Christmas leftover salads
Wondering how to use up leftover sprouts, carrots, smoked salmon, turkey or cheese after the big day? Try our fresh and crunchy salads all made with festive ingredients, so you can give yourself a break from rich festive fare while cleaning out your fridge, too
After a few solid days of merriment, there comes a time when you're in need of a break from rich Christmas food, but you've still got a fridge full of leftovers to use up. And when the time comes, a hearty salad is the best way to go.
Below, we've suggested ways you can take all the key players from the big day – turkey, smoked salmon, carrots, sprouts and even the cheese from your Christmas cheeseboard – and use them to create something light, crunchy, fresh – even a bit spicy.
Leftover carrot recipes
This salad combines sweet carrots with the bite of acidic dressing and creamy blue cheese. Tossed together with fresh herbs, fennel seeds and pearl barley it makes the most delicious hearty lunch or side dish. This is a recipe you'll be coming back to all year round.
Whether you've got a bag of carrots that didn't get used on Christmas Day, or some roasted carrots leftover, this easy salad is a great way to use them up. Combine with earthy lentils, salty feta, red onion and lambs lettuce for a filling yet super healthy dish.
When you find you're in need of a flavour mix up, take a leftover bag of carrots, roast them with cumin and combine with chickpeas, mint, nuts, spinach and salty feta cheese. Enjoy for a light veggie lunch, or as a side dish to cold meats.
Leftover sprout recipes
Liven up leftover sprouts by making an easy remoulade with mayonnaise, lemon, crème fraîche, mustard and parsley. This fresh and crunchy side dish is great for a Boxing Day buffet, served with cold meats, jacket potatoes and any chutney you have.
More like this
Brussels sprouts make a great alternative to cabbage or kale in slaws and salads. Slice finely and let them soak up this zesty dressing made with orange, lemon and wholegrain mustard for a side dish packed with fresh flavours and texture. Sprinkle with jewels of pomegranate for an extra-festive feel.
You can use up all the festive leftovers in your kitchen to make this big salty-sweet salad. Combine dried cranberries, crispy bacon, chestnuts and shredded sprouts with epic anchovy sourdough croutons. Coat it all in a creamy caesar-style dressing and dig in.
Leftover turkey recipes
Enjoy this turkey cobb salad as a healthy party platter to use up Christmas leftovers. Take a few slices of turkey, add pancetta, avocado, eggs, chicory and tomatoes, and drizzle the lot with a tangy mustard dressing.
If you've got grapes leftover from your cheese board, add them to this easy turkey salad along with walnuts . It provides protein, carbs and beneficial fats, and makes enough to serve two people over two days. Just what you need after all the Christmas cooking and excess.
Use up abundant roast turkey meat in a healthy salad that's flavoured with spicy harissa, and combines aubergine, tomatoes, pomegranate and mint.
Leftover smoked salmon recipes
Have some leftover smoked salmon on your hands? Create this light, low-calorie salad with a chilli and sesame dressing. Rocket adds a nice peppery flavour which works well with the fresh cucumber.
For a heartier way with smoked salmon, check out our rich and lemony risotto.
Turn leftover smoked salmon into an easy packed lunch that's just as delicious as it is nutritious by combining it with a pouch of cooked quinoa, crunchy cucumber and radishes and a herby, creamy dressing.
You can also stir shredded smoked salmon through spaghetti with a good sprinkling of chilli and chives.
Leftover ham recipes
Use up leftover festive ingredients such as ham, hazelnuts, cranberries and clementines in this light salad, with slices of fennel for a welcome fresh crunch. It's a welcome change after a week of indulgence.
For a family favourite, you can also use up ham to make our ham, leek and potato pie.
Pea, ham and parsley are one of life's great combinations. Here, we've used ham hock to make this green salad with mustard dressing, but you can use any leftover shredded ham.
For another light lunch, add diced leftover ham to our mushroom, cheddar and spinach frittata.
Use pulses as the base for this healthy salad to create a lunch that's full of fibre and vitamin C. Toss through shredded ham for salty flavour and a simple tangy mustard dressing.
Alternatively, you could use lentils, ham and leftover root veg to make a big pot of our smoky stew.
Leftover cheese recipes
Give yourself a fibre boost with this easy salad, made with puy lentils, crumbled blue cheese, Granny Smith apples, walnuts and parsley. The combination of different textures and flavours work wonderfully together.
For a more indulgent veggie dish, try our gnocchi with blue cheese and mushrooms.
When you're in need of a healthy pick-me-up, take any goat's cheese you have leftover from a cheeseboard and toss with sweet beetroot and tangy balsamic vinegar to make this easy salad.
Or pile sourdough toast with goat's cheese, honey-roasted pears, chives and walnuts for a truly splendid lunch.
Creamy blue cheese, ripe pears and walnuts make a winning combination in this elegant salad. Serve for a light lunch or side dish to cold meats.
Or turn blue cheese into an impressive veggie centrepiece for your Boxing Day spread with our root vegetable tatin recipe.
Leftover clementine recipes
If you're looking to offset the richness of festive food, this fresh and zingy feta, pistachio and clementine salad is just the ticket. Plus there’s no cooking involved, which means you get a well-deserved break after all the Christmas prep.
For a nourishing breakfast, soak oats in apple juice to make an overnight bircher then top with clementine and pomegranate.
Use up clementines and turkey in a clever way with this crunchy, colourful salad. Coriander, peanuts, soy sauce and lime all combine to make it similar to satay.
For another delicious way with clementines, try our sticky cake with cheesecake cream.
If you're exercising around the Christmas holidays, try this for a protein-rich lunch. Nuts, pulses and turkey meat make it a perfect meal promote recovery after a workout. It's also packed with vitamin C and folate.
If you're craving spice after the traditional Christmas lunch, serve up our turkey tikka masala.