filo pastry with roasted tomatoes on top and hellmans on the side

Big family food celebrations such as Thanksgiving can leave you with a stack of cooked vegetables that are just too precious to chuck away.

With this in mind, I thought I’d come up with a couple of tasty solutions that can help feed the family for a couple of days after the big event.

Mayonnaise has long been a “go-to” ingredient for leftovers, so it was a bonus to have a jar of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise at the ready.

Any leftover veg can be used in either of these recipes as long as they’ve already been cooked, and although these are vegetarian ideas, leftover poultry would work a treat as well. The addition of mayo in these dishes makes them creamy and delicious; a real improvement to the non-mayo versions. In fact, I’ve found that adding mayonnaise can do the same to any savoury cooked-egg recipe.

Leftover veg filo tarts

thanksgiving leftovers

Ingredients – makes 4 small tarts

  • Leftover and cooled roast vegetables – new potatoes, carrots, squash, garlic and peppers work best.
  • Filo pastry sheets
  • 1 small sliced tomato per tart
  • 2 tbsp Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 100ml cream
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 170°C/350°F/gas 3.

Cut your leftover veg into roughly half thumb-sized cubes.

Grab one or two small, non-stick loose-based tart cases and spray three filo sheets with an oil spritzer and lay each slightly differently upon the one below to create a “pointed crown” effect that rises above the sides of the case. Fill each case two-thirds full with the vegetables.

In a jug, beat the eggs with the mayonnaise and the cream, then season well.

Pour the mixture into the tart cases until it covers the veg. Place the sliced tomato on top and grind over some black pepper.

Cook in the middle of your oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the mixture has only a slight wobble left. Leave to cool, but not go cold, for 20 minutes, and serve with a fresh leaf salad.

Leftover vegetable tortilla


A take on the ubiquitous Spanish omelette, this is a reasonably slow-cooked, single-pan dish that is delicious hot or cold.

Serves 8


  • Olive oil
  • 4 large potatoes, sliced pencil-thick   
  • 2 white onions
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
  • Leftover cooked veg – green beans, squash, courgette (zucchini), garlic
  • Handful of chopped, flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Get a large, deep, non-stick sauté pan on a high heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Add the sliced raw potatoes and onions and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes or until the potatoes have gone soft. Stir constantly to prevent burning.

Turn the pan out into a colander, draining off most of the oil but keeping a little to the side.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, parsley, retained oil from the potatoes and eggs, then season well.

Put your pan onto a low heat and add the potatoes, onions and leftover cooked veg, filling to about two-thirds of the pan. Pour over the egg and mayonnaise mixture and shake pan to settle. It should almost cover the veg.

Keep on a low heat, gently pushing the mixture away from the sides of the pan with a spatula. After 15-20 minutes you should see the egg mixture on the top beginning to cook – at this point you need to flip your tortilla.

Put a plate big enough to cover the pan on top of it. Hold the plate with one hand and the pan-handle with the other and flip it over. Remove the pan and then slide the tortilla, uncooked side down, back into the pan, and return to the heat.

Cook for five minutes and then tip onto a board for eating straight away, or allow to cool completely, refrigerate and eat cold within two days.