The holidays are almost upon us, which means a large amount of food is likely going to be prepared in kitchens across America. But after the mingling with family and friends and filling bellies with savory and sweet delights, leftovers are typically found and are part of the clean-up equation, though many don't know what to do with them. The time spent preparing these dishes, however, such as sweet potato pie or apple & pecan pork stuffing, can and should be appreciated, making sure anything left not go to waste but rather saved and used at a sooner-than-later date.
But fear not on how to do it! With these simple holiday leftover recipes, you can kick up your feet and take that well-deserved break from the kitchen utilizing the leftovers you kept.
Sausage & Vegetable Pasta (varies)
Leftover vegetables that do not have sauce on them (green beans and brussels sprouts are great for this)
Leftover SausagesSpaghetti noodles (amount will vary due to how many leftovers you are using)
1/4 - 1/2 cup Olive Oil
2-4 cloves of garlic
choppedCrushed red pepper
Salt & Pepper
Gather your leftover cooked sausages and vegetables that do not have sauce on them. Slice them all into bite-size pieces. Set aside for the moment.
Fill a pot with water and set on high, to bring to a boil.
As the water heats for the noodles, use a large skillet over medium heat to warm the olive oil. Add garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes, without letting it get brown. Add the sausages and vegetables and mix together. Add seasonings to taste, as well as more olive oil if desired.
Boil spaghetti noodles 7-8 minutes. Reserve a 1/4 cup of the water before draining.
Add noodle water to the sausage/vegetable mix, using only enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Heat a minute and then add your noodles, stir-frying over high heat 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover, letting the pasta sit for a few minutes before serving. This dish goes great with any salad leftover!
Turkey/Ham Sandwiches (serves 1)
2 slices of white bread (or wheat)
1/4 pound of sliced turkey/ham meat
2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes
1/4 cup gravy
Take one slice of bread and lay the sliced turkey or ham directly on it. Take a butter knife and spread the mashed potatoes on the other slice of bread and place it on top of the meat. Cut the sandwich in half and dip into the gravy, similar to an au jus. Enjoy!
Appetizer Buffet (varies)
All the leftover appetizers
Appetizers are typically served before a meal and are often served when people arrive and start mingling and get settling in. They can be left to the wayside though as guests wait for the main meal or restrict themselves to only a bite or two. Rather than wasting the bits and pieces leftover from your appetizer offerings, save them and have a buffet style dinner the following day. Utilizing your leftover cheeses and cooked sausages, make a charcuterie board to munch from. Simply heating thing left, such as stuffed mushrooms or Italian sausage meatballs, is not only easy but offers an opportunity to make a lovely dinner buffet. Make sure to save some bread and crackers for it all!
Turkey/Ham, Sausage & White Bean Soup (serves 4)
2 Peeled carrots, diced into pieces
1/2 white onion, chopped
3-5 garlic pieces minced
2 celery stalks, diced into pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 pound of turkey/ham, shredded
1-2 links of cooked ground sausage
1 can white beans, rinsed
1/4 cup Pastina or Acini di Pepe pasta noodles
2 cups spinachsaltpepperthymerosemarycrushed red pepper flakes(seasonings to taste)
Parmesan Cheese for garnish
In a large pot, coat the bottom with olive oil, covering it and then some. Set on low heat and sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and celery together until they are tender. Do not burn. While that is cooking, place a frying pan over medium heat. Heat olive oil in the pan and then add the cooked sausage to brown it. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the vegetables are tender, add a cup of water and deglaze pot for 1-2 minutes. (You can also use white wine.) Add the vegetable broth and seasonings and bring to a boil (add water if needed for broth.) Once boiling, add the turkey/ham, sausage, white beans and pasta and boil for 5 minutes. Stir throughout the entire process. Add spinach and boil for another 4 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes.
Garnish with parmesan cheese.
Serve with crusty bread and salad (leftover if you have it!)
These are a few easy and delicious recipes for your holiday leftovers but whatever you decide to do, we hope you enjoy your day of giving thanks. From Papa Cantella's, have a Happy Holidays!