Holidays with traditional family meals as part of the celebration often result in lots of leftovers. When you get tired of leftover ham or turkey or egg salad sandwiches, its time to get creative.

Here are a few ideas for Easter dinner leftovers, using some of the most common foods served at Easter time.

Leftover ham? Slice it, chop it and freeze it in plastic bags to mix into future omelettes, soups or hash browned potatoes.

Leftover asparagus? Make an asparagus omelette. Chop the already cooked asparagus and add to beaten eggs, add a little grated cheddar or American cheese and make an omelette for a quick lunch or dinner.

Leftover turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes? Make a quick Shepherd’s pie. Slice the turkey meat, then layer it on the bottom of a greased baking pan, pour leftover turkey gravy over it, layer leftover stuffing on top, layer any leftover veggie over that and, lastly, layer leftover mashed potatoes on top. Press everything down firmly and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 35-40 minutes or until heated through and the potatoes brown. Cut into squares and serve hot.

Leftover pork roast? Make a great panini sandwich. Cut leftover roast into 9 thin slices. Drain a 7 oz jar of roasted red peppers and cut into 6 slices. Spread 2 teaspoons of pesto sauce on each of 6 slices of country bread. Top 3 slices of pesto covered bread with 3 slices of pork, 2 slices of red pepper, 1 slice of cheese of choice and a slice of pesto covered bread. Cook in a panini press according to machine directions. Makes 3 sandwiches.

Just a few recipes below, but don’t let your leftovers go to waste. Think of a way to use them.

Ham and Asparagus Frittata

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
8 eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped ham
Leftover asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. In an ovenproof skillet on the stovetop, heat olive oil and sauté onion until barely softened.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs then add cheese. Pour into hot pan. Top with ham and asparagus. Turn heat to low and cook 2—3 minutes to seal bottom.

Place skillet in the oven and cook an additional 20 minutes or until puffed and barely set. Remove and cool slightly.

Serve with a salad and whole wheat biscuits.

Cobb Salad

4 servings

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salad

  • 10 cups mixed salad greens
  • 8 ounces shredded cooked beef, chicken, turkey, ham or seafood
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (dyed Easter Eggs work here)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced or use leftover vegetables
  • 2 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, (optional)

Directions:

Whisk vinegar, shallot, mustard, pepper and salt in a small bowl to combine. Whisk in oil until combined.

Place salad greens in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing and toss to coat.

Divide the greens among 4 plates. Arrange equal portions of meat, egg, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, bacon and blue cheese (if using) on top of the lettuce.

Drizzle the salads with the remaining dressing.

Mediterranean Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 deviled eggs

Ingredients:

  • 6 colored hard boiled eggs leftover from Easter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, more for garnish
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped, rinsed capers
  • 3 anchovy fillets, cut in half
  • 1/2 a lemon zested, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Ground black pepper to taste

 Directions:

Peel and slice eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place them in a medium bowl. Arrange egg white halves on a serving plate.

To prepare the filling: add parsley, capers, lemon zest and juice, mayonnaise, mustard and 1 tablespoon water to yolks and mash. Add pepper to taste. Scoop filling into egg white halves. Top each with an anchovy half and sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Variation: mash anchovies and add to the yolk mixture when adding the other ingredients.

Leftover Roast Beef Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into small wedges
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs leftover cooked beef, chopped
  • 64 ounces low sodium beef stock or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces uncooked egg noodles or pasta of choice

Directions:

In a large pot, cook onions, celery, mushrooms and garlic in oil until onions are golden.

Stir in the cooked beef.

Add the beef broth, Italian seasoning and the Worcestershire, stirring to mix and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper Bring mixture to a boil and stir in uncooked egg noodles.

Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Leftover Dinner Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash white pepper
  • 3 cups lowfat milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups diced fully cooked ham or ant leftover meat
  • 2 cups leftover vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, peas, spinach etc.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in the onions, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce.

Spread a fourth of the white sauce in a greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with three noodles, half of the ham and vegetables, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese and a fourth of the white sauce.

Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles, white sauce and cheeses.

Bake uncovered at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Lamb Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound cooked lamb or beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled (if desired) and cut into 1 inch cubes, tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup white wine or all stock can be used
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • A sprig each of fresh thyme, parsley and basil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for about 2 minute; then add the eggplant. Mix and let the eggplant brown slightly, then add the wine. Cook until the wine is reduced, about 3 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup chicken stock. When the chicken stock has reduced add the zucchini, red peppers and tomatoes. Stir everything together and add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Add another 1/4 cup chicken stock and let it reduce and continue adding the remaining stock, 1/4 cup at a time. Simmer until the eggplant is cooked to the desired texture and mixture has thickened. Stir in the leftover lamb and heat.

Parmesan Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pizza dough, store bought or homemade, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded roasted chicken breast or any leftover meat
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/3 cup diced green or red bell pepper
  • Shredded basil for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stretch dough out to fit your pizza pan (about 14 inches round or a 9 x 13-inch rectangle).

Spread 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the dough and arrange chicken on top of the sauce.

Sprinkle mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, bell pepper and onions over the top.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. Top with shredded basil before serving.

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

Use up leftover bread for a dessert. Any fruit can be substituted for the rhubarb in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices bread without crusts, toasted and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 5 eggs or egg substitute equivalent
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar or sugar substitute for baking
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F .

Place bread cubes into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish.

Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan and heat just to the boiling point. Pour over the bread cube and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in rhubarb. Pour over the soaked bread and stir gently until evenly blended. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.

Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is brown and a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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