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Best Leftover Makeover Recipes


It seems like no matter if I'm cooking for 2 or 20, we always have leftovers in the refrigerator. But what's the best way to use up leftovers?  Make something completely new!

People throw-away so much food! Sometimes they make too much, don't like how it turned out, or just don't like leftovers. 

If you are like me and love being creative and coming up with new ideas for using up leftovers.  We have some great ideas on how to use everything from veggies to take out!

What to do with leftovers

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Leftovers!  Why should we use them?

I like to keep the remaining portions of food from our meals separate, making it easier to create something new from the ingredients.  My husband, however, likes to smash everything into one bowl to save space.

But I've come up with some great fun second night dinners from scraps of leftovers when reimagined in new ways. 

How to reimagine leftovers as new meals

When storing the leftovers for refrigeration, I like to pack everything in small glass containers to see what I have, and they don't take on the scents or flavors of the other foods. I can lay them all out on the counter to see what will be in mind for the upcoming meal.

I like to find a protein, a veggie, a starch, and work from there.  I never like to make the same themed meal twice in a row.  So I won't make Lasagna on Monday and Spaghetti on Tuesday. 

But, I will make Spaghetti with meatballs on Monday, use the pasta for Lo Mein on Tuesday, and the meatballs for subs on Wednesday!

Or after making a veggie-heavy meal, I like to take the leftovers and make a hearty stew or quiche! 

Here are a few fun recipes using leftovers we gathered for you! 

tom kha soup

Leftover Tom Kha Soup

This recipe is great when you can toss in a few of your leftover veggies and tofu! When we make grilled tofu, I always make extra to toss in soups, burritos, or BBQ!

Leftover Mashed potato waffles

Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles.

Mashed Potato Waffles are perfect for rejuvenating leftovers. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside; like a regular waffle, but better! Give your mashers new life as Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles. You can add just about anything to this easy-to-mix batter – including favorite potato toppings like bacon, cheese, and chives – to create a whole new meal.

Leftover Frittata

Turkey and Sweet Potato Frittata

This turkey and sweet potato frittata is a tasty and healthy way to transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into a delicious family meal. Ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.

Favorite Leftover Tool:

We love our KitchenAid Immersion Blender because I can quickly purree a Cilantro Avocado Crema.

I like to make this crema from leftover Taco Night by simply tossing in a few chunks of leftover avocado, the last scoop of sour cream or cream cheese, a squeeze of lime juice, along with some cilantro leaves and garlic powder. 

It's a great side for french fries, quiche or a veggie dip!

Get it here

Leftover Spicy Pot Roast Nachos

Spicy Pot Roast Nachos

Whether making pot roast for this recipe or using up leftover pot roast, Spicy Pot Roast Nachos are a cheesy, filling dish great for a shared appetizer or main dish.

Simple Curry Chicken Salad

This Curry Chicken Salad is a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey. Cashews and celery add a nice crunch while dried cranberries add sweetness.

vegan “chicken” pot pie

Vegan Pot Pie with Filo Crust

This vegan “chicken” pot pie is the perfect comfort food on a chilly fall or winter day. Instead of classic chicken, colorful broccoli, leek, mushrooms and carrots are simmered in a smooth and nutty vegan béchamel sauce and enveloped in a flaky phyllo crust.

leftover vegetable frittata

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

This baked vegetable frittata is the perfect way to use up your leftover veggies! Great for meal prepping and freezing too..

Papas Recipe

Papas Rellenas

Leftover mashed potatoes? These Cuban Papas Rellenas are meat filled balls wrapped in mashed potatoes and lightly fried. They’re a delicious traditional snack.

Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding

This maybe the best way ever to make use of leftover panettone - this decadent bread and butter pudding is the ultimate dessert.

Leftover Hot Cross Bun Ice cream

Leftover Hot Cross Bun Ice Cream

This hot cross bun ice cream is a yummy twist on traditional hot cross buns with a crunchy hot cross bun topping. Perfect for using up left over hot cross buns.

Batch Cooking makes using up leftovers a snap!

I love making a big meal at the beginning of the week, cooking extra veggies, and having the week's menu in mind for using up all of the leftovers.  I always use glass storage containers and I've even labeled which foods are not for lunch if I have something special in mind. 

What's Your Favorite Leftover Food?

We hope you found a few new ways to use up leftovers.  We would love to see your creations on Instagram! Tag us in your meal photos and let us know what leftovers you used!

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