5 Christmas leftover recipes to try in your air fryer

Use up all your Christmas leftovers with these quick air fryer recipes

A close up image of roast turkey on a bed of vegetables
(Image credit: Tim Douglas / Pexels)

It’s a couple of days after Christmas Day and chances are you’re on your fourth plate of leftovers. But if you want to bring some life into your leftover Christmas dinner, it’s time to turn to the best air fryer for some recipe inspiration.

I don’t know about you, but my favourite part of Christmas has to be the leftovers. There’s nothing better than having a picky dinner of leftover turkey, stuffing and the remnants of the cheese board… but after a few days of eating the same thing, you might be getting a bit bored of leftovers.

To make your Christmas dinner leftovers more interesting, here are five air fryer recipes you need to try this festive season.

1. The ultimate Christmas leftovers sandwich

Christmas leftover recipes: air fryer Christmas sandwich

(Image credit: Crunch / Unsplash)

Who hasn’t wanted to try Ross’ Thanksgiving leftover sandwich from Friends? Well this easy air fryer recipe takes all your Christmas leftovers and puts it into a sandwich. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any and all leftovers you have and even have a pot of gravy on the side to dip your toastie into.

Here’s how to make the ultimate Christmas leftovers sandwich in an air fryer:

1. Get your leftover turkey, stuffing and pigs in blankets and warm them up in your air fryer using the reheat function. You can add leftover vegetables like red cabbage, roast potatoes and carrots into the mix, too.

2. Butter two slices of bread on each side and assemble your sandwich using the reheated meats and a generous amount of cranberry sauce.

3. Place your sandwich in the air fryer at 200°C for around 5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Eat on its own or heat up a pot of leftover gravy for dunking.

2. Turkey curry

Christmas leftover recipes: air fryer turkey curry

(Image credit: Taylor Kiser / Unsplash)

Turkey curry is a common leftover recipe and yes, you can make it in an air fryer. I’d recommend using the Ninja Speedi 10-in-1 Rapid Cooker and Air Fryer for this recipe as it’s good at tackling liquids. The best turkey curry air fryer recipe I've found is from Jenny Tschiesche who has a cookbook called Air Fryer cookbook and the instructions on how to make it are below.

Here’s how to make turkey curry in an air fryer:

1. In a heatproof dish that fits into and can be used in your air fryer, add 50g of green beans and 80g of spinach.

2. Mix together a tin of coconut milk, 200ml hot stock, a generous tablespoon of curry paste, brown sugar and peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of fish sauce. Stir this all together in a bowl before pouring it over the vegetables.

3. Add the dish into your air fryer at 160°C and cook for 18 minutes. After 8 minutes have gone by, add your leftover turkey and peas into the dish and leave it to cook for the last 10 minutes. Serve your curry with rice, naan bread and other popular curry sides.

3. Bubble and squeak

Christmas leftover recipes: air fryer bubble and squeak

(Image credit: BBC Good Food)

For US readers who might not know what bubble and squeak is, it’s traditionally made by mixing together potatoes and cabbage before frying. Bubble and squeak is also a handy way to use up any leftovers from a roast dinner and this Jamie Oliver recipe is the best way to turn your Christmas leftovers into a festive bubble and squeak.

Here’s how to make bubble and squeak in an air fryer:

1. Add all of your leftover vegetables (roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, red cabbage, brussel sprouts etc) into a bowl and mash everything together with a fork or potato masher. For some added freshness, you can mix through some fresh herbs like sage or thyme. 

2. Shape this mixture into patties before placing them into your air fryer, being careful to put them in as a single layer without them stacked atop of each other.

3. Cook your bubble and squeak patties in the air fryer at 190°C for 15 minutes. Check on the patties during the cooking process to make sure they’re crisp and golden.

4. Turkey and gammon pie

Christmas leftover recipes: air fryer turkey and gammon pie

(Image credit: Waitrose)

My favourite thing to do with my Christmas leftovers is to make them into a pie, and this turkey and gammon pie is a great way to use up any meat that you have lying around after Christmas and Boxing Day. Pastry isn’t the easiest thing to cook in an air fryer as you’re often at risk of a soggy pastry case but by making individual pies, you can avoid this and get crisp golden pastry.

Here’s how to make gammon pie in an air fryer:

1. Mix your leftover turkey, gammon, vegetables and gravy together in a bowl. To ensure the correct liquid ratio for your air fryer, add a spoonful of cornstarch to thicken up the gravy. Add extra seasoning if desired.

2. Pour the mixture into individual ramekins or a baking dish. Make sure these are safe to go into your air fryer.

3. Roll out your pre-made puff pastry and cover the top of the pies. Brush the pastry with a beaten egg to get that golden crust and poke a hole in the centre to let the air escape.

4. Place the dishes into your air fryer at 200°C and let them cook for around 10 minutes. Leave them for a couple of minutes longer if your pastry looks a bit pale.

5. Leftover vegetable frittata

Christmas leftover recipes: air fryer frittata

(Image credit: Steve House / Pexels)

This recipe is perfect for vegetarians or people who have a lot of leftover vegetables lying around. Leftover vegetable frittata is easy to make and if you fancy something a bit more, you can add pastry and make it into a leftover vegetable quiche instead.

Here’s how to make vegetable frittata in an air fryer:

1. Mix together your leftover vegetables and six eggs. Depending on how many vegetables you have to use up, you can add an extra egg if the mixture looks too thick or add 100ml of milk. Add extra seasoning and grated cheese if desired.

2. Spray your air fryer with oil and pour your frittata mixture into the air fryer. Cook your leftover vegetable frittata in the air fryer at 200°C for 8 minutes. If it still looks runny, let it cook for an extra couple of minutes.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!