We continue a full national operation to get food to vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis.

What to do with your Christmas leftovers…

19 December 2019

Food is one of the most important parts of Christmas – or any celebration for that matter. When we celebrate, we eat, but sometimes when we celebrate, we also waste...a lot.

“My mum started a trend in our family – the Christmas pie. Just add all leftovers to one dish – turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, potatoes, veg, gravy – whatever is left.”

Sammy Swain, Community Coordinator at FareShare Southern Central

FareShare takes surplus food from the food industry and redistributes it to charities. Because we operate to strict food safety standards we’re not able to collect and redistribute cooked food from restaurants or people’s homes. But don’t worry – there’s plenty of ways to prevent food waste at home with these tasty tips and ideas!

Top tips

  1. Plan and prepare. Think realistically about how much food you’ll need for Christmas day.
  2. Buy only what you need. Check your fridge before you go shopping and don’t forget to create a shopping list.
  3. Make reducing food waste a new tradition. Get the whole family involved in creating delicious, waste-busting leftover recipes.
  4. Think: can I freeze it? Cooked meat, mash, cooked vegetables, Christmas pudding and mince pies can all be frozen.

For breakfast...start your day with sprouts

If you need something to fuel the Christmas clean-up but you’re not quite ready for your Christmas sandwich have no fear. Rustle up a breakfast using spare sprouts to add a sprinkling of Christmas cheer to bubble and squeak.


1 tablespoon of oil
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 strips of bacon
Leftover mash
Leftover sprouts


Fry garlic, sprouts and maybe even some bacon in olive oil and cook for around 5 minutes. Add the leftover mash, mix with the other ingredients and spread over the base of the pan.

Flip to cook evenly and slice up before serving.

The Classic Christmas sandwich

Okay, we all know this one, stuff everything you can find between two slices of bread and chow down. We don’t want to mess with a staple but what we do recommend is that you consider embracing the Christmas spirit. Why not pop around to a neighbour, relative or local club with a few extra sarnies and become your very own Sandwich Claus?


Turkey (leftover)
Ham (leftover)
Stuffing (leftover)
Sliced cheese (from last night's cheese board!)
2 slices of white bread
Cranberry sauce

Tip: Pan fry the sandwich until the bread is toasted and the cheese begins to melt for some extra Christmas indulgence.

This year FareShare community chefs worked with Honest Crust to develop their own Christmas sandwiches. Find out more here.

Turkey Curry

Liven up this Boxing Day staple with a Thai twist this year. Forget the tinned tomatoes and reach for the coconut milk at the back of the cupboard instead.


1 tablespoon of oil
1 onion
Leftover sprouts
Rendang curry paste from a jar (or any curry paste you’ve got in)
Leftover turkey from your Christmas dinner!
Green beans
300ml coconut milk
2 cups of basmati rice, cooked as per packet instructions
1 chilli, chopped
Coriander, chopped


Heat the oil and add the chopped onion alongside some leftover sprouts! Cook for 10 mins before adding the curry paste. Fry alongside any leftover veg you have in the house, pour in the coconut milk, ¼ pint of water and bring to the boil. Add the leftover Turkey and green beans and simmer for 10 mins.

Serve with rice, chilli and coriander.

Feeling even more creative? Try a herby turkey stir fry!

Fry up the turkey with cooked rice, onions, dried cranberries, 2 tsp nigella seeds and finely chopped fresh dill and mint.

Christmas Pie...it’s Christmas dinner 2.0

All your Christmas favourites cooked up together in a warming pie… ahh.


Leftover turkey
Pigs in blankets
Cranberry sauce
Leftover potatoes
Mixed vegetables


This simple recipe comes from Sammy Swain, Community Coordinator at FareShare Southern Central. “My mum started a trend in our family – the Christmas pie. Just add all leftovers to one dish – turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, potatoes, veg, gravy – whatever is left.”

Cover with pastry and cook until golden brown, around 30 minutes. Cheap, easy and delicious!

All the trimmings...

We’ve rounded up the best of the second-time-round side dishes

  • Twice fried potatoes - Slice up roasties and sauté them with garlic and rosemary
  • Christmas mac and cheese - Combine your cheeseboard selection with stuffing, cranberry sauce and macaroni pasta for a delicious cheesy side.
  • Christmas slaw - Fed up with stodge? Grate carrots and finely slice sprouts – add lemon juice, yogurt and olive oil for a fresh tasting coleslaw (goes well with cold turkey and a jacket potato!)

Don’t forget about dessert...

If you are looking for some inspiration for your final course look no further than food blogger and FareShare ambassador Ciara Attwell’s (My Fussy Eater) Christmas Rocky Road recipe made with leftover mince pies. You can add shortbread, marshmallows or any chocolatey treats you have left. Get ready to crumble!

How you can help us

We may not be able to take your surplus food directly but there are many ways you can help us feed people and reduce food waste this Christmas and beyond. Find out more about donating and volunteering with FareShare.

Donate to FareShare and get a hot meal to a vulnerable family
Find out how you can volunteer