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19 Recipes for Repurposing Leftovers


Repurposing leftovers is a great way to cut down on waste and make weeknight meals easier. If you don’t usually have leftovers, that’s okay! Plan ahead, and make a little 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 “No, thanks!” to “More, please!”

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 the 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 into 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’re boiling Idaho potatoes, 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, like these incredible Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Maple Icing.

Another favorite veggie to use the next day is cauliflower. Mashed Cauliflower is 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, the Fresh Green Bean and Tomato Salad is a delicious choice.

Even collard greens can be used in new ways! This Collard Green Pizza is just so tasty, and since you’re bakin’ the greens, no one will ever know they’re from the night before.

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 extra 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 loaves 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.