Christmas Leftovers Like New

  • Tweet
  • Pin It
Your Tex Mex Turkey Lasagna could look like this. (

Your Tex Mex Turkey Lasagna could look like this. (

No matter how many people are seated around the dining room table, nor how many plates of leftovers you coax your family into eating. No matter how many to-go meals you wrap in foil, nor how many sandwiches you make, it seems as though that Christmas ham or Holiday turkey will never be gone.

Believe me; I know how much that hurts. I know how disappointing it is to select that perfect cut, baste it, roast it, glaze it, and set it on a pretty plate for presentation, only to see a heap of its leftovers tossed into the trash one week later (and probably a few days too late).

It’s funny, how when it is all said and done, when all of the side dishes have been consumed, only the star of the show – the centerpiece, as so to speak – is left. That Christmas ham. That Holiday turkey. And what do you do, besides wish that your local grocer sold smaller cuts of spiral ham? What’s wrong with a quarter cut instead of half, anyway? Don’t they know, not everyone has a family the size of a small Third World country?

And those poor taste buds. Day after day of the same flavor. No stimulation. No variation. Just plate after plate. Sandwich after sandwich. Well no more. This Christmas, we are changing the rules. We are adding fresh flavors, reigniting the taste buds, and eliminating the waste.

Tex Mex Turkey Lasagna anyone? This creamy cheesy dish is a savory blend of turkey, black beans, cilantro, pasta, and melty cheese. Italian Ham and Cheese Stuffed Shells? Bite into a wonderful world of marinara, basil, and rich velvety ricotta. Whether you decide on ham, or turkey or both this holiday season- take your holiday leftovers from drab to fab with these savory recipes. They’re sure to eliminate the Tupperware, and put a smile on your family’s faces.

Tex Mex Turkey Lasagna

1. Leftover turkey (shredded or diced)
2. 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
3. 6-8 lasagna noodles
4. 1 can black beans
5. 1 pkg taco seasoning
6. ½ cup cilantro
7. 1 small Serrano pepper (diced)
8. ¼ cup green onions (sliced)
9. 1 cup cheese (I prefer pepper jack) shredded
10. 1 lime

*Optional: veggies of choice, such as diced tomatoes, olives, bell peppers, corn

Fill a large pot 2/3 of the way with water. Over medium high heat, bring it to boil. Once your water has come to a rolling boil, add pasta noodles, and cook until al dente. Drain, and set aside.

In the same pot, combine cream of chicken, turkey, and taco seasoning, Serrano pepper, black beans, and the juice of one lime. Stir every few minutes until well combined. Preheat oven to 385 degrees.

Begin to layer your baking dish. Start with lasagna noodles, then your creamy turkey mixture, followed by veggies, green onions, cilantro, and cheese. Repeat the sequence, and finally top with one last layer of lasagna noodles, a bit of creamy turkey mixture, green onions, and cheese. Bake at 385 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted through.

Remove from heat, let cool for 15 min, and serve.

Italian Ham and Cheese Stuffed Shells

1. 12-18 oversized shell noodles
2. 1 jar marinara sauce (your favorite)
3. 8 oz Ricotta cheese
4. ½ -1 cup Italian cheese blend, or Mozzarella
5. leftover Christmas ham (diced)
6. 1 tsp nutmeg
7. 2tbsp dried basil
8. 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
9. Salt & pepper (to taste)


In a large pot, boil shell noodles- about 6 at a time. Drain and set aside. While shells are boiling, combine ricotta, nutmeg,parmesan, and basil. Stir until smooth and well combined. Preheat oven to 385 degrees.

Next, not –so-gently fold in ham. Salt and pepper to taste. It should not need much. Pour a thin layer of marinara over a deep baking pan, and place shells evenly across it. Fill each shell with the cheesy ham mixture. Pour a generous layer of marinara sauce over the top, and finally cap each shell with Italian cheese blend or Mozzarella. Bake until cheese turns a beautiful golden brown. Remove from oven, and serve.

Nichole Jones is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle, entertainment and sports. Follow her on Twitter: @Cinnam0nBun
  • Tweet
  • Pin It

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply