christmas leftovers - mayonnaise and turkey sandwich

Once the pressure of Christmas Day lunch is over and done with, Boxing Day and beyond is all about minimal effort.

There’s always a bit of turkey leftover but we like to go all out and have a joint of roast beef on Christmas Day too, which means one big round of cooking, but plenty of leftovers for the days following Christmas. There are usually a few jars, odds and ends to use up and a few unloved ingredients in the fridge, too.

So, here are some of my ideas for using up all those Christmas leftovers – with a little lemon zest, fresh horseradish, bright purple beets, peppery rocket and dill, you can turn your leftovers into something quite special.

Other post-Christmas essentials in our house include a few packets of bake-at-home ciabatta rolls either in the cupboard or in the freezer, so that, in just a few minutes, you can be serving up warm ciabatta rolls – perfect for loading up with shredded turkey, Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise and some retro piccalilli.

Turkey Ciabatta with Real Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and Piccalilli



  • 4 bake-at-home ciabatta rolls
  • 250g leftover free-range turkey
  • Rocket or other salad leaves
  • Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
  • Grated lemon zest
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons or more of piccalilli, caramelised red onions or sliced gherkins


Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F and then bake the ciabatta rolls for 7-8 minutes, or according packet instructions.

In the meantime, shred or finely chop up the leftover turkey and rinse and drain the salad leaves.

When the rolls are ready, leave them cool slightly so that you can handle them. Slice in half and spread the top half with Hellmann’s real mayonnaise and the bottom half with piccalilli. Fill with the rocket leaves and shredded turkey, then eat with a napkin close to hand!

Very often I look forward to the leftover roast beef more than the original meal. Cold roast beef, particularly if it hasn’t been overcooked so that it’s too dry the following day, is a thing of great beauty and flavour.

My Eastern European roots always pull me toward horseradish, beetroot and dill, though not everyone in my family loves these flavours as much as I do, so a second platter of roast beef with a creamy Parmesan-mayonnaise dressing and some shaved Parmesan is usually served alongside. Either way, blink and you’ll miss them both!

Roast beef salad with beetroot and horseradish or Parmesan dressing

Hellmanns Xmas Leftovers Ren Behan -6 (1)


  • Some leftover high-welfare roast beef, previously cooked to medium-well done is best
  • Rocket or other peppery salad leaves

For the beetroot salad and dressing

  • 4-5 cooked beetroots
  • 6 tablespoons Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
  • Fresh horseradish root
  • Fresh dill

For the Parmesan salad and dressing

  • 50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 6 tablespoons Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
  • Fresh lemon zest to garnish
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Very finely slice the leftover roast beef. Scatter the salad leaves over two large plates and divide the beef across both platters.

For the beetroot version, chop two of the beetroots into thin slices and lay them in and amongst the beef. To make the dressing, place the other two beetroots and the Hellmann’s real mayonnaise into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and season with a touch of salt and pepper.

christmas leftoversDrizzle the dressing over the roast beef and beetroot salad. Finish off by grating over some fresh horseradish root and garnishing with some fresh dill.

For the second salad, to make the dressing, place the grated Parmesan cheese, Hellmann’s real mayonnaise and the milk into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

Drizzle the creamy dressing over the salad. Using a peeler, shave some of the Parmesan over the top of the salad, and grate over some lemon zest. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For more ideas on Christmas food, head over to Jamie’s Christmas pages here.

About the author

Ren Behan is a well-known food writer and mum-of-three based in Hertfordshire, UK. She grew up in a food-loving Polish household and now writes a popular family-friendly and seasonally-inspired blog at

Ren Behan