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Christmas leftovers pasta bake recipe

Christmas leftovers pasta bake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta bakes

This creamy turkey pasta bake makes good use of leftover turkey if you still have some left after Boxing day and are fed up with sandwiches.

53 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 350g cannelloni tubes or large pasta shells
  • 280g leftover cooked turkey
  • 300g leftover stuffing
  • 100g cream cheese, softened
  • 40g Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
  • 400g mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 350ml leftover gravy or cream of chicken soup

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:1hr10min ›Ready in:1hr35min

  1. Preheat an oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a baking dish.
  2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Add pasta and return to the boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 13 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
  3. Place turkey and stuffing in food processor, and pulse until finely ground and combined. Place the minced turkey and stuffing mixture in a bowl along with cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, and half of the mozzarella. Mix until well blended.
  4. Spread some of the gravy (or chicken soup) on the bottom of the prepared dish. Stuff the pasta shells with the turkey mixture and place in the dish in tight rows. Top with the remaining gravy and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes until top is browned and bubbly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(71)

Reviews in English (65)

by Teri H.

This recipe does sound a bit odd but I gave it a try and everyone loved it! I added some leftover corn casserole and it was delicious.-01 Dec 2008


This was great. Such a nice change from the casseroles and enchiladas that we usually make. Hubby loved them. Very fussy daughter had seconds. Thanks for sharing. Awesome!-30 Nov 2008

by juskertay

I wanted to find a recipe that used turkey but was different from the stews, soups and pot pies. This was the perfect recipe. I used canneloni pasta instead of the large shells (b/c that is what I had on hand). Works well The hubby LOVED it!!-29 Dec 2008

Leftover Spaghetti Bake

Leftover Spaghetti Bake is an easy way to really transform leftover spaghetti into a different meal the second night. You can use spaghetti with meat sauce or with meatballs in this recipe too! The sky is the limit.

This Baked Spaghetti recipe was born from the desire to have something besides leftover spaghetti the second night.

We love spaghetti around here and we make it often.

But it makes A LOT and there is always plenty left for dinner another night.

Sometimes I just want to do something different than warming up the leftover spaghetti in the microwave though.

So, this is how I throw the spaghetti together in a casserole dish to make it an entirely new meal.

This is a very popular recipe on our blog so I hope you enjoy it too!

Disclosure &ndash I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.

Leftover Turkey Pasta Bake

Properly cooked turkey is delicious especially as the message about not roasting it for hours and hours is getting out. A shorter roasting time – that still leaves the bird properly cooked – gives a juicy and tasty result. I am greatly in favour of spending a little more on a slowly-reared turkey, and then making sure that we use every possible morsel.

Here’s a great way of making 500g of turkey and 100g of ham feed four hungry people. It’s economical, too, which I find really very helpful after Christmas excess.

2. Sesame spring onions and noodles or pasta

Spring onion and sesame noodles. Photograph: Rachel Kelly Photograph: Rachel Kelly

At the cusp between winter and spring, I can't get enough of cheerful spring onions. This uncooked sauce can be put together in less time than it takes to boil and drain the noodles – about five minutes. It also hits all of my thrifty/frugal buttons!

There was a little of last Sunday's roast chicken left to top the noodles – it is perfect with roast chicken or pork, although I love adding a few Thai fish cakes or perhaps some marinated tofu. But what also makes it a bit of a winner is that it just sings with deep savoury flavours. Maximum taste for minimum effort. Perfect.

3 tbsp vegetable oil (use a neutral one)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp dark soy sauce or ketjap manis
1 tsp light soy sauce
a splash of mirin (or rice or sherry vinegar)
a splash of fish sauce, (optional)
a pinch of sugar
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped on the diagonal (include white and green parts)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
salt (optional)
hoisin sauce (optional)
noodles or spaghetti (or other thin pasta)

Whisk together the oils, soy sauces, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar. Pour over the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Check the seasoning as you may need to add salt, despite the fact that soy sauce is quite salty.
Leave the sauce for about 20 minutes, so that all the flavours get to know each other. You can use immediately, although it's better left to infuse.

For even more flavour, gently warm up the oils until they are hot but not smoking. Pour over the remaining ingredients to wilt the spring onions. Then stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain. Or use yesterday's leftover pasta. Cold spaghetti is perfectly acceptable, but refresh it first with boiling water, then drain.

Toss the noodles and add a dollop of hoisin sauce. Top with leftover roast meat.

Christmas leftover recipes

After the filling of the fridge before Christmas comes the slow, steady emptying of it in the days that follow, as we stoically eat our way through cold cuts, leftover cheese and half finished tubs of brandy sauce. There are traditions attached to Christmas leftovers which some hold almost as dear as the Christmas meal itself, with popular favourites including turkey and stuffing sandwiches, turkey and ham pie and, of course, the turkey curry immortalised by Helen Fielding and Bridget Jones.

This collection of Christmas leftover recipes aims to provide some inspiration as you stare, bewildered, at the mounting pile of tin foil parcels in your fridge. Alyn Williams' toasted sandwich recipe – aptly named the Boxing Day turkey toastie – features layers of leftover turkey, stuffing, sprouts, red cabbage and sauces sprinkled with cheese and sandwiched between thick cut sourdough bread, the perfect treat if you find yourself feeling peckish on Christmas Day evening or as a hearty brunch on Boxing Day. Brunch is also a great way to use up any Christmas ham which you might have, including Adam Gray's pancake recipe drenched in maple syrup and served with thick cut slabs of leftover ham, or Josh Eggleton's Ham, egg and chips recipe, offset with a scoop of tangy piccalilli.

For leftover turkey recipes suitable for dinner try adapting Shaun Rankin's Chicken, leek and mushroom pie recipe with the same quantity of turkey, or William Drabble's Pumpkin and turkey risotto for an Italian spin on post-Christmas cooking – try throwing in leftovers from your cheeseboard to bring a richness to the final flavour. Galton Blackiston's Fruity turkey curry is a mild dish suitable for family of all ages, or try Vivek Singh's Leftover turkey stir fry or Hari Ghotra's Turkey biryani recipe as more unusual twists on the classic turkey curry.

Christmas pudding, too, is often left in large quantities, suffering as a result of following straight after such a large meal. Many of our chefs incorporate leftover pudding into delicious Christmas pudding ice cream, although some use it to create showstopper desserts. Graham Campbell's Christmas pudding soufflé is served with an incredibly festive cranberry sorbet and rich brandy anglaise, while Paul Welburn pairs the pudding with orange, prunes and brandy cream in his Christmas pudding sundae.

Best Christmas leftover recipes

Leftover roast turkey pie

Use the remains of a roast chicken or turkey to create this creamy 1-hour pie, perfect on a chilly day.

Posh bubble and squeak (with chestnuts)

Who doesn't love bubble 'n' squeak? Give it a twist by adding pancetta and cooked chestnuts, sneak in some brussels sprouts and you've got yourself the perfect Boxing Day brunch.

Mix and match mac ‘n’ cheese bar

A cheeseboard is a classic for Boxing Day. While you can never have too much cheese, it's difficult to get through it all. If you're in this situation, try making this mac 'n' cheese. Not only is it a great way to use up left over cheddar and parmesan, but also it will be sure to keep all the family happy between Boxing Day and New Year.

Turkey and ham pie

What better way to use up your Christmas turkey leftovers? This meaty, creamy turkey and ham pie is made with shop-bought puff pastry to make life a little easier. Perfect for a simple post-Christmas family dinner.

Pigs in blankets carbonara

If, by some miracle, you have any pigs-in-blankets left-over from your Christmas dinner, give them a new lease of life in this rich carbonara recipe.

Turkey ramen

Use up leftover Christmas turkey in this nutritious and restorative ramen.

Epic Christmas toastie

Use up your Christmas dinner leftovers to make our ultimate toastie with turkey, stuffing and homemade bubble and squeak. Plus, we share the greatest toastie secret you'll ever learn.

Refried smashed roasties with green harissa and yogurt

Use up your leftover potatoes from Christmas Day in this punchy recipe. Make this quick dish for an easy side at a festive get together with friends.

Bread sauce and stuffing croquettes

Check out our epic croquettes with leftover bread sauce and stuffing. These crispy balls are easy to make and perfect at keeping a hungry crowd happy over the festive season.

Leftover turkey toastie

This West Coast version of a deli sandwich uses smoked turkey rather than pastrami. Meaty leftovers from your Christmas food that are still lurking around after Boxing Day will work a treat.

Ham, spinach and mozzarella lasagne

Packed with chunky ham and oozing mozzarella, this inventive twist on the traditional lasagne is a great way to use up leftover ham and feed a crowd. Try our lasagne recipes here.

Turkey chilli bean stew

This is a good way of using up leftover turkey over the holidays – chicken or ham would work nicely as well. The chipotle paste and smoked paprika gives this a lovely smoky, but not too hot, chilli flavour.

Roast potato chaat

You can use left-over roast potatoes for this spicy treat, or frozen roast potatoes that have been cooked first following pack instructions. Serve with a sprinkling of bombay mix and plenty of coriander yogurt.

Mac ’n’ cheese with ham and pickled onions

Got ham or gammon to use up from the festive season? Check out our easy macaroni and cheese recipe with cooked ham, pickled onions and three types of cheese.

Christmas pudding ice cream

A clever way to use up left-over Christmas pudding – add it to ice cream! This four-ingredient, no-churn recipe also comes laced with brandy or rum – the perfect winter pud.

Shredded brussels sprouts salad

Looking for ways to use up your leftover brussels sprouts? Check out this low calorie Italian-style brussels salad with crispy pancetta and toasted walnuts for a lighter dinner.

Ham, pickled pear and blue cheese salad

This ham, pickled pear and blue cheese salad is a great way to use up Christmas food leftovers on Boxing Day and beyond. It's an easy starter for four people, or a quick meal for two.

Double cheese, pickle and ham toasties

Check out this quick and easy grilled cheese sandwich, a super simple lunch idea for Boxing Day and great way to use up both ham and cheese.

Creamy pumpkin soup with blue cheese and sage toasties

Got a load of blue cheese leftover? Instead of serving it with crackers, try sandwiching between slices of bread and toasting to make these moreish toasties. Serve with big mugs of soup for a warming dinner.

Lobster mac 'n' cheese

Do you have leftover cheese to use up? Make this lobster mac and cheese for an indulgent dinner between Christmas and New Year. The mac and cheese uses both gruyère and parmesan. The addition of sweet, rich lobster turns this into a luxurious treat which would be great for a New Year’s Eve celebration dinner.

Smoked haddock and ham gratin

This smoked haddock and ham gratin turns everyday ingredients into a really comforting dish that doesn't create lots of washing up. It's a great Boxing Day dish for using up Christmas leftovers.

Spiced parsnip soup

A spicy parsnip soup is a real winter favourite and is perfect for a chilly Christmas evening when you want something quick and easy. Of course, any other leftover Christmas veg will work too.

Caramelised onion, sprout and bacon hash with chilli fried eggs

Spruce up your leftover sprouts with our crispy bacon and caramelised onion hash topped with chilli fried eggs. This easy recipe will make a great dinner over the festive season in under 30 minutes.

Chicken and shredded sprouts pie with butterbean mash

Our chicken and shredded sprouts pie with butterbean mash is a healthy version of your favourite comfort food. Use up any leftovers brussels sprouts from Christmas dinner.

You are going to love how easy this is. Everything is cooked together in one pan, including the pasta, just the same way as my chicken pesto pasta bake.

  1. First cook the leek and mushrooms until softened (image 1).
  2. Follow that up with garlic, right before adding pasta, stock and water (image 2). Let this bubble for a bit until the pasta is still slightly firm but doesn’t taste raw.
  3. Now add most of the remaining ingredients (images 3 & 4), holding back some cheese for the top (image 5).
  4. Bake it for 15-20 minutes and serve it up hot.

Christmas Leftovers Panini

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Christmas and Thanksgiving leftovers are both a blessing and a curse. The meals are always amazing the night before, but eating them a second (or a third) time can leave a lot to be desired. That is why we are obsessed with this turkey cranberry panini recipe. This holiday recipe uses up all of your leftovers, yet makes a brand new meal!

From the Chef: For the first few days after Christmas, my fridge is packed with all sorts of oddly sized storage containers filled with leftovers. And while it's nice to experience "take two" of Christmas dinner, I love getting the chance to mix things up and reuse my leftovers to make something new and exciting.
- Addie Gundry

This recipe is from RecipeLion's 103 Cookbook series, Festive Holiday Recipes: 103 Must-Make Dishes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year&rsquos Eve Everyone Will Love.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large slices bread (white or whole wheat)
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 / 2 cup turkey breast or ham pieces
  • 1 / 4 cup cranberry sauce


Heat an electric griddle or panini press to medium heat.

Spread the butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Lay 1 slice of the cheese on the unbuttered side of 1 slice of bread. Spread the mustard and mayonnaise over the cheese. Top with the turkey, cranberry sauce, and remaining slice of cheese. Top with remaining slice of bread, butter-side up.

Place on the electric griddle or press and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bread is toasted. If you don't have an electric griddle or press, feel free to use a ridged grill pan and press a cast-iron skillet on top. Serve.

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Very good idea using leftovers. Whether leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner, I think they will be more tasty because the flavors have been properly blended.

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Leftover chicken pasta bake

Need something a little comforting? Need it to be on the cheap side? Yes it’s a warm day today but, really, I love a pasta bake whatever the weather.

This Jamie Oliver chicken and mushroom pasta bake is the leftover roast chicken dish for you. You’re just cooking up a load of mushrooms, adding wine or stock and some cream, and baking it all together. His recipe takes some time to make, having to brown off chicken thighs. If you’re using up leftover roast chicken you’re saving yourself so much time. Avoiding food waste and less time at the cooker? Sounds good to me.

If you’ve got loads of small amounts of pasta shapes, a pasta bake is a great way to use them up. Just cook each one to its time and clear out those annoying scraps. When you buy lasagne sheets, they are made specifially to avoid having to pre-cook. When you need to use up a handful each of fusilli, penne, little bows – cook them for 5 minutes fewer than the cooking time instructions on the packet. Seem like a pain in the arse? Pasta is cheap? Well, if you chuck handfuls of pasta each week, that amounts to bags and bags over the year. Most of us base our shopping choices on price so why are we happy to just throw food away, food that we have worked to pay for? Bask in the satisfaction of not wasting foood.

You can make this dish and pop it in the freezer, which will keep your chicken safe and ready to eat at a later date. Just remember: LABEL IT!

We totally loved this, was the absolute favourite for me and the elder kiddo. Heaven.

Chicken and mushroom pasta bake

Serves around 4 Serves 4 adapted from Jamie Oliver


Olive/ground nut oil
At least 150g leftover chicken
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
350g fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
200ml white wine or chicken stock
320g dried pasta
300ml (1 regular tub) single cream
150g Gran Padano/Italian hard cheese*

* I don’t buy Parmesan because it’s so expensive, but use what you prefer

Chopping board
Frying pan
Slotted spoon/flipper
Measuring jug
Large oven-proof dish

Optional tools
Garlic crusher

20 minutes prep
1 hour 15 minutes cook


Shred the chicken meat into pieces no wider then 5mm
Wipe mushrooms DO NOT WASH THEM
Slice the mushrooms into slices around 3mm thick
Crush or finely slice the garlic
Grate the cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C
Heat the oil in your large frying pan over a medium heat
Add the mushrooms and cook fro about 10 minutes, so that the water in the mushrooms cooks out (this is why you shouldn’t even wash mushrooms)
Put on a pot of water for your pasta, and cook to packet instructions
When mushrooms are cooked through, add the garlic and cook for a minute, stirring so it doesn’t burn
Add the wine or chicken stock and leftover chicken and simmer for 5 minutes
Pour the cream over (if you don’t quite have 300ml just add more stock/wine)
Season well with salt and pepper
Add 3/4 of the cheese, then the pasta and stir wll
Scrape into your oven proof dish, top with the remaining cheese
Bake for about 30minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling

Storage/further meals

Your can leave to cool and freeze the whole dish
If you don’t eat it all in one sitting, leave to cool to room temperature
Cover and store in the fridge for no more than a couple of days
You can eat this again at room temperature but I do not advise re-heating again, as this would be the third heating of the chicken, and you could be putting yourself at risk

  • 300g/10½oz dried pasta shapes, such as penne or fusilli
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, thickly sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g/1lb 2oz pasta sauce (homemade or from a jar)
  • 150ml/5fl oz double cream
  • 350g–500g/12oz–1lb 2oz leftover turkey, cut into small chunks
  • 75g/2½oz mature cheddar, coarsely grated

Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until just tender.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Lightly oil a large, shallow, roughly 2.5 litre/4½ pint lasagne dish, or similar pie dish.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the bacon and onion for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in the pasta sauce and cream. Add a large ladleful (around 100ml/3½fl oz) of the pasta cooking water and bring to a simmer. Stir in the turkey pieces and season with ground black pepper.

Drain the pasta in a colander, then return it to the saucepan. Stir in the pasta sauce and leftover turkey meat.

Transfer to the greased dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve hot.