Too Many Holiday Leftovers? Transform Your Remains Into New Meals

Posted by Monterey Mushrooms on Dec 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM
Monterey Mushrooms

One of the best parts of the holiday is gathering around the table to indulge in delicious food. But long after the full tummies, you’re left with container upon container of the remains.

You don’t want to waste the leftovers, but you can only eat the same thing so many times in a row. That’s why we’ve compiled a few recipes for reinventing your leftovers. These ideas don’t require a lot of additional shopping, and don’t take too long to throw together.

Transform your leftovers into new meals with the help of fresh mushrooms:

1. If you have leftover mashed potatoes: Blended Shepherd’s Pie


It’s easy to make too many mashed potatoes during the holidays. While starch goes great with meat and veggies, it’s super filling— and a little can go a long way on a dinner plate. No need to waste any. Take your leftover tatters and whip up a blended Shepherd’s pie. Savory beef is a great match with this recipe’s bite of Worcestershire sauce and garlic, and the creamy potatoes come to life with a bit of cheddar. There are even a few vegetables in there, to feel like you’re sticking to your New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier.


4 large russet potatoes, cut into chunks*

1/2 cup milk*
1/2 lb mushrooms, finely chopped

1 lb lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp garlic & herb seasoning

2 tbsp flour

1/2 cup beef broth

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas), thawed

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

*or use 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes instead of making fresh

Get the baking temperature and time here.

Love Shepherd’s pie? Here are three more variations of our favorite pies using mushrooms.

2. If you have leftover ham: Homemade Mushroom Ham Cheese Pockets


You can’t go wrong with a juicy ham around the holiday, but you sure have a lot of leftover meat. You could add it to a delicious soup or classic sandwich, but why not get creative? Grab your rolling pin and smooth out some freshly kneaded dough. Stuff square cut-outs with your leftover ham, savory mushrooms and soon-to-be-drippy cheese. These hot pockets are easy to grab on-the-go and are freezer-friendly to enjoy later.

Chrissy from Snacking in Sneakers created this fabulous concoction for us. We hope you love them as much as we do.


2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 cup warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 1/3 cup flour


1/2 tbsp butter

1 1/4 cups mushrooms, chopped

1 1/4 cups ham, chopped

1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Egg wash:

1 egg

1 tbsp milk

Spoil your friends and family with cheesy hot pockets the day after your feast. Pin the full recipe here.

3. If you have leftover chicken: Easy Mushroom Soup


We named this “Easy Mushroom Soup” for a reason: this recipe only takes 10 minutes to prepare— making it the perfect reuse of your extra chicken after the big holiday feast. While our original recipe didn’t include meat, your leftover chicken will only enhance the flavor, creating a creamy chicken soup. Best of all, many of the ingredients items you already have in the pantry, so you won’t even have to hit the grocery store!


3 tbsp unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, finely chopped

4 oz Crimini mushrooms, chopped

4 oz White Button mushrooms, chopped

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken stock

¼ tsp fine sea salt, or to taste

¼ tsp ground black pepper, or to taste

Sliced sautéed mushrooms for garnish, optional

Chopped parsley for garnish, optional

1 cup milk, cream or other dairy, optional

**The original recipe for our Easy Mushroom Soup, doesn’t include meat, but we recommend adding about 1 lb pre-cooked and chopped or shredded leftover chicken (even turkey or ham) for added protein and taste. 

Stick your pot on the oven and fill your kitchen with the aroma of mushrooms and chicken in a creamy base. Print this holiday leftover recipe here.

BONUS RECIPE: If you make this soup, we have a leftover recipe for your leftover recipe! Add this soup to some fluffy puffed rolls by making our Creamy Mushroom Puffed Shells

4. If you have leftover broth: Mushroom Gravy


Of course you probably had gravy with your holiday feasts, but gravy tastes amazing year round. Use any leftover broth to make gravy to freeze for later. Whether it’s from a roasted chicken or a plump turkey, there’s nothing like juices straight from the oven. This gravy recipe uses salty and savory Baby Bellas to give your broth a richer taste. Plus, the coconut aminos and fresh herbs give it a sweet and earthy touch. Freeze in ice cube trays for small portions, or in a large tub to use all at once.


1 tbsp butter* (*or substitute ghee for lactose-free gravy)

2 tsp minced garlic

16 oz sliced Baby Bella mushrooms

4 tbsp butter*

4 tbsp gluten-free flour (1:1 all purpose flour)

2 cups broth, from chicken or turkey

2 tsp coconut aminos

2 tsp fresh thyme

2 tsp fresh sage

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3-4 tbsps of water, for desired consistency (more if you like a thinner gravy)

Did you know this recipe is gluten-free? Pin the directions here.

Looking for More Holiday Recipes?

Tired of serving the same ol’ green bean casserole and yams every holiday? Download our Holiday Recipes with Mushrooms Cookbook.

This handy digital cookbook includes a variety of appetizers, sides, main dishes and even fancy cocktails. That’s right, mushroom cocktails! Be sure to check it out.

Download Holiday Cookbook

Topics: consumer, Christmas