Crockpot Cooking: How To Use Your Christmas Leftovers in Your Slow Cooker

Don’t let your Christmas dinner leftovers go to waste, pop them in the crockpot and make yummy dishes for Boxing Day and the following week!

How To Use Your Christmas Leftovers in Your Slow Cooker? Don’t let them go to waste, pop them in the crockpot and make yummy dishes for the following week!

All that rich food over Christmas is going to make you crave something fresh and homely – some good, honest and simple food. My mum used to crave beans on toast on Boxing Day! Your Christmas dinner leftover will never have the same appeal the following day though, especially when they have been sitting on a plate under cellophane in the fridge and everything is looking pretty cold and congealed. You can breath new life into all of those leftover ingredients though by popping them into your crockpot to make the following tummy-warming recipes…

Here is how to use Christmas leftovers in your slow cooker.

#1 Leftover Turkey Soup


Let’s face it, every household usually chooses a turkey that is far too big for oven, never mind the family; and most of it never gets eaten because the bird was so damned big that it didn’t cook well and the result was dry meat that even the gravy can’t fix. Who is mad about turkey anyway? It’s not exactly the tastiest of meats, is it? So what you are left with is a carcass that has been picked at, still with plenty of edible meat to it, a rack of bones and leftover shriveled roast vegetables!

The great things about making leftover turkey soup though is that you don’t really have to do anything, so you can stick it all in the pot overnight, wake up Boxing Day and maybe go for a brisk walk in the biting winter air to stretch your legs after sitting on your bum all of Christmas Day, and then come home to a warming and satisfying, delicious hot and tasty soup.


  • 1 1/2-2 cups diced leftover Thanksgiving turkey
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper


  1. Pop all of the ingredients into the Slow Cooker, give a quick stir and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. (Yep, that really is it!)
  1. If you would like to add noodles to this dish, just turn the Slow Cooker up to HIGH and add the noodles the last 20-30 minutes or until tender. 1/2-3/4 cup would be sufficient.

TIP: Instead of Chicken bouillon cubes you can always use watered down leftover gravy from Christmas Day!

#2 Crockpot Turkey and Quesadillas


For a fun, fast-food style Post-Christmas lunch or dinner why not use your leftover turkey to make the yummy filling for these cheesy quesadillas – perfect for snacking on while watching a film with the family, or to enjoy as a whole meal at the table with dips, chips and flowing wine…


  • 1 turkey breast or equivalent, about 5 pounds, bone-in
  • 3/4 cup parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Put the leftover turkey in a large slow cooker.
  2. Stir together 1/2 cup of the chopped parsley, vegetable oil, salt, pepper and vinegar; pour over turkey breast.
  3. Sprinkle remaining parsley over top.
  4. Cook 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high or 8 to 9 hours on LOW.
  5. Remove from slow cooker and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
  6. To make the Turkey Ouesadillas heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  7. Place a flour tortilla in the skillet and spread with about 1/2 cup of Mexican-style cheese blend and 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced turkey.
  8. Top with a second tortilla.
  9. Cook until cheese starts to melt.
  10. Turn with a spatula and brown the other side.
  11. Cut quesadilla into quarters and serve with salsa and dips

#3 Crockpot Turkey & Rice Casserole


Turn your leftover turkey and veg into a well-padded post-Christmas meal for family or friends by adding rice and canned soup to make this delicious crockpot casserole dish. With hardly any food preparation, this is a recipe you will want to use again and again, after every Sunday Roast, throughout the year! Works well with chicken, beef lamb and pork.


  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups converted long-grain white rice (uncooked)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 to 3 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas & carrots, oriental mix, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion


  1. Combine soup and water in slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cover and cook 6 to 7 hours on LOW or about 3 to 3 1/2 hours on HIGH, until rice is tender but not mushy.

Share Your Christmas Leftover Food Tips…

Whether you’re a novice cook who’s just getting to grips with the kitchen or are a seasoned chef looking for some new inspiration, these four cookbooks are sure to bring your kitchen to life this winter.

I’m sure that you have more ideas how to use Christmas leftovers in your slow cooker. I love to find out what other family’s Christmas traditions are. What does your family like to eat on Boxing Day? Do you like to pick at leftovers as they are, and maybe make turkey sandwiches? Or are you more inventive? Share your tips with YouQueen readers so that we can all try something new out with our leftovers this year!

Extra tip about leftovers

How to use the random mix of food that winds up in your refrigerator to whip together your next healthy meal. Instead of throwing out your leftovers and relying on takeout or another restaurant for your next meal, repurpose that food and use it to your benefit.

Transforming leftovers into delicious healthy meals is all about planning ahead and stocking your kitchen with the right essentials.  Here are 5 creative ways to turn leftovers into healthy meals.

About the author

Zara M.

I love to write, draw, take photographs, dance tango, write in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook and ogle other people’s Filofaxes. Oh – and I like LOTS of sugar in my tea! I want to inspire you, and show you the world through my eyes.

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