“There isn’t a hearty meal that doesn’t belong in this dish. Throw it in and it’s guaranteed to be delicious.”
There is no worse feeling than wasting perfectly good food. So Reddit u/janoseye asked: “Everyone knows you can use stale bread for french toast or yesterday’s rice for fried rice, but what are others Recipes that will help you save on ingredients out of the trash?” Here’s what home cooks had to say.
“Turn over-cooked pizza dough into foccacia, stale foccacia into croutons, croutons into breadcrumbs, and breadcrumbs into meatballs.” It is the circle of life.”
“Quiche or any kind of baked egg dishes. I first learned this from Alton Brown. You can take just about any savory dish (fresh or leftover) and turn it into a delicious quiche or frittata.”
“When cherry or grape tomatoes start to get plumpy, I like to sauté them with garlic and herbs until they’re blistered and juicy. I infuse them with lemon juice and they make a great side dish or appetizer. Or I’ll serve them with your favorite protein like roast chicken.”
“I use leftover mashed potatoes to make gnocchi. Just add egg, flour and salt and you have homemade potato dumplings that can be boiled and served with your favorite sauce.”
“Save your parmesan rind and add it to homemade soups and sauces. It really gives that extra umami flavor boost.”
“Old bananas that are about to get too ripe to eat make an absolutely gorgeous milkshake. Just add ice cream and vanilla ice cream or yogurt.”
“Save your old, almost stale tortilla chips and make chilaquiles. This Mexican breakfast tastes best with old tortillas. Or turn them into migas tacos with scrambled eggs.”
“If you shell shrimp, save the shells to make a homemade seafood broth. The same goes for lobster, clams, even fish bones or heads. Just freeze it and mix everything together for a great seafood broth. And of course you can do the same with leftover vegetables for vegetable broth.”
“Turn all your leftover chunks of mixed cheeses — a bit of Gouda here, a bit of Cheddar or Gruyère there — into quiche or cream cheese fort. Or add them to your mac ‘n’ cheese sauce. The different cheeses take it to the next level.”
“Bacon fat is indispensable. Use it to fry anything, but know you haven’t lived until you traded it for butter to make the best chocolate chip cookies ever.”
“You can chill stale vegetables in ice water to restore their original crispness. If you have veggies like celery, greens, and peppers that haven’t spoiled but are beginning to lose their crisp texture, simply soak them in ice water for two minutes and they’ll taste like new.”
“I make pasta primavera at the end of the week or as the last meal before grocery shopping. It’s a delicious way to use up the leftover veggies.”
“Leftover cooked rice is made into rice pudding by simply heating one part rice, one part milk (or condensed milk) and any sweeteners or flavorings on the stovetop. Simply place in a saucepan and stir over heat until thickened to desired consistency.”
“I recently ate stale olive bread. I decided to take a chance and try savory french toast. It turned out to be fantastic. I made an egg dip with herbs and salt and the french toast topped with fig balsamic and olive oil was amazing and proof that any stale bread (including olives!) makes for delicious french toast.”
“I like to caramelize overripe bananas that are sliced in butter. Then I sprinkle some brown sugar and a bit of salt on top.
“Nobody will notice that vegetables are a bit soft and shriveled when they roast them. Toss pretty much any old veg in the oven with lots of onion, garlic, and paprika powder. I like to wrap them all in tortillas, like veggie tacos. It is so good.”
“I make fried rice out of pretty much whatever’s left in my fridge — not just yesterday’s rice. I throw in everything from shredded ribs and egg whites to cured meats that didn’t make it into my lunchtime sandwich.”
“Take your leftover mashed potatoes and make tater pies or pierogi. Or make croquettes out of it and freeze them for later.”
“If you have a sourdough starter, use the scraps as batter to make incredible scallion pancakes.”
“I mix leftover semi-sweet bread into soups and sauces to thicken them and make them creamier.”
“I often make omelettes with pretty much any leftover ingredients. I throw in everything from canned fish to kimchi.”
“My favorite way to use leftovers is to take day-old vegetables and mashed potatoes and fry, bubble and squeak them the classic British recipe.”
“I make shakshuka from so many different ingredients. Take a sauce, whatever veggies you have in the fridge and any extra leftovers (feta, chickpeas, sweet potato, avocado, etc.) and simmer them together in a pan, egg on top, cover until the egg is slightly set, and dig in.”
“Turn leftover hamburgers and buns from a cookout into meat sauce and garlic bread. It’s nothing fancy, but it easily turns into a pretty tasty spaghetti dinner.”
“Just about any leftover cooked meat — chicken, sausage, chorizo, meatballs, chuck roast, you name it — can make a very satisfying and hearty jambalaya or dirty rice.”
“If I have leftover fried rice from Chinese takeaway, I use it to make awesome stuffed peppers. Just cut off the tops of the peppers, stuff them with rice and bake them in the oven.”
“Take your leftover fish like cod or salmon and make fishcakes. In general, I find leftover cooked fish pretty gross because it’s very difficult to reheat it to a level that’s comfortable to eat. Also, it stinks in the house when you put it in the microwave. My solution: Use a fork to flake the fish and toss in any crab cake recipe with breadcrumbs, Dijon, eggs, mayonnaise, and spices. Baked or fried, it’s really good.
What is your favorite way to use leftovers or leftovers? Tell me in the comments below!