The feast goes on: Annie Bell’s recipes for Christmas leftovers

The best thing about the Christmas menu? Turning what’s left into more tasty meals – even the sprouts! Annie Bell’s genius recipes for or Christmas leftovers show you how.

Stir-fried sprouts with ginger

This offers lots of potential for serving sprouts beyond their Christmas lunch outing.

Stir-fried sprouts with ginger
Ellis Parrinder


3 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp fine fresh ginger, roughly cut into 5cm matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, peeled
and thinly sliced
50g hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
400g cooked sprouts, sliced sea salt, black pepper
1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and thickly sliced
a handful coarsely chopped fresh coriander
date syrup (optional)

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the ginger, garlic and hazelnuts for a minute or two until golden and crispy, then drain on a double thickness of kitchen paper, leaving the oil behind.

2. Return the pan to the heat, add the sprouts, season then fry for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently until nicely coloured. Transfer to a serving bowl.

3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the spring onions for a couple of minutes until they soften and start to colour.

4. Scatter the spring onions over the sprouts, then the ginger, garlic and hazelnuts, and gently toss. Serve sprinkled with coriander. They are also particularly good with a drizzle of date syrup.


  • As a side to thick slices of hot or cold roast ham, lamb chops, steak or pan-fried salmon.
  • With some broad beans and wilted baby spinach as a more substantial vegan dish.
  • As a vegan main with buckwheat or lentils stirred through.

Turkey and mushroom pie

After all the indulgence of Christmas Day, this uses up the leftover turkey but also gets us back on track with plenty of veggies, beans and a crispy wholemeal top.

Turkey and mushroom pie
Ellis Parrinder



30g unsalted butter
700g large white onions, peeled, halved and sliced
flaky sea salt (eg Maldon)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g button mushrooms, stalks trimmed and halved
150ml turkey stock
500g leftover turkey, diced
200g tin rustic bean mix or white beans (drained weight), rinsed
4 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve (optional)


200g wholemeal breadcrumbs (see tip)
75g turkey gravy or stock (ideally jellied)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle over a teaspoon of sea salt and gently fry over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent them colouring. By the end they should be lusciously silky and soft.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat then fry the mushrooms for several minutes until lightly coloured, stirring occasionally, and transfer to a medium bowl.

3. Purée the onions with the stock in a blender until silky smooth then transfer the sauce to a large bowl and leave to cool for about 30 minutes. Stir in the turkey, mushrooms, beans and parsley.

4. Transfer this to a shallow ovenproof dish (around 20cm x 30cm). The filling can be prepared well in advance, in which case cover and chill.

5. To cook the pie, preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 61⁄2. For the top, whiz the breadcrumbs with the gravy and oil to a crumble consistency in a food processor, taking care that they don’t turn into a dough. Scatter this over the filling and bake the pie for 30-35 minutes until the crumbs are golden.

6. Serve scattered with extra parsley if wished.

TIP If the crusts are soft they will make excellent breadcrumbs, but if they’re crusty it’s best to use just the inside of the loaf.

Parmesan parsnip fritters

parmesan parsnip fritters
Ellis Parrinder

These gooey little fritters make excellent use of the leftover roast parsnips, as well as cheddar or any other melting cheese that is starting to look lonely on the cheeseboard.

SERVES 4 as a veggie main OR 6 with cold ham or turkey


around 6 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
250g roast parsnips
2 heaped tbsp wholemeal flour
2 large eggs
250ml milk
sea salt, black pepper
30g grated parmesan
100g farmhouse cheddar, cut into 1cm dice


80g baby spinach leaves
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 avocado, halved, pitted and cut into long thin strips
4 tbsp salad sprouts

1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots for a couple of minutes until softened and lightly coloured, then transfer to a large bowl. Finely chop the parsnips in a food processor and combine with the shallots. Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat.

2. Whisk the eggs and the milk with some seasoning in a small bowl, pour this over the parsnips and stir to combine. Scatter over and stir in the parmesan, then fold in the cheddar.

3. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in the cleaned-out frying pan, drop rounded tablespoons of the mixture in separate piles and gently press down into fritters about 7cm in diameter. Fry for 11⁄2-2 minutes, until golden, then turn them and fry for another 30-60 seconds.

4. Transfer to a warm plate and cover with foil to keep warm – you can drain them first on a double thickness of kitchen paper, just briefly so they don’t stick. Cook the remaining mixture in the same way, replenishing the oil as necessary.

5. Meanwhile, toss the spinach with a little oil to coat plus a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
and a pinch of salt. Mix in the avocado and serve, scattered with the salad sprouts, alongside the fritters.

Cauliflower and chilli pasta with sausage

Lively with a healthy melange of cauliflower, tomatoes, red lentils (the pasta) and olive oil – and makes excellent use of any leftover chipolata rolls. Or you could fry some leftover stuffing to crispy little nibs to scatter over.

Cauliflower and chilli pasta with sausage
Ellis Parrinder


2 tbsp tomato or sun-dried tomato purée
1 tsp harissa
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus around 1 tsp extra
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
400g cherry tomatoes, halved sea salt, black pepper
400g cauliflower florets (around 1cm-2cm)
250g red lentil fusilli
200g leftover chipolata rolls, sliced 1cm thick

1. Blend the tomato purée with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and stir in the harissa. Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large deep-sided nonstick frying pan, add the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant, then add the tomato purée mixture, the cherry tomatoes and some seasoning, and cook for a couple of minutes.

3. Stir in the cauliflower, cover the pan with a lid and cook over a medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is just tender.

4. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water, stir and cook according to the packet instructions until just tender.

5. Also, heat a medium nonstick frying pan over a medium heat, trickle a teaspoon of oil over the base and stir-fry the sausage for a few minutes until lightly golden.

6. Drain the pasta using a colander, then mix it into the sauce and serve scattered with the sausage.

Christmas green soup with Stilton and pine nuts

Christmas green soup with Stilton and pine nuts
Ellis Parrinder

A deliciously thick and rich green soup that is full of veggies. Dish it up with wholegrain bread for further nourishment.


400g broccoli (trimmed weight)
2 tbsp extra virgin
olive oil
1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced
100g pine nuts
1.2 litres turkey stock
150ml white wine
400g frozen garden peas
sea salt, black pepper
100g watercress, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
120g stilton, crumbled

1. Slice the broccoli stalks and cut up the florets. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and broccoli stalks and fry for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly coloured. Add half the pine nuts halfway through. H Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan.

2. Add the wine to the large saucepan and cook until syrupy and reduced. Add the broccoli florets and peas and stir for a minute until the broccoli darkens, then pour over the stock and season. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, adding the watercress a minute before the end.

3. Purée the soup in a food processor – it should retain a slight texture. Taste for seasoning and serve scattered with the stilton and the remaining nuts (you can toast these in a frying pan first if wished), and some more chopped watercress.

Christmas pud baked pears

A second life for the Christmas pudding or cake that is doused with honey and lemon and baked to a fudgey centre in pear halves.

Christmas pud baked pears
Ellis Parrinder


4 comice-style pears
1-2 tsp vegetable oil
8 tbsp crumbled Christmas pudding or cake (approx 120g)
50g honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
20g unsalted butter
coconut yogurt or soured cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7. Halve the pears lengthways – you can leave the stalk attached – and scoop out the core to leave a crater.

2. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat, drizzle a teaspoon of oil over the base and colour the cut side of the pear halves for a few minutes, if necessary in two batches (adding more oil), then arrange cut-side up in a large baking dish. Fill the craters with the Christmas pudding.

3. Melt the honey, lemon juice and butter together and drizzle over the pears, soaking the pudding, then bake for 20 minutes.

4. Serve with a dollop of coconut yogurt or soured cream.

Chocolate nut clusters

Chocolate nut clusters
Ellis Parrinder

Shell-on nuts can hang around long after the chocolates and Christmas desserts have disappeared. So spend half an hour one evening shelling them to make these not overly naughty nut-cluster treats.

MAKES 20-23

1 tsp vegetable oil
200g mix of nuts – pecans, walnuts, almonds – chopped into 1cm pieces
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp smooth orange juice
100g dark chocolate (approx 70% cocoa), broken into pieces
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/ 130C fan/gas 2. Brush the base of a large roasting pan with the oil. Combine all the nuts in a medium bowl and spread in a thin layer over the base. Toast for 20 minutes.

2. Blend the maple syrup and orange juice in a small bowl. Drizzle over the nuts, stir to coat then roast for another 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Loosen with a spatula and spread over a sheet of baking paper and leave to cool.

3. Gently melt the dark and milk chocolate in a large bowl set over a pan with a little simmering water in it, and leave to cool to room temperature.

4. Fold in the nuts and stir to coat evenly with the chocolate, then spoon heaped teaspoons into mini muffin cups and pop these into the fridge for an hour to set.

5. Remove from the fridge. These will keep well, loosely covered, for several days.

Annie’s latest cookbook, Eat to Save the Planet, will be published on 31 December by Bluebird, price £16.99

Food stylist: Louise Kenney. Props stylist: Charlie Phillips.