Cooking with Holiday Leftovers


For some, Black Friday might mean early morning bargain Christmas shopping, but we sleep in and then think about how we can cook up our holiday leftovers. Here’s a few ideas from the Edible Orlando recipe archives to get you started.

Holiday Leftovers with Poultry

“Retro rad” Chef Emily Ellyn knows her stuff(ing). You’ve seen her on Food Network’s “Food Network Star,” and “Cupcake Wars,” but the Orlando-based celeb chef is also working on her doctoral studies at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality and Management. Emily’s recipe for “Gobble-It-Up Turkey Dinner Bites” (below) will use up your cold turkey, and we won’t tell if you sub in your own stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes for Emily’s from-scratch ingredients.  

You can also disguise that leftover turkey by subbing it in for chicken on your favorite recipes. Chef Susan Ytterberg from Golden Plum Personal Chef Services has a pot pie that beats those frozen lumps by a mile. Local cookbook writer and blogger Christine Pittman suggests the dark meat for her quick noodle soup. Dylan Eitharong lives and cooks in Thailand now, but Orlando fans still remember his Bangrak Thai Street Kitchen pop-up. Dylan makes it back occasionally, but until he does, here’s his Thai-Yunnan cucumber and chicken salad.


Not everyone has turkey at Thanksgiving, so if you’re a ham family, you can take those leftovers and try to duplicate collard greens from Winter Park’s The Coop.


We’re a little confused on how someone could have leftover cornbread, but if you do, you can use it up by making the seared red cabbage with maple mustard dressing and cornbread croutons from Chef Jes Tantalo at Redlight Redlight.

Cocktails for Holiday Leftovers

Let’s close out with a couple cocktails. Paul Johnsen, who’s now with William Grant & Sons, the company that owns Glenfiddich whisky and Hendrick’s Gin, suggests a Christmas Morning Mimosa to use up your cranberry compote. We almost want to fry some bacon just to have reserved bacon fat for this next one. Justin Leo, most recently with The Florida Brewery in Auburndale, recommends a bourbon and bacon hot chocolate.