From festive feast to dinner party

Posted by Ella Buchan on 14 December 2016


Festive leftovers aren’t just for snacking in front of the telly or stuffing into sandwiches. 

The remains of your Christmas dinner can be repurposed into impressive dinner party dishes and delicious winter-warming suppers.

Sainsbury’s Development Chef, Nicola Bramley, has created tasty ideas for using up your festive food. Influenced by the latest food trends from around the world, her refreshing ideas are perfect if you’re hosting another gathering or a New Year’s Eve celebration.

She says: “We wanted to create delicious recipes to give our customers some practical, yet inspirational ideas to make the most of every last leftover. 

“The recipes add an extra sparkle to family favourites and are a fabulous way to waste less and save more this festive season.”

So, if you don’t want the Christmas entertaining of family and friends to end then try these ideas, for a post-festive dinner party. Or simply enjoy by yourself, curled up in front of the telly.

Winter spiced-infused gin negroni

This Christmassy twist on the trendy cocktail makes the ideal welcome drink and is a great use for leftover booze and mulled wine spices. 


For the spiced gin:

500ml gin

1 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks 

15 cloves

For the negroni:

30ml spiced gin 

60ml red vermouth 

60ml Campari

2 wedges of orange


1. Begin by making the spiced gin by roughly smashing up the spices using either a pestle and mortar or the end of a rolling pin. Put the spices into a dry (un-oiled) frying pan and heat gently for approximately two minutes to release their aromas.

2. Tip the spices into a large screw-cap jar, pour in the gin and seal. Store and allow the gin to infuse for five days.

3. Once infused, strain through a muslin cloth to remove the spices and store in a glass bottle for up to three months.

4. To make the cocktail, pour the spiced gin, red vermouth and Campari into a glass filled with ice and stir.

5. Dust the orange wedges with icing sugar, place into a hot non-stick pan and caramelise until they begin to char slightly. Place into the cocktail and serve.

Winter spiced-infused gin negroni

Spiced cider, pickled carrot & parsnip ribbon salad

An inventive way to use up leftover carrots, parsnips and walnuts from Christmas, this flavour-packed salad makes a pretty starter, or a lovely, light winter supper after days of indulgence.


For the salad:

40g walnuts

20g honey (approx) 

3 carrots, sliced thinly using a mandolin 

3 parsnips, sliced thinly using a mandolin

by Sainsbury’s bistro salad leaf bag

40g goat’s cheese, crumbled

For the mulled cider vinegar:

360ml cider vinegar

1tsp juniper berries

1⁄2 teaspoon of black peppercorns

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick 

155g caster sugar


1. Roughly chop the walnuts and spread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with honey so that the walnuts are coated. Toast in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes until the walnuts have caramelised; take out of the oven and season with salt.

2. Make the mulled cider vinegar by combining all the ingredients into a saucepan and gently simmer for 20 minutes allowing the spices to infuse then allow to cool slightly.

3. Pour the slightly cooled vinegar over the vegetable ribbons and pickle for seven minutes, then remove. Note – the longer the pickle the softer the vegetables will become – thinner slices will pickle quicker.

4. Plate the salad by laying a bag of salad leaves on a plate and scatter the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the plate with some of the pickle as a dressing for the salad.

Spiced cider, pickled carrot & parsnip ribbon salad

Savoury cheese bread and butter pudding

A tasty use for the remnants of your festive cheeseboard and the rest of that jar of cranberry sauce.


1 loaf sourdough, sliced

1 jar cranberry sauce

150g cheeses, selection of your choice 

Few sprigs of rosemary

3 eggs

500ml double cream

200ml milk

100g hard cheese, e.g. cheddar, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Arrange the bread slices horizontally in a deep baking tray and spoon the cranberry sauce in between each slice.

2. Add the cheeses of your choice followed by some sprigs of rosemary.

3. Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and cheddar and carefully pour over the bread.

4. Allow the bread to soak up the mixture for a few minutes.

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until set with a golden brown crust and allow the pudding to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with a few additional spoonfuls of cranberry sauce and rosemary sprigs.

Savoury cheese bread and butter pudding


Christmas pudding and sherry cheesecake

Even those who don’t like Christmas pud will fall for this creamy, indulgent cheesecake.


200g ginger biscuits

75g butter

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 orange

600g full-fat cream cheese

2 eggs

150g caster sugar

200ml double cream

4tbsp cream sherry

50g cooked and crumbled Christmas Pudding 

2 tbsp granulated sugar

Edible gold leaf (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 23cm (9in) cake tin with baking parchment. Finely crush the biscuits in a food processor. Melt the butter and cinnamon and mix with the crumbs. Press firmly into the base of the tin and chill.

2. Grate the zest of half the orange and place in a food processor with the cream cheese, eggs, caster sugar, cream and sherry. Whizz until smooth then mix in the Christmas pudding. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

3. While the cheesecake is baking, use a zester to pare away the remaining orange peel (or use a potato peeler, peel off strips of rind and shred finely). Place in a small saucepan with 4tbsp water and the granulated sugar, boil for five minutes until syrupy and then allow to cool.

4. Turn off the oven and open the door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove. Once cooled, remove from the tin and decorate with the strips of caramelised orange peel and flakes of edible gold leaf.

Christmas pudding and sherry cheesecake

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