What to Do With Christmas Leftovers – Postholiday Recipes and More!

By Bricco Posted on December 26th, 2016

Post Holiday Recipes

The holidays can sure feel like a rush to the finish line. Between all the preparations, decorations and hosting all kinds of relatives and friends, the whirlwind experience is both stressful and wonderful. At the center of everything, there’s food. Be it Christmas classics like turkey, prime rib or a magnificent glazed ham, or a more original multicultural fusion that reflects your own unique family, food is what brings us together.

Unfortunately, it also leaves us swimming in leftovers. Containers pile up until the refrigerator door will no longer close.

At Bricco, we live and breathe all things food on a daily basis. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick guide to getting rid of those pesky Christmas leftovers by any means necessary. Whether you’re looking to completely revamp that Christmas dinner or want it out of your life for good, here’s some ideas for what to do next.

Next Day Recipes – Let’s Get Cookingrecipes for holiday leftovers


Let’s say you haven’t completely burned out on preparing meals. We’ve thought of a few ways to be resourceful with your food, from cocktails and casseroles to soup and a hearty breakfast. You’ll never see stuffing the same way again after trying these Christmas leftovers recipes.


  1. Leftover Prime Rib French Dips: A classic sandwich that’s relatively simple to make, this is the perfect dish for that leftover prime rib roast from Christmas dinner. For the beef stock, you can use pan sauce from the original meal, or use store bought if you’ve run out.



  • 1 large French roll per person – we recommend mini baguettes from Ciao! bakery
  • Leftover prime rib, about a quarter pound per person
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cups beef stock – if you’ve saved this from the original roast, even better
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste



  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add onion, garlic and olive oil and sauté until onions become translucent
  • Add beef stock and wine, then bring to a boil
  • Add sea salt and pepper
  • Reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer
  • As the sauce simmers, slice French rolls lengthwise and arrange on a baking sheet
  • Wrap leftover meat in aluminum foil to heat
  • Add the meat and the rolls to the oven. Let heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until thoroughly reheated. You won’t want to heat the meat for too long, as it may dry out
  • Removes rolls and meat from the oven
  • Slice meat as thin as possible, and pile high on the bun
  • Remove sauce from heat, and using a mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a clean bowl, setting aside the onions
  • Add onions to the sandwiches and transfer the au jus sauce to a small ramekin, one per each sandwich
  • Top sandwiches with mustard, if desired, and serve


  1. Leftover Stuffing Bake: A delicious way to combine leftovers without a whole lot of fuss. We’ve added chicken sausage to spice things up a bit, and a healthy dose of gravy, because it always makes everything better. Plus, this way, you can consolidate everything to a one-dish meal.



  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 cups leftover gravy
  • 2 cups leftover stuffing
  • 3 chicken sausages, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups leftover turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup cranberries



  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine stuffing, chicken sausage, garlic, cranberries and chicken broth
  • Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the shredded turkey,  potatoes and olive oil. Mix together with hands until oil is evenly distributed
  • Top with stuffing mixture, making sure to create an even layer
  • Drizzle gravy over the top of the entire dish
  • Add the dish to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the dish is golden brown along the edges
  • Remove from heat and serve


  1. Breakfast Fried Rice: Have too much leftover holiday ham? Have it for breakfast. This breakfast-fried rice can be enjoyed any time of day, but it makes a great morning meal, because it’s essentially bacon and eggs, with a twist.



  • 1 cup leftover ham
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 scallions, thinly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds



  • In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat
  • Add garlic, ham and spinach and sauté until spinach is wilted
  • Add rice to the pan and stir until it has been covered with oil. When rice begins to brown slightly, move it aside, leaving room to scramble the eggs
  • Add eggs, scrambling with a spatula. When eggs are just about finished, mix the entire contents of the pan together
  • Stir in soy sauce and scallions
  • Divide into serving bowls and top with sesame seeds


  1. Turkey Soup With a Kick: If you’ve got a carcass and you don’t know what to do with it, a turkey soup will take care of that bird in no time, making a delicious next-day feast that is a total departure from that holiday meal. We’ve added some spices that kick things up a notch, taking you out of the usual holiday flavor scheme. Enjoy, and feel free to improvise – it’s tough to mess up a soup, anyway.



  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large diced potatoes
  • 2 cups leftover sweet potatoes
  • 2 diced jalapeno peppers
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Add the turkey carcass to a large pot with 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil
  • Reduce the heat down to a simmer and cook the turkey for one hour, or until the meat begins to fall from the bones
  • Remove the turkey carcass from the pot, cut off remaining meat and set aside
  • Using a mesh strainer, strain the broth into a large, clean soup pot
  • Add all vegetables – with the exception of the cooked sweet potatoes – as well as curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and turkey meat to the new soup pot, and bring to a boil
  • Lower heat back down to medium low, and let simmer
  • Cook for 30 minutes and stir in the cooked sweet potatoes and the coconut milk
  • Let simmer for another 30 minutes and serve


Cocktail Corner – Leftover Christmas Food Recipes With a Little More Bite

holiday cocktail recipe

Recipes for Christmas leftovers encompass more than just food. Maybe hunkering down with a big pot of soup is the last thing you want to do to get the holidays out of your system. In that case, we’ve got a couple super easy cocktails that will help you get rid of those after-Christmas leftovers, as well as those lingering relative-induced stresses.


  1. Pumpkin Pie Cocktail: It sounds just a little crazy to include the crust, but hear us out on this one. All that buttery goodness works really well with the strength of the bourbon and the sweetness of the apple cider. Serve warm or cool, depending on what your mood is.



  • 1 ounce
    leftover pumpkin pie, pureed, crust and all
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 4 ounces apple cider
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg



  • In a food processor or blender, add a slice or two of pie and blend with a splash of apple cider
  • Measure about an ounce or so, and add it to a double-walled glass
  • Add 1 ounce of bourbon, and 3 ounces of apple cider
  • Stir gently until all ingredients are combined
  • Top off with nutmeg, and enjoy


  1. Cranberry Sauce Mulled Wine: Add a little something extra to that mulled wine. Orange juice brightens up the mix, while cranberry sauce and red wine play nicely with the spices of the season. This recipe makes about two bottles of wine, so serve up to some friends or save for later in an airtight container. We’ve included the whole mulling process too, which is surprisingly easy.



  • 2 large lemons
  • 2 cups cranberry sauce
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 blood orange
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 bottles of wine – dry red like cabernet sauvignon works best, as do full-bodied reds like syrah or malbec
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Cheesecloth and twine – not an ingredient, per se, but you’ll be making a pouch



  • Zest your lemons with a potato peeler and add to a large saucepan. Squeeze those same lemons into the pan, add orange juice
  • Take your cheesecloth and add the cinnamon, cloves and lemon zest. Tie off with a bit of string and add the pouch to the pan
  • Over high heat, add the water, nutmeg and cranberry sauce, and stir until the sauce reduces. Bring the burner down to low and let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • Add red wine, stirring until the mixture is sufficiently blended, and let simmer for just a minute or so. Do not let the wine boil, as it removes the alcohol content. Remove the spice pouch and serve


Don’t Feel Like Cooking, Blending or Drinking Your Way Free From Leftovers?

Perhaps you’ve had your fill of all that holiday cheer. Look, we get it – preparing all those creamy mashed potatoes, turkeys, hams, pies and cookies is exhausting and puts a bit too much stress on the old waistline.

If you’re looking to ditch the leftovers and start anew before the year comes to a close, here’s a few tips and tricks you can use to clean out that pantry and help others in need, or those who haven’t grown quite so tired of the holiday delights.

  1. Donate What You Can to Your Local Food Bankdonate holiday food

Help out your neighbors. Organizations like the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Food Pantry and Grace House all welcome donations. There are many food banks in the area that are in need this time of year.

One thing to keep in mind: While any efforts to help those in need is always appreciated, the food bank may not be able to pass along your extra green bean casserole. Same goes for turkey, mashed potatoes or any other baked goods.

Most food banks are in need of nonperishable items, sealed and not expired. Think extra nuts you were going to use for baking, canned pumpkin or cranberry sauce, soups and canned fruit. All items should be labeled and in good condition. While this solution may not solve all your problems, a good pantry cleanout can help you extend some holiday cheer to those who may not have enough to eat.

  1. Pass Leftovers Out to Neighbors, Friends and Co-Workers

Some things you can’t exactly donate, no matter how good the intention. Since home-cooked meals aren’t subject to the kind of rigorous food-safety standards that restaurants and food manufacturers are subject to, there’s little hope for all that stuffing and roasted meat you’ve grown so tired of. Well, think again. All those loved ones who can’t or won’t cook? They’ll likely welcome leftovers with open arms and stomachs.

No matter where they end up, you’ll be better off investing in a bunch of Tupperware, paper plates and aluminum foil, so you can easily pack up those leftovers and get rid of them ASAP.

  1. Let Someone Else Do the Cooking – Come to Bricco for the Perfect Postholiday Dinner!holiday restaurants

Once you’ve frozen that turkey carcass, Tupperware-d your heart out, given away all your delicious hard work and donated the contents of your pantry to the greater good, it’s time to give yourself a pat on the back and let someone else do the cooking.

Stop by Bricco if you’re in Harrisburg. We’ve got hearty Italian meals for those who want to settle in and taste another flavor of home, as well as some fresh, sustainable seafood dishes to reset the palate just in time for 2017.

If you’re on the hook for hosting a New Year’s soiree of sorts, you could consider letting us do all the heavy lifting. We’ll happily host a private event complete with a number of options sure to accommodate any palate in the room.

Check out our menu, make a reservation or learn more about us. We can make the end of 2016 and the beginning of the new year a relaxing – and delicious – time.

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