your hard work go to waste.

CREAMY CORN AND TURKEY SOUP

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped red pepper, divided

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

4 ounces (1/2 of 8-ounce package) Philadelphia cream cheese, cubed

14.75 ounces cream-style corn

2 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup milk

2 cups shredded leftover cooked turkey

Cook onion and half of the red pepper in butter in large saucepan on medium heat until tender, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low.

Add cream cheese; cook until melted, stirring constantly. Add corn, broth, milk and turkey; mix well.

Cook until soup is heated through, stirring occasionally.

Serve topped with remaining chopped red pepper.

*Special Extra

For more robust flavor, roast and peel the red peppers before chopping; add to the soup along with the turkey. Or use drained, jarred roasted red peppers instead.

(Recipe from Kraft Foods Inc.)

BBQ TURKEY PITA

Start to finish: 6 minutes

Servings: 1

1 whole-wheat pita

2 tablespoons Bull's-Eye original barbecue sauce

1/2 cup chopped cooked turkey

1 slice tomato

1/4 cup Kraft 2 percent milk shredded mild Cheddar

Spread pita with barbecue sauce; top with turkey, tomato and cheese. Place on microwaveable plate.

Microwave on high 1 minute, or until cheese is melted.

*Special Extra

For an extra-smoky flavor, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Oscar Mayer real bacon bits before putting in microwave.

(Recipe from Kraft Foods Inc.)

HAM AND ASPARAGUS LASAGNA

Start to finish: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Servings: 8

9 uncooked lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces, or 3 cups, sliced fresh mushrooms

1-pound cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups milk

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon chicken-flavor instant bouillon

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

8 ounces, or 2 cups, shredded Cheddar-mozzarella blend

Cook lasagna noodles to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 F. Spray 13-by-9-inch, or 3-quart, glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt margarine in 12-inch skillet over medium heat.

Add asparagus and mushrooms; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes, or until asparagus is crisp-tender.

Pour into large bowl; stir in ham. Set aside.

In same skillet, combine 1/2 cup of the milk, flour, bouillon, pepper and Dijon mustard; blend well with wire whisk. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups milk; blend well. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese until melted.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 cup sauce evenly in bottom of sprayed baking dish. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce for topping. Add remaining sauce to ham mixture; mix well.

Arrange 3 cooked noodles over sauce in baking dish. Spoon and spread half of ham mixture over noodles; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and reserved 1/2 cup sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

(Recipe from Pillsbury.)

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