Inspirational Ideas For Leftover Christmas Ham

Luckily, ham is one of the most versatile foods you can have in your fridge. Apart from being able to tuck a slice between a piece of bread or two, there are so many other ways to serve it. You can also substitute it for anything which usually uses bacon, so that opens the possibilities enormously. If you want some inspiring ways to use up the ham lingering in your fridge, you’ve come to the right place.

Peas and ham

Did I just hear someone say yuk? Well, it certainly didn’t come from our household. Peas and ham are a winning combination, it’s packed with fiber, eats like a snack or a meal, it’s super easy, you can freeze it, plus it tastes awesome!

First, chop up the ham to resemble shredded bacon. Cook it on high to medium in a large saucepan or pot with garlic. Add as much or as little garlic as you like. I love it and it’s a great way to load the family up with a good hit, so I throw in a few large freshly chopped cloves but it doesn’t matter if it’s dry. Add a dash of water so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and stir it until you can smell the garlic cooking.

Then open a packet of frozen peas and add them, along with a sprinkle of sugar, salt and pepper to taste and water to cook the peas in. About a 3/4 of a cup for a 500gm packet will suffice. It’s easier to add more water later than try to remove it. Stir it all in, pop the lid on and turn the heat down low. Let it cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can tell when it’s ready when the peas looked cooked, but not mushy.

If you have a bit of water lingering around, cook it for a bit without the lid. The more often you cook it, the easier it gets and you can tweak it anyway you like. Serve it straight away or have it cold. It tastes great either way. It freezes really well and is perfect as a side dish or quick main meal on busy days. It’s even a great lunch box alternative.

Creamy ham sauce

There’s a great little product that has hit the shelves for people suffering lactose intolerance. Don’t let that deter you though. It tastes great, stores in the cupboard, is really low in fat, is perfect for cooking, plus it’s under $2!

Now, trying to source it is like pinching eggs out of a chicken coop, because our local supermarkets can’t seem to stock enough. As soon as it hits the shelf, a day or so later, it’s vanished! It’s usually found in the long life milk section, so if and when you can get a hold of it, grab 2 or 3 to keep in the cupboard for super quick, tasty meals for the whole family.

To make the pasta sauce, chop and cook up the ham and garlic like the previous recipe. Instead of adding peas, add the cream with salt and pepper to taste. Cook it long enough to heat the cream and ham. It’s super yummy over any sort of pasta, baked potatoes and especially over plain steamed veggies. Once again, it freezes really well.

Now, for a little more inspiration, I’ve compiled the following list, with a few extra ideas for you to use your leftover ham.

  • Ham morney (substituting tuna)
  • Add a handful of chopped ham into a garden salad
  • Shredded ham and coleslaw on baked potatoes
  • Ham, cheese and pineapple topped pancakes
  • Door-stoppers: thick toasted bread with ham, melted cheese and creamed corn
  • Ham steaks with egg and baked beans

Ham also goes well with potato, green veggie, beans, cauliflower, asparagus, and apples combinations. Don’t forget you can also use apple or cranberry sauce to switch the flavor yet again.

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December 26, 2014

5 Easy Christmas Leftovers Ideas

Leftover cheese plate? Ham? Mince pies? I’ll admit it – I think Christmas leftovers are even better than Christmas lunch! I also don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen after spending half the day in there on Tuesday! Here are my 5 go-to tricks for turning Christmas leftovers into something special – and no waste!

Leftover cheese plate? Turn it into cheesy flatbreads

Take a large naan or pita bread and spread slices of cheese from your leftover cheese plate. Dot with pesto or caramelised onions, sprinkle with fennel seeds and bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped coriander. Cut into wedges and serve.

Leftover ham? Turn it into lentil and ham soup

Today we all need a little nourishment after all that gluttony. Grab that tin of lentils sitting in your pantry, tip it into a large pot with a chopped up carrot and celery rib, and add small chunks of leftover ham (and the ham bone if you have it). Top with a little water or leftover stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Just the thing to get you through the next few days.

Leftover mincemeat or mince pies? Turn it into Christmas ice cream

Mince pies are great the first day but pretty stodgy by today, so take a tub of ice cream out of the freezer for 30 minutes to soften up, then crumble up your leftover mince pies (or half-empty jar of mincemeat) and stir it through the ice cream. Put back in the freezer to harden up – it’s even better the next day when the ice cream has had time to infuse with all those Christmas flavours.

Leftover bubbly? Turn it into white sangria

I know, leftover bubbly? It shouldn’t exist but I found a few near-empty bottles this morning and decided to turn it into refreshing sangria. Pour any leftover bubbly or white wine into a pitcher and top with chunks of fruit – cherries, apples and oranges are fantastic in sangria! Add ice and enjoy!

Leftover roast potatoes? Turn it into Spanish tortilla

There’s always a few roast potatoes that don’t get snapped up. Slice them up, get a oven-proof pan on medium heat with a good glug of olive oil. Warm the potatoes up in the oil, then add 5-6 eggs, lightly beaten with plenty of salt and pepper, to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for about 8 minutes, until the base has cooked. Meanwhile heat the grill. Put a plate over the pan and carefully flip the tortilla out, then slide back into the pan. Place the pan under the grill to cook the top, about 5 minutes. Slide out from the pan and cut into wedges. It’s delicious hot or cold, served with a dollop of mayonnaise.

What’s your favourite Christmas leftover recipe?

December 27, 2012

12 Ideas To Use Up Christmas Leftovers

Did you know Australian households will throw away at least $200 million worth of food over the Christmas holidays?


Rosemary Cadden, co-author of Making a Meal of It, gives us 12 ideas for using up some of the festive fare, plus tips on how to store leftovers to make them last longer.

1. Don’t forget to stuff the stuffed turkey back in the fridge. After 4 hours at room temperature, you’re in danger of serving up a dollop of food poisoning with those turkey slices.

2. Follow the suggestion of “Do Something!” founder Jon Dee, who named Boxing Day “National Leftover Day”, and have a party! Impress your pals with turkey mango salad: mix together cooked turkey (or chicken), some ham, chopped cucumber, chopped coriander and finely sliced red onion. Blend together mango, grated rind and juice of a lemon and olive oil for the dressing.

3. Overload of avocados? Treat the kids to avocado and banana ice blocks, and make the big kids avocado shakes – with a taste of honey, lemon, orange or mint.

4. Those bunches of herbs are in danger of drooping. Easy answer: freeze them in sprigs or in ice-cube trays for another day!

5. How’s that ham going? Think about freezing some of it. There’s only so much ham one can take day after day…

6. Soft biscuits gone soggy? Put a piece of apple or bread in the container for 24 hours. Crisp biscuits gone soggy too? Put them in a low oven for a few minutes before serving – you can only do this once though!

7. New Year’s Eve, and space must be found in the fridge for the beer and champagne. Time to use up all those bits of sponge cake, Christmas cake and chocolate cake to make lamingtons, truffles, rum balls and trifle for yet another party!

8. That bumper bag of capsicum seemed a good idea at the time. Never fear. There are lots of ideas for baking, stewing, roasting and, of course, stuffing.

9. What are you going to do with all those bits of leftover cheese? How about quiche, vegie bake, frittata or risotto?

10. Stop crying over sliced onions: use those goggles you got for Christmas to tearlessly chop away. Or you could chop under water – the onions, not you!

11. You’ve neglected the garden and that zucchini plant is going berserk. Slice the biggest one in rounds, brush with oil and pop on the BBQ.

12. The excess food bought before Christmas that has not even seen the light of day since going into the fridge: hmmmm. Good excuse for another party!

What do you do with your Christmas leftovers?

December 26, 2011