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Reheating Holiday Leftovers

One of the best parts about the holidays is enjoying the leftovers for several days afterward. You put so much effort into cooking the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie and more; it’s a shame to only enjoy it for one night. To ensure your leftovers taste just as good as they did fresh out of the oven during Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and other celebrations, follow these leftover reheating tips.

How to Make Your Holiday Meals Last and Taste Great

  • Turkey: While many people opt for cold turkey sandwich leftovers, it turns out there’s a way to retain the moisture in reheated turkey. The trick is to skip the microwave and instead place a few slices of turkey in a steamer basket. Place the basket over a pot of simmering water for 10 minutes to heat it up without drying it out. You can also wrap sliced turkey and a splash of water or chicken broth in foil and bake it at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  • Ham: If your family serves ham as a holiday dish, you can also hit a holiday homerun with this leftover recipe. Try a ham, egg, potatoes and cheese quiche! Grab a bag of frozen hashbrown potatoes, two eggs, one third cup of butter or margarine, half a cup of heavy whipping cream and one cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Then, chop up your leftover ham. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees , and press the potatoes into an ungreased baking dish. Cook for 25 minutes, then remove and add the leftover ham and cheese. Beat your eggs and whipping cream, then pour on top. Bake another 30 minutes, and voila! Get detailed instructions for this recipe here.
  • Mashed potatoes: To prevent your leftover taters from drying out in the microwave, first stir in a little heavy cream to reconstitute it. Milk is an adequate substitute if you don’t have cream. Then heat the potatoes in the microwave at 30- to 60-second intervals, stirring each time, until warm. If you don’t have a microwave, reheating at medium-low heat on the stove is perfectly acceptable.
  • Stuffing: Place the stuffing in a casserole dish covered with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes for steaming, moist stuffing. If you prefer to brown your stuffing, remove the foil halfway through baking.
  • Pie: If you want to enjoy your fruit pie as much as you did for dessert in your original holiday meal, avoid the microwave. Pastry crusts will retain their chewy, crumbly deliciousness if you return them to the oven from whence they came. Simply pop the leftover pie in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Reheating Other Leftovers

  • Pizza: The microwave is an enemy to anyone who wants to avoid soggy pizza crusts and rubbery cheese. A more effective way to reheat pizza is to toast it in the toaster oven just until the cheese starts to sizzle. When reheating a larger portion of leftovers, place the pizza on a foil-covered cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees. You can also reheat pizza in a skillet. Heat the skillet to medium-high heat, place the pizza in the skillet, cover and warm for two to three minutes.
  • Leftover pasta: Leftover pasta reheated in the microwave sometimes turns out alright, but cream-based sauces tend to separate. To prevent this, reheat your pasta in a foil-covered baking dish at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. You can also reheat it in a saucepan on medium-low heat.
  • Quesadillas: To avoid a soggy tortilla, reheat quesadillas in a pan heated to medium-high heat. All you need is a minute or two on each side and the cheese will start to melt.
  • Steak: This is one food that can never taste the same as it did the night it was prepared. However, by tearing the meat into smaller pieces and heating it with a splash of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat for four to five minutes, you can create a leftover dish that tastes good – just a little different!

For more useful tips about using your appliances around the holidays, please contact Mr. Appliance® today.