Waste not, want not

  • Food
  • 07.12.21
Words Waitrose 07/12/21

Make the most of every Christmas ingredient with these top tips.


When you’re deciding what to cook, work out how to make the most of each ingredient – perhaps across more than one dish. For example, one pack of breadcrumbs can be used in the stuffing, sprout gratin and bread sauce.


Question the things you do automatically – do your carrots need peeling or could they just be scrubbed? Are the outer leaves on your sprouts tender enough to leave in place? And if you do need to peel or trim (we agree roasties aren’t the same with peel on), think about how the ‘unwanted’ part can be used. For instance, potato peelings make a crunchy topping for gratin, and you could also bake them into crisps. Other peelings and spare herbs can boost a stock or gravy.


Boxing Day sandwiches, curries and pies are as important to the festive season as the main event. A large cut of meat on the big day can provide meals for several days afterwards, especially if there are only a few of you.

When you’re deciding what to cook, work out how to make the most of each ingredient.”

If you can’t use your Christmas leftovers straight away, many things freeze really well, including stuffing, gratin, red cabbage and sauces. Seal everything in airtight containers once cool and freeze for up to 1 month, defrosting thoroughly before reheating. Cooked meat can be frozen too: chop it into bite-sized pieces before freezing, ready to be added to stews, pies and curries, or slice it for sandwiches. You can also prepare individual pies in small dishes and freeze those that aren’t needed before baking.

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