Fruity mince pies, iced shortbread and festive favourites like leftover toasties and creamy stroganoff – Chef Lisa shows you how easy it is to make tasty recipes at home! Inspired by recipes used in our cafés and The Refectory at the University of Leeds.


Rudolph shortbread biscuit
soup and a roll in The Refectory
Refectory mince pie
Turkey and Ham stroganoff
Epic Christmas Toastie

Bake these cute biscuits to give as gifts for family and friends!

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 10 minutes


Makes 6




  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Writing icing
  • 6 glace cherries

Reindeer face cookie cutter or any large round cutter.

This recipe is a great way of using up any old veggies you may have for a healthy lunchtime snack.

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 40 minutes


Makes 6




  • 1kg /1000g of seasonal root veg – for example: parsnip, carrot, potatoes
  • 2 stock cubes (Vegetable or chicken)
  • 3ltr /3000ml boiling water

Melt-in-the-mouth pastry with sweet fruity mince. Perfect to serve at Christmas or to include in a hamper! 

Prep: 60 mins Cook: 20 -25 minutes


Makes 6




  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest 1 satsuma
  • 300g good quality mince meat filling
  • Little icing sugar for dusting

This creamy rich Stroganoff is a great way to use up any leftover meat and makes a great meal for all the family.

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 minutes


Makes 4


  • 50gm butter
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 400gm sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 600ml double cream
  • 400gm left-over turkey (strip the meat off the bone)
  • 400gm left over gammon/ham (cut into strips)
  • Cornflour (if required)
  • Half of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of mustard

The best way to repurpose your Christmas leftovers? Make an ultimate Christmas dinner toastie of course!

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 10 minutes


Makes 2


  • 100g leftover turkey (shredded off the bone)
  • 50g stuffing
  • 4 chucky slices of your chosen bread
  • 40g cranberry sauce
  • 50g leftover roast potatoes
  • 50g brie cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
  • 40g butter

Here at Great Food at Leeds (GFAL), we understand how important it is to support staff, students, and our wider community with access to low-cost food. We want to help ensure that food insecurity is reduced in our community as part of our commitment towards the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger.

That is why in 2017 we partnered with Too Good To Go, an innovative app and social enterprise that aims to put an end to food waste in the hospitality industry and support food security.

We were one of the first Universities to launch our offer on the app which has gone from strength to strength and now includes some key players across Leeds, such as Caffe Nero, Philpots, Chop’d and Absurd Bird.

It's as easy as... 1 Place an order from a local store via the free app, 2 Make your way to the store at the specified collection time, 3 Enjoy your delicious food and reduce food waste!The  Too Good To Go app is available for The Refectory as well as many of our GFaL cafes. It allows us to help reduce food waste on campus, by providing a platform to show surplus food which is available to students, staff, and the wider community at a third of the usual cost rather than it going to waste.

We are pleased that we have been able to continue offering this service throughout this year, with customers placing an order using the app and collect food from The Refectory between 6.30-6.40pm. The daily offer ranges from salads, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and daily hot specials.

“We are so pleased tocontinue working alongside Too Good To Go on this great initiative. At Leeds, sustainability is at the forefront of what we do, and food waste pays a huge part in this for us as a Catering service. This partnership is a step forward in reducing waste, whilst creating an innovative platform to offer staff and students a way to access quality, healthy food at a truly affordable price.” – Julie Tong, Head of Retail Catering at GFAL



United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work reducing single-use plastic is linked to the following SDGs:

  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.

Customers can safely use their reusable cups again following a temporary pause in recent months. During this time, we have worked closely with our staff to ensure that we can offer a safe and contactless procedure across all Great Food at Leeds cafes for the use of reusable cups.

Reuse with confidence

Our new reusable cup procedure ensures the safety of our staff and customers while supporting our sustainability strategy and our journey towards becoming single-use plastic-free.

Just follow these simple steps…


Let us know that you’re using a reusable cup!

Place your clean cup on the black tray provided, keeping hold of your lid.

We’ll take the tray and fill your cup with a delicious GFaL hot drink, using the tray to move the cup and never touching your reusable.

We’ll return the black tray to the collection point – your drink is ready for you to take away in your reusable cup. Don’t forget your 20p discount!

Why use a reusable cup?

Reusable cups are a simple way for us to reduce our single-use plastic footprint, as well as making financial savings!

The UK currently throws away 2.5 billion disposable hot drink cups every year, with just less than 1% of these being recycled. The disposable cups are mostly made from paper but they also contain a plastic polythene lining, making them difficult to recycle through the normal routes.

The raw materials to make the cups usually come from virgin sources, therefore using up a valuable resource for the short-term consumption of a drink. Disposable cups are produced using virgin paper but they are also lined with plastic polyethene, meaning they fall into the category of single-use plastic.

A simple way to reduce our use of natural resources and prevent the need for additional waste disposal or recycling services is to use a reusable cup. Great Food at Leeds will also give you a 20p discount off purchases made at any of their outlets using a reusable cup.

To encourage their use by students and staff, we also offer high quality, reusable KeepCups that are available in nine different colours from all our cafés on campus for just £9.50, in addition, our premium ‘long play’ cup is also available at £13.50 – plus you get a FREE hot drink* with the purchase of your KeepCup!

For those disposable cups that do remain in use, we have also installed specific disposable cup recycling bins in busy locations across campus. To find out more about these new recycling bins here.



#2023 Plastic Free - University of Leeds

Enjoy a delicious traditional festive lunch at The Refectory to takeaway
Available from Monday 30 November – Friday 18 December 2020.

Main courses

Traditional Roast Turkey
Christmas Nut Roast (VE)


Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce
Chocolate Sponge with Chocolate Orange Sauce


One Course £6.95 Two Courses £7.95

Add Mulled Wine for just £1.50!

Great Food at Leeds is proud to announce that The Refectory has been re-credited Gold by Green Tourism for sustainable business operations.

Green Tourism Gold award logo

The Refectory team has done yet another excellent job at retaining its Gold award status and increasing the score from last year. The Refectory received high marks for initiatives around reducing single-use plastic, tackling food waste and sustainable fish swaps.

The Green Tourism Board assessor said: “ It is great to see such a strong commitment to single-use plastic and initiatives such as swapping plastic salad boxes to cardboard, sugar in paper and encouraging the use of reusable cups and containers to staff and students.”

The Green Tourism Board also commended The Refectory for its ‘fantastic 3 Star ‘Food Made Good’ Sustainable Restaurant Association award and for the team’s excellent use of local and seasonal produce’.

Beverley Kenny MBE, Deputy Director of Commercial Services, said “Receiving the Gold Green Tourism Award is a fantastic achievement. It reflects the commitment of the entire team and the hard work they do every day, ensuring the catering service supports the sustainable aims and objectives of the University. We look forward to using the feedback from the Green Tourism report to guide improvements in sustainability across The Refectory”.