Left-over Christmas Turkey Mac and Cheese

. December, 2023
Left-over Christmas Turkey Mac and Cheese

This epic mac and cheese is made using left-over turkey but would also work brilliantly with left-over ham. Or a combination of both – no judgment here!

Serves: 8-10


Mac and Cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
120 grams streaky bacon, sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
finely grated zest 1 small lemon
sea salt and ground pepper
¼ cup white wine 
50 grams butter
¼ cup plain flour
3 cups whole milk
cup cream
½ chicken stock cube
100 grams cheddar, grated
100 grams gruyère, grated plus 50 grams extra for sprinkling
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
sea salt and ground pepper
1 bay leaf
380 grams macaroni elbows
5-6 cups leftover turkey, chicken, ham – or a combination- chopped or shredded
¾ cup cranberry jelly

Stuffing Topping
2 tablespoons butter
½ onion, finely chopped
1 large celery stick, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
finely grated lemon zest 1 lemon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
sea salt and ground pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, grated
200 grams good quality pork and fennel sausages
350 grams thick white toast bread, roughly chopped
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
sea salt and ground pepper
¾ cup chicken stock
½ cup cream

Lightly butter a 1.5-litre baking dish


Mac and Cheese

Preheat the oven to 170˚C fan bake.

Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the bacon and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, sage and lemon zest, and season well with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook together for a further 10 minutes until the onion and celery are softened. Add the wine, cook for a few minutes to reduce slightly then set aside.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add the flour and whisk into a paste. Cook over a gentle heat, adding the milk, cream and stock cube while stirring. Cook until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and add both the cheeses. Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth, returning to the heat briefly if necessary. Add the bay leaf and the bacon and onion mixture and set aside.

Cook the macaroni elbows in plenty of salted boiling water for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain well and add to the sauce with the shredded turkey.

Spoon the macaroni mixture into the prepared dish. Put spoonful blobs of the cranberry jelly into the macaroni and swirl through gently. Top with the stuffing and sprinkle over the remaining gruyère then cook for 40 minutes, until the topping is golden and the filling is fully heated through.

Stuffing Topping
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion, celery, sage, lemon zest and nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper and cook for 8 minutes then add the apple and cook a further 3-4 minutes. Tip into a large bowl and cool completely. Put the bread in a food processor and whiz to rough crumbs. Squeeze the sausages out of their skins into marble-sized pieces and add to the onion and celery. Add the breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients and use your hands to mix it together.