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11 Leftover foods you can definitely make new

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

Save time and money by putting your leftovers to good use

It's the end of the week and it's time to clean out your fridge. Don't trash these leftovers if you have them. Put them to these great uses instead.

Roast beef

If you made a big roast and didn't quite finish it at dinnertime, don't throw it away. Cut what's left into chunks and use it in a beef stew, or shred it and coat it with barbecue sauce for a tasty barbecue sandwich.

Ground beef or turkey

If you cooked up a bit more ground meat than you needed, simply freeze what you don't use and thaw it out the next time you make spaghetti sauce or tacos. You'll be thankful for the saved step.


So you couldn't finish that giant steak your hubby cooked up? Don't toss that pricey meat. Slice it up and sauté it with onions and peppers for a great steak sandwich. The secret is to cook the veggies completely before adding the meat. It's already cooked, so it just needs a quick warm-up or it'll end up tough.

Chicken breast

Chicken breast is quite possibly one of the most versatile leftovers out there. Chop it up and add it to a salad, or create a wrap or sandwich. You can shred larger amounts and add it to soups or casseroles.

Chicken broth

Why is it that recipes never call for the exact amounts of broth in the can or box? Freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray for cooking later, or use it in place of water when cooking rice.


If the contents of your veggie drawer are starting to look a little sad, chop them up and add them to a frittata, potpie or vegetable soup. You can also try these easy ideas for individual veggies.

  • Peppers — Fry them up with chicken and use them in fajitas, or slice and freeze them for later.
  • Onions — Make a simple onion soup.
  • Zucchini — If you have large amount of zucchini, make zucchini bread or shred it for later baking use. For smaller batches or any kind of leftover squash, chop it up and add it to chunky pasta sauces.
  • Carrots — Brush thinly sliced carrots with olive oil and bake them for easy baked vegetable crisps. This also works with sweet potatoes, parsnips and other root vegetables.
  • Potatoes — Make home fries to serve as a simple side.

Red wine

Don't be sad about that bottle of red you didn't finish in time. Use it in any one of these sauces or stews.

White wine

Mix up a jar of white wine vinaigrette to top your next salad.

Mashed potatoes

Do you always make more mashed potatoes than you actually need? Whip up an easy shepherd's pie or serve potato pancakes for dinner.


For some reason, it's almost impossible to make rice without making too much. Use the leftovers to create tasty fried rice or a rice pudding dessert.

Spaghetti sauce

Leftover spaghetti sauce can be frozen to use later, but you can also use it on a pizza sub or as a dipping sauce. For another option, beef up a half a jar of leftover spaghetti sauce by adding a can of diced tomatoes.

This post was brought to you by Hunt's®, peeled with FlashSteam®.

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