Leftovers: From Tricky to Treat

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Re-purposing leftovers is a great way to cut down and waste and make weeknight meals easier. If you don’t usually have left overs, that’s okay! Plan ahead and make some extra for tomorrow night’s dinner. Here are some of our favorite recipes using precooked or leftover ingredients that are sure to take your leftovers from tricky to treat!

No More Mystery Meat

Have leftover cooked bacon from this morning’s breakfast? Warm Turnip Green Dip and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans are great ways to use it. Try Grilled Apple, Bacon, and Cheddar Sandwich with Roasted Red Onion Mayo for a variation on the typical BLT. Or change it up and use your leftover bacon in a dessert. Wilbur’s Cupcakes are a perfect combination of salty and sweet.

Chicken is a great go-to weeknight staple. Use leftover chicken for Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie. Or, if you’re watching your waistline, try Bobby’s Lighter Chicken Pot Pie. You can easily turn grilled chicken, blanched green beans, and buttered rice from last night’s dinner an easy and delicious Chicken and Rice Casserole. Don’t worry if your chicken is seasoned from the night before; just keep that in mind when adding salt, pepper, and other spices. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Rosemary, thyme, or lemon seasoned chicken would be a great addition to Bobby’s Lighter Chicken and Asparagus Crepes.

Goodbye Veggie Surprise

Mashed potatoes are an easy weeknight choice. If you boiled Idaho’s make sure to save some extra for Smashed Potato Cakes. Or save leftover sweet potatoes for Aunt Peggy’s Sweet Potato Soufflé. If you’re looking for a change, use leftover mashed sweet potatoes for a special morning treat, Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Maple Icing. Mashed Cauliflower is a great way to switch up your weeknight menu, watch your waist, and use leftover steamed cauliflower.

Cooked green beans are great the next day! Try using them in Bobby’s Lighter Green Bean Casserole. Or, if you’re in the mood for a salad, Fresh Green Bean and Tomato Salad are great choices.

So Long Stalemate

Cajun Seafood Balls and Ham Fried Rice with Pineapple and Fried Egg are great ways to use leftover rice. If you’re in the mood for a sweeter treat, try Bobby’s Lighter Old Fashioned Rice Pudding. Subbing dried cranberries for raisins will add a sweet flavor and light pink tint. Or add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg for added flavor.

Leftover bread and cornbread are great for making homemade stuffing. Try Turkey/Chicken Stuffing or Southern Cornbread Stuffing. Don’t worry if your bread is different; sourdough, French, or Italian loafs are still great additions.

Using leftovers cuts down on cooking time and cost without resorting to take out or sacrificing flavor. Make room in your fridge by using your leftovers in some of our favorite recipes.

Read More From Kitchen Basics.

Read More From Kitchen Basics.

Read More From Leftovers.

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
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Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 3:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm