I hate waste when it comes to leftover food. The problem is, I tend to overdo it when it comes to making a dinner and always make far too much. I think it goes back to when I was a youngster and had to cook for about 8-10 people..

I did a big turkey crown at the new year with all the trimmings, needless to say there was a huge amount of leftovers. After giving them the beady eye, I decided to make a stew. (See left).

The pan you see is my universal cook pot, I’ve had it for donkeys years and I’ve cooked just about everything in it. I use it most days. I suspect most of us have a pan we just couldn’t do without.

First of all I threw in the mashed potatoes followed by the turkey leftover gravy. (Mashed potatoes make a lovely thickener for gravy). It was followed by leftover roast potatoes, broccoli, petit pois peas and carrots. The cauliflower would have followed it if I hadn’t done it in a cheese sauce. (We finished that off on toast grilled)..

I then had a rummage in my fridge and found a bag of new potatoes I’d forgotten about, so sliced and threw them in. Also a couple of carrots, swede, onions and other bits and pieces I found hiding in the veg drawer.

Don’t worry about weighing out veg etc, just throw it in.

Added salt pepper and mixed herbs, a bit more water to cover and brought it to the boil. Then left it cooking on a very low heat for about 4 hours. Normally I would have transferred it to my slow cooker for this part but there was far too much to fit in it.

NB I didn’t add my leftover turkey at this stage as I didn’t want it to dissolve into the gravy with too much cooking, plus I was reheating again the next day…

Stew is always nicer the second day so next morning I turned it back on until it was back to the boil, added some gravy granules to thicken it up a tad more, added the left over turkey and left it cooking on a very low heat until the kids and daughter came up for their tea.

Served it with some nice crusty bread and they gobbled it down. I was also able to pack 2 plastic containers with what was left for my daughters pack up.

A really nice way to use leftover food you’ve cooked which is both nutritious and money saving…


Registered nurse, wife, mum and nana. I've had my share of 'hard times' when a child and also in the early years of being married. I learned a lot about how to make the pennies stretch further, so I'm going to share my little hints and tips with you...