Make the most of your leftovers

Save money, time and wastage by putting last night’s leftovers to good use. Transform those delicious bits and pieces into today’s lunch or dinner with our easy recipe ideas.

Chicken pot pie

So you’ve finished dinner, everyone’s satisfied and their bellies are full — but so are the serving plates… Eliminate wastage by turning your family’s leftovers into a delicious lunch or dinner the following day. How? Follow these easy ideas or incorporate your leftovers into our pie or omelette recipes below.

Quick and easy leftover ideas

  • Combine the leftovers with your sauce of choice, pile onto a panini and enjoy a hearty sandwich lunch.
  • Use any old animal bones from a roast or casserole to whip up a pot of stock.
  • Throw any leftover pieces of meat or tomato, capsicum, onion or cheese onto a pizza and pop in the oven for a cold weather treat.
  • Finely dice your leftover vegies, whisk together some milk, eggs and cheese, and pile the mixture on top of pastry to create a light quiche.
  • Cook leftover meat and vegies with soy and oyster sauce in a wok to whip up a quick stir-fry. Serve with steamed rice or egg noodles.
  • Leftover chicken can be combined with tomato, onion and either cream or a tomato-based sauce for a super quick pasta dish the kids will love.
  • Chop up bits of pork, chicken or beef and mix with rice, peas, carrots, egg and soy sauce to make a filling fried rice for lunch.
  • Incorporate any leftover meat into a hearty, warming stew.
  • Leftover vegetables are perfect for a big pot of soup. Cook the vegies with vegetable stock, season with salt, pepper and fresh herbs, and enjoy.
  • Add chilli powder to beef, mince or chicken, then mix with beans, capsicum, tomato and grated cheese for delicious tacos or burritos your kids will keep requesting for weeks.
  • Combine mince with any combination of leftover vegetables and top with mashed potato, grated cheese and season with pepper for a comforting dinner of shepherd’s pie.
  • Pile cooked vegies onto fresh rocket and baby spinach for a substantial salad.

Easy meat and vegetable pie

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Leftover cooked meat (beef mince is particularly good for pies)
  • Leftover vegetables (peas, carrots, corn kernels, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli all work well)
  • Frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • Water
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Make sure your leftover meat is cooked and your vegetables have been steamed, poached or fried until just tender.
  3. Line a pie dish with puff pastry, making sure you cover the base and sides. Trim to form neat edges.
  4. Pile the meat and vegetables on top of the pastry shell, then place another piece of puff pastry on top. Seal the edges together with a little water.
  5. Beat the egg and brush on top of the pie, then prick lid with a fork to allow steam to escape.
  6. Place the pie in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until the filling is cooked through and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. While still warm, slice and serve.

Tip: Depending on what your meat was used for the night before, you may need to add a few flavours to get it pie-ready. Simply season with salt, pepper and fresh herbs; or alternatively, simmer mince over a low heat with 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and 2/3 cup of beef stock.

Quick omelettes

Makes 2 omelettes

Ingredients:

  • Leftover vegetables and meat
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Butter

Directions:

  1. Prepare your leftovers, such as diced onion, tomato and bacon. Make sure any ingredients that need to be pre-cooked are ready at this point.
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the water and whisk until combined.
  3. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in half of the egg mixture.
  4. As the omelette begins to set, pile on half the amount of your leftover bits and pieces to one side of the omelette. After a minute or two, just before the top of the omelette is cooked through, use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold the omelette in half, so the vegetables and meat are sealed inside as a filling.
  5. When cooked through, flip onto a serving plate and repeat for your second omelette.

More quick & easy recipes

Healthy soup recipes
3 Quick kid-friendly dinners
30-Minute casseroles

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