How to Transform Holiday Leftovers

As the scent of cinnamon is slowly evaporating from the kitchen, Wham’s broken heart is no longer touring the radio stations, and the decorations have once again migrated to the attic, work and ambitious New Year's resolutions are leading us back to normal life.

But every year, one relic seems to transcend the Holiday time-frame, presenting a post-festivity dilemma: Your fridge, freezer, and pantry are booming with wonderful leftovers, but you can’t force-feed yourself another cookie or slice of turkey. Having feasted your way through the holidays, the hearty dishes you had waited a whole year to indulge in have now lost their glory.

Rest assured. Instead of surrendering to dry, reheated turkey and rock-hard Christmas cookies, here are 5 great tips for how to revive leftovers!

Didn’t manage to conquer a whole panettone, and now you’re left with a couple of half-dry slices? Perfect! A little cinnamon, milk, and eggs and you’ll have French toast with a twist to serve at your next Sunday brunch. Try it with a citrus salad for the perfect balance between sweet, spicy, and citrusy-sour.

Panettone French toast

Panettone French toast

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Leftover sandwiches are almost as great a tradition as the feast itself. Cold slices of roast with tangy gravy beautifully tucked between two slices of crispy bread—effortless and yet so comforting and satisfying. After all, there’s nothing to get you through that tough first day back at the job like knowing a leftover sandwich faithfully awaits you when the lunch bell rings.

Leftover turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce

Leftover turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce

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If half a bird is nesting in your fridge or freezer, shred it! With cooked shredded poultry you can throw together dinner in no time. Use it in salads, pasta dishes, or load it on top of your nachos (Hint: It’s the perfect remedy for the 1st of January).

Shredded chicken salad with mango dressing

Shredded chicken salad with mango dressing

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Loaded chicken nachos

Loaded chicken nachos

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You still can’t see the bottom of the cookie jar? Here’s an idea: Use your leftover cookies to make a crunchy cheesecake crust! Speculaas cookies are an especially wonderful and warm-spiced counterpart to the creamy and sweet cream cheese filling.

Cheesecake with caramel sauce and berries

Cheesecake with caramel sauce and berries

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Eggnog seems to be reserved exclusively for Christmas, however, there is a way around this limited timespan: Camouflage it in a cake! This Bundt cake requires very few pantry ingredients, as the eggnog pretty much does the job, adding a hearty creaminess. Perfect for an easy and budget-friendly afternoon-tea treat.

Eggnog crumb cake

Eggnog crumb cake

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What’s your favorite way to use Holiday leftovers? Let us know in a comment, or send us your recipe to community@kitchenstories.com, and we'll share it with the community.