Holiday Leftovers

Every holiday, I am faced with the dilemma of what to do with leftovers. As much as leftovers can be tasty—and quick to reheat—I personally get rather tired of eating the same thing again and again. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am usually more than satisfied to have a turkey salad sandwich the day after the big meal, and then I’m done.

For the past couple years, we have cooked a ham at Christmas, in addition to the turkey. A small ham makes for tasty snacking and sandwiches when we are busy wrapping presents or prepping for the holiday. And we had leftover ham.

This year, I used leftover ham in two different ones.

Ham Casserole

I don’t know what exactly to call this gratin-style dish, which is essentially ham, potatoes and green beans in a white sauce. It’s not beautiful, but it is tasty and warming during the doldrums of the post-Christmas slump. This dish could easily also incorporate leftover roast potatoes and beans (if you have them). I first encountered something similar in the UK, and I really enjoyed it.

Serves 2-3

1 cup, chopped leftover ham
2-3 medium potatoes, boiled and sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 leek, chopped (optional)
1 cup leftover or frozen green beans
1 cup milk
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 cup grated old cheddar (even leftover cheese from a cheeseboard would work)
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. With the butter, sauté onion (and leeks, if using them) in pan on medium heat until softened.
2. Add flour to pan, stir with onions for 1-2 minutes, then whisk in the milk. Turn off heat. Add half the grated cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
3. In medium ovenproof casserole dish, add potatoes, ham, and beans. Stir in white sauce. Top with remaining grated cheese.
4. Bake in 350F oven until top is golden and bubbling, about 45 minutes.


Along with the leftovers of our charcuterie platter, I used up some leftover ham in a pizza. Traditionally my family always made homemade pizza on Christmas Eve as a way to keep the kids busy and to change it up from all of the heavy roasts. However, now that my siblings and I are all adults, pizza doesn’t work quite so well with a half a dozen hungry adults.

So this year, we made our pizza few days after Christmas, which was a pleasant change. I incorporated prosciutto, salami, and ham into my pizza. However, if you have any baby tomatoes or pepper slices from a veggie tray, those could also work well.

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