Jan 222018

Leftovers don’t have to be boring. They also don’t have to be a challenge to reuse. With a little imagination and the right pantry supplies, you can turn leftovers into an original and delicious meal.

You open the refrigerator and it’s full of leftovers. You could reheat them and enjoy them again or you could turn them into something new and fabulous. Here are five Tips to make the most of the leftovers in your fridge!

#1 Soup
Leftover chicken, turkey, and even sausage can be turned into a delicious soup. For example, leftover Andouille sausage can be added to a pot of chicken broth. Add white beans, carrots and celery, a can of drained diced tomatoes and you have a delicious and satisfying soup. Pop a loaf of frozen bread into the oven and your family can enjoy fresh baked bread and soup for dinner.

#2 Make a Cake
Not a chocolate cake but a noodle or rice cake. Leftover pasta, rice, and even potatoes can be chopped or diced small to make single serving cakes. Add an egg and form with your hands. Cook in butter or oil on the stove top. Season with salt and pepper and top with an egg, with pasta sauce or with cheese and vegetables. Let your imagination be your guide.

#3 Fried Rice
Chicken, pork, turkey, beef and even seafood leftovers can be used to make delicious fried rice. In fact, leftover rice is best for this dish, too. If you don’t have leftover rice, making fresh is fine. Dice the meat into small pieces. And toss them into a large sauté pan or wok. You can toss leftover vegetables in your pan as well – make sure to dice them small. A sauté in oil, canola oil or peanut oil works well. Add your rice and toss to combine. When the rice mixture is hot, season with soy sauce and enjoy!

#4 Hot Sandwiches
Leftover meatloaf, meat balls, turkey, chicken and even pork can be used to make hot sandwiches. Find good quality bread and an appropriate sauce or gravy. For example, for a hot turkey sandwich you might want to top it with turkey gravy. However, spaghetti sauce is better for a hot meatball sandwich. Toast the bread, or grill it. Heat the meat. Place your leftover meat between your slices of bread and top with sauce or gravy. Serve with a vegetable side or a salad for a complete meal.

#5 Fish Tacos
Leftover fish can be difficult to use. It generally doesn’t hold up well when reheated. However it does make perfect fish tacos. All you need is salsa or pico de gallo, corn or flour tortillas, or sour cream and your leftover fish. Reheat the fish and separate into taco sized pieces. Serve and enjoy.

Leftovers don’t have to be boring. They also don’t have to be a challenge to reuse. With a little imagination and the right pantry supplies, you can turn leftovers into an original and delicious meal.

  32 Responses to “How to Make the Most of Your Leftovers”

  1. These are great idea. I am committed to making sure that my leftovers don’t get thrown out. Groceries are expensive!

  2. I LOVE to make hot sandwiches with my leftovers. Meatloaf sandwiches are amazing. Sometimes, I make a meatloaf sandwich and put the potatoes on the sandwich.

  3. I don’t make leftovers nearly as often as I should. You’re absolutely right, though… fried rice is THE way to go for leftovers.

  4. I usually struggle with the left overs especially after the Holidays. It’s really awesome to get some ideas on how to turn them into another tasty dish!

  5. It’s always a struggle with the leftovers! It’s really something that I need help with and I really appreciate the ideas that you shared here.

  6. We are big on using leftovers in a creative ways. I love the cake idea! I would never have thought of that! Brilliant.

  7. We don’t throw our left overs. We “recycle” them into a new dish. Left over chicken goes into a salad or taco. Beef and pork become ingredients in soup. Our favorite though is left over fish which we shred, add some fresh veggies and wrap them in rice paper – fish spring rolls!

  8. Great tips, using leftovers is something I’ve really been trying to get better at. One of the best ideas I’ve had that the kids like is using left over sausage and bratwurst with scrambled eggs.

  9. Ugh! Leftovers! Am I right? I’m usually at wits end when it comes to using them up! These are super ideas!

  10. We are trying really hard to stick to a budget this year and a big chunk of our money goes to groceries. Making the most of our leftovers with these ideas are really going to save us some money. Great suggestions!

  11. I’m not normally fond of leftovers in their original state, but you’ve given me some great ideas to turn leftovers into delicious meals. It will be fun to say goodbye to boring leftovers.

  12. You can really save a lot by making the most of the leftovers. I usually have fried race and sandwiches from leftovers.

  13. I am actually a fried rice girl. I will whip up some fried rice quick with my leftovers!

  14. Yum, I’ve never thought to make a cake with my leftovers but I could since I make a lot of rice. I’ll have to try your suggestions instead of throwing away my leftovers.

  15. I need to start doing more with leftovers. I admit, we toss a lot out. No one is big on leftovers here. Or we’ll have it the next night and toss whatever is left out. I wasn’t raised like that though, we ate for days the same thing. Maybe I was traumatized, ha.

  16. I love to re-purpose leftovers! They get so boring after the second day. My favorite method is fried rice. You can make some really delicious creations in no time at all!

  17. I definitely try to stretch out any and all leftovers that I have. You have a lot of great ideas here and I think I’m going to implement a bunch of them because first of all it looks good and second of all it will save me money.

  18. These are great tips – I wouldn’t have thought of these other than the soup. I’ll have to remember these. I hate throwing out food or letting things go to waste because I don’t have ways to use them up.

  19. Yes to the fried rice!! It is one of the cheapest meals I make that my whole family will eat. You don’t need very much chicken when you have the eggs in it too.

  20. These are some awesome ideas, I do love a good soup and hot sandwiches are always a win with me as well – I’ll have to give some of these more of a try with leftovers.

  21. Waste not want not. I always make extra to freeze for another day meal. Cook once eat twice is my motto.

  22. We always save our leftovers. They are delicious and perfectly good. You have given me some tips on how to make them stretch further!!

  23. I am a victim of too many leftovers in my kitchen and I often feel like I have no idea how to end up using them. Your idea to make fried rice is awesome!! I always end up with plenty of veggies and proteins when it comes to leftovers, and those are perfect for fried rice!

  24. These are such great ideas for leftovers. I need to remember to do this. I keep making extra rice when I make it with the goal of making fried rice. Then I never do.

  25. I have a hard time thinking up ways to use leftovers. These are all great ways to use them in a creative way!

  26. I always make fried rice out of our rice left overs. My kids and husband are not fond of eating leftovers so I always recook them into something new.

  27. I love all of these ideas. I use many of them to make my leftovers more appeasing.

  28. Soups and sandwiches is where most of our leftovers go. These are all awesome ideas though! I never liked wasting food and I’d rather be creative in the kitchen.

  29. What a great post/. I grew up pretty poor so there was no wasting anything in my house. unfortunately that sentiment seems to have fallen by the wayside.

  30. I love fried rice! I can easily whip up a delicious version of it like it was elementary math. If we don’t have leftover meat, I just chop up some ham or crisp some bacon, add finely chopped veggies and there. Yummy delicious, hearty dinner!

  31. Lately I have been cooking just enough for two meals so I don’t have left overs but when I do I love to make sandwiches or a side dish for soup.

  32. Looks like something I keep doing :). But leftovers are still yummy indeed and we just need to be a little bit more creative :). Thanks Robin for all those ideas..