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Holiday Casserole: What to Do With All Those Leftovers

It happens every year. You host a holiday dinner with turkey and stuffing and all the fixings. Of course, you make sure there is enough food. The table is laden with mashed potatoes, salad, and bread. After everyone has had their fill, there is still so much left! The leftovers get stored in the fridge, and you have turkey sandwiches every night of the week. 

Dealing with Holiday Leftovers

No one wants to see food go to waste. Budgets are tight around the holidays. For Senior Citizens on a fixed income, it’s especially important to make use of what you have. Sometimes you have to get creative when it comes to uneaten food. Here are six smart ideas for dealing with holiday leftovers. 

  • Freeze leftover wine in an ice cube tray. Pull out a few cubes the next time a recipe calls for wine. 
  • Make your own breadcrumbs from day-old bread.
  • Chop leftover onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper and store in the freezer for later.
  • Dry extra herbs and store in airtight containers
  • Make bone broth from the turkey carcass and vegetable scraps
  • Turn leftovers into soups, salads, and casseroles

Holiday Casserole Recipe 

Turn your leftovers into a completely different dish with Holiday Casserole. This versatile recipe can use ham, turkey, chicken, or even duck, and it will be delicious every time. This creamy casserole is warm and comforting in cold winter weather. Combine leftover meat, pasta, vegetables, and bread all in one tasty dish. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped turkey, ham, or chicken. 
  • 3 cups cooked pasta, any shape
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables, such as onion, bell pepper, and celery
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (make your own from leftover bread)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 small cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat
  • Add chopped vegetables and cook until tender.
  • Stir in soup, milk, and shredded cheese. 
  • Cook, stirring until cheese is melted.
  • Combine the cheese mixture with noodles, turkey, salt, and nutmeg.
  • Transfer to a buttered 3-quart casserole.
  • Mix Italian seasoning with homemade breadcrumbs
  • Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over the top of the casserole.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

A Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide or Companion Caregiver can help Senior Citizens when it comes to holiday cooking. At Anita’s Angels, Inc.,  we are Families Helping Families. Learn how we can help your loved one live independently for longer by calling 908-788-9390.

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