/ Food & Drink

Are you using a slow cooker for your Christmas leftovers?

christmas dinner

If you were in charge of Christmas Day catering, you probably cooked extra to be on the safe side. So today you might be pondering how to transform your turkey leftovers into a delectable dish for Boxing Day.

There’s nothing wrong with a trusty turkey sandwich (or grazing randomly from the fridge – that’s something I’ll never grow out of). But if you want something heartier and more wholesome, you can also use your slow cooker to whip up a Boxing Day stew.

The main advantage of a slow cooker is that you can simply sling your ingredients in and then walk away – freeing up crucial time for watching Christmas films, guzzling mince pies or gallivanting around enjoying the holidays.

Easy Boxing Day feasts

Chuck the remnants of meat into your slow cooker, along with stuffing, potatoes and any other uneaten veg. Pre-cooked turkey will have already lost its structure and quickly goes tender when you slow cook it. Add a pint and a half of water and gravy granules or a couple of stock cubes, and you’re left with a pretty decent stew.

If you don’t own a slow cooker, you can also do this with a pressure cooker – and then you’re ready to eat in 10-20 minutes. If you’re using a pressure cooker, make sure you add enough liquid (your instructions should tell you how much to use for different foods) but not beyond the halfway mark.

Frugal festive feasts

If you’re still feeling nicely full from the main event and you want something a bit lighter, or if most of the bird has already been eaten, you can also use your slow cooker to make turkey broth.

Just stick what’s left of the carcass in, then add the vegetables. Bear in mind that it will sort of melt down with all the ‘bits’ in the soup. You’ll need to strain it to get rid of any small bones or bits of gristle you don’t want floating around in your bowl.

It’s amazing how many turkey dishes you can make in your slow cooker. When I asked my friends with slow cookers how they’d experimented with slow cookers in the past, answers included turkey with chilli, turkey a la King and turkey casserole with celeriac, parsnips and carrots.

Are you a slow cooker fan?

Don’t own a slow cooker but thinking of buying one? Take a look at the slow cookers we’ve recently tested and read more tips on how to use them.

Will you be putting your slow cooker to use this Christmas? If so, do you have any savvy slow cooker tips for using up Christmas leftovers?


We have a few days of turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, maybe another roast to go yet. We get our turkey ready-prepared from our local butcher, boneless breast shaped into a roll, wrapped in bacon, tied and ready for the oven, so there will be none left for a stew or the fox. Our butcher always give us more turkey than we ask for, so some might get frozen in gravy.

Our slow cooker will be used today to cook a ham joint.

The slow cooker was a freebie and not something I had envisaged getting so I was a bit slow to realise its potential. Ham joints cooked well then I tried a lamb stew. It was disgusting, I don’t know if it was the lamb, the small bought stock pot, ingrained ham smell, the pan not cleaned properly (unlikely) or what, but it was inedible so I was very wary using it for anything other than ham again as I hate wasting food. It was not totally wasted though, the fox enjoyed it.

Lauren recently mentioned she had a curry cooking in hers, so I thought I would try a lamb and spinach curry. It was excellent and just as good as one from a restaurant, so thanks Lauren for inspiring me to use it for something other than ham.

That sounds great, alfa. We’ve got lots of left over meats and will most probably have them in sandwiches, but I might try to make something else (like a curry!). I am VERY bad at food waste, and it is not something I am proud of, so I am working on ways to be more creative with left overs.

Bizarrely I note that a small Argos Cook pot is being quoted at an extremely high price on Amazon and as it is available is shown by Which? as the current price. Seems to me that there is some manipulation going on – and at £81 this is a DoNot Buy.

Should Which? or pricerunner be picking up on this and setting an upper price recommendation.

Retailer Retailer rating PriceDelivery In stock
3 out of 5 £16.98 £3.96 No

Go to store
Amazon Marketplace UK
Not rated £81.58 £9.99 Yes

I don’t use my slow cooker very often but I’m always pleased with the results when I do. I would say that you need to realise that it doesn’t work miracles – it won’t turn questionable ingredients into something amazing but will produce a good meal if you put a little thought into what you’re aiming for.

This is quite interesting even if you do not own a slow-cooker:

Mistakes Everyone Makes Using The Slow Cooker

I can see how easy it would be to have a peek at the food and not realise how drastically it alters the cooking time. Chicken certainly seems a problem product.