Turn your Christmas leftovers into a tasty toastie with this viral TikTok air fryer recipe

Christmas Leftover Toastie Recipe
(Image credit: Victoria Woollaston)

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if it didn't involve cooking enough food to feed a small army. Yet knowing what to do with all of your leftovers can be tricky. Especially if you don't want to resort to good old throw it in a pan and fry it up again.

We recently turned to TikTok for inspiration and found a novel way of using up leftovers in the form of a festive leftover toastie. Not only can this toastie be cooked in any one of the best air fryers on the market, it even includes the famous Moist Maker (a slice of bread soaked in gravy) from the TV show Friends

In fact, the entire Christmas leftover sandwich from @emilyscooking on TikTok appears to be inspired by the scene in which a colleague eats a sandwich made for Ross, by Monica, using Thanksgiving leftovers.  

Below we've outlined our favorite take on this recipe and it's so quick, simple, and tasty, you won't even realize you're eating leftovers. 

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Air fryer Christmas leftover recipe 

This toastie recipe is perfect for Christmas leftovers but can also be used all year round for all sorts of leftover foods. 

We've outlined our take on the toastie below but given the nature of this recipe, you can substitute any of the ingredients in or out based on what you have left over and your individual tastes.


♬ Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Dean Martin

Air fryer Christmas leftover toastie ingredients 

We haven't listed set amounts for all of the ingredients below because it will depend on how hungry you are, how large your bread is, and how many leftovers you have. These numbers should instead be used as a guide.   

  • 1 stuffing ball, flattened
  • 1 Pig in Blanket (sausage wrapped in bacon), flattened
  • Leftover meat
  • Roast potatoes, mashed
  • Vegetables, mashed
  • 1tsp of cranberry sauce
  • 3 slices of bread – for our recipe we used two slices of bloomer bread and a slice of wholemeal bread, but any bread will do
  • Grated cheese for the topping 
  • Gravy

Christmas Leftover Toastie ingredients

(Image credit: Victoria Woollaston)

Air fryer Christmas leftover toastie method

We used the Tower T17099 Vortx Eco Dual Basket Air Fryer, set at 200°C (392°F) for five minutes. We've tried the recipe multiple times and this has been the optimal combination of heat and time to create the best-tasting toastie. 

However, timing may vary so before eating any heated leftovers, make sure that the toastie is piping hot throughout. This is to avoid a bout of food poisoning ruining your holidays. 

Christmas leftover toastie with cheese on top in an air fryer

We used the Tower T17099 Vortx Eco Dual Basket Air Fryer, set at 200°C for five minutes, to make our Christmas leftover toastie (Image credit: Victoria Woollaston)

Step 1: Cut the bloomer bread into two large slices while soaking a third slice of bread in the gravy. 

Step 2: Spread cranberry sauce onto each slice of bloomer bread. 

Step 3: Start by layering your leftovers onto one of these slices of bread. We prefer to have a layer of meat-based products on the bottom but you can place the ingredients in any order you like. 

Christmas leftovers layered inside a bloomer bread sandwich

(Image credit: Victoria Woollaston)

Step 4: Put the gravy-soaked slice of bread – the Moist Maker – on top of this bottom layer. At any stage, you can add condiments or seasoning to suit your tastes.

Step 5: On top of the Moist Maker, layer your remaining ingredients and finish the toastie by placing the second slice of bloomer bread on top.

Christmas leftover recipe in a Tower air fryer

(Image credit: Victoria Woollaston)

Step 6: Sprinkle the grated cheese on the top of the bloomer and place it in the air fryer for five minutes at 200°C. This should be enough time for the ingredients to heat to a safe temperature, and for the cheese to melt.

If after five minutes, the ingredients aren't quite hot enough you can return the toastie back to the air fryer for as long as needed. We recommend removing the cheese-topped layer once it's cooked, however, to avoid it burning and becoming bitter.

Step 7: Slice in half and serve.

Tip: We always keep a little bit of gravy kept back to dip our toastie.

Air fryer Christmas leftover toastie verdict 

The Christmas leftover toastie is a tasty and comforting way to use up any leftover food with minimal effort. It helps you keep the festive feasting going for a little longer and, in the UK, will make a delicious and filling Boxing Day lunch. The only limit to this toastie is your imagination.

If you don't have an air fryer, it is possible to grill this toastie in a standard oven. However, in our experience, it takes longer to get the ingredients to the desired, safe temperature using this method so you may need to factor in more time. 

If you're still sitting on the fence and wondering whether to buy an air fryer, you may want to read our article to decide are air fryers worth it? 

Christmas Leftover Toastie cut in half

(Image credit: Victoria Woollaston)
Victoria Woollaston

Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.