10 Dishes You Can Make With Only Leftovers

casserole hash

Leftovers don't have to be boring! Get creative and transform them into new, delicious meals. Here are 10 recipes that let you use up your leftovers in ways that are both tasty and practical, ensuring nothing goes to waste.

AUTHOR: Veronica Booth

1. Stocks and Broths

Chicken broth
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One of the most common and clever ways to make the most out of food that won’t be good for much longer is to make a stock or broth. Carrots, herbs, bones, chicken skin, celery, and onions can all go in a pot of water and simmer on the stove for a few hours to create a robust and useful stock or broth. And now you don’t have to buy broth for your next recipe.

2. Omelets, Scrambles, and Frittatas

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Omelets, egg scrambles, frittatas, quiches, and really any hearty egg dish can be a great way to use up vegetables, meat, and cheese. These egg dishes can be as complex or as simple as you want, so you may load it up with all that broccoli you need to use or just add everything that’s sitting in your crisper drawer.

3. Casseroles

Breakfast Casserole
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Casseroles can be a chaotic dish because people will truly throw anything and everything into them. If you have a bunch of meat, veggies, and cheese that you desperately need to use, mixing them with pasta and sauce and tossing them in the oven can make for a unique and delicious meal. Plus, you can freeze portions of your casserole for later.

4. Tacos, Burritos, and Quesadillas

Corn Tacos
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Like the egg dishes, many Mexican meals are versatile enough that you can probably use the ingredients you already have on hand. Any kind of protein you have, from tofu to ribeye to shrimp, can be used in a burrito or taco. You can use up the rest of your cheese by making a basic quesadilla. These are filling and delicious options that can take on any flavor profile you want.

5. Chili

Vegetarian Chili Soup
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Chili is another dish that is satisfying and hearty but can be made with almost anything. Whatever kinds of vegetables you have, just toss them in with oil, garlic, and onions and let them simmer for a while. Then, you only need a can of beans and maybe some beef broth to finish the dish. You can dump almost anything into chili, from carrots to herbs to tofu.

6. Sandwiches

BLT Sandwich
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There are hundreds of sandwich varieties, so creating a sandwich with whatever you have sitting in your fridge can be a breeze. If you made too much chicken last night, slice it up and spread some mustard on the bread. If your cucumbers need to be used, make cucumber butter tea sandwiches. Use your extra tomatoes to make a scrumptious grilled cheese. Two slices of bread and a culinary imagination can turn anything into a sandwich.

7. Salads and Slaws

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Vegetables are one of the hardest things to use before they go bad. The easiest way to save them from the garbage bin is to make a fresh salad or creamy slaw. But not all salads have greens. You can use leftover ingredients to make chicken salad, egg salad, bean salad, cucumber salad, and more.

8. Soups and Stews

Butternut Squash Soup
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Like chili and salads, almost anything goes when it comes to soups and stews. If you bought way too many carrots, blend them up into a ginger carrot soup. The same goes for tomatoes, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, and almost every other veggie. Leftover dumplings, pasta, and proteins can also go into broth to make a yummy soup. You can also use turkey leftovers to make a delicious turkey soup!

9. Sauces, Dips, Dressings, and Marinades

Chimichangas with Mexican condiments and sauces
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Instead of making a meal with your leftover ingredients, consider making a snack or some sort of spread. Leftover herbs can be used to make dips; extra sour cream, mayo, or yogurt can make tzatziki; veggies can be made into pasta or pizza sauce. Cooking something down and blending or mixing it with liquids can make it last substantially longer and make meals easier.

10. Dried Herbs and Herb Butter

Dried oregano
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Fresh herbs often come in big bunches, but it can be hard to use that much at once. Chopping your herbs and mixing them into a savory butter can make your next piece of toast spectacular. Or, you can slowly dry out the fresh herbs before they go bad, so you can use them for months or years to come.

Source: Reddit.

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