15 Ways to Transform Leftovers into New Meals
Leftovers get a bad rap, because who wants to eat the same thing, day after day? But if you look at a fridge full of last night's roast chicken, meatloaf, grilled lamb, seared fish, or loaf of sourdough as shortcuts to creating casseroles, bread pudding, breakfast hash, a hearty soup, and unbeatable sandwiches, it's a lot more fun. We even have some suggestions for how to use up those small nubs of cheese rolling around your cheese drawer. Read on for more ideas on how to turn your leftovers into new meals.
Related:Repurpose Leftover Meat Like a Chef
Warm Lamb Salad with Fresh Herbs, Feta and Artichokes
One of the best uses of leftover roast lamb is this salad, featuring leftover grilled leg of lamb, tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Serve it with pita for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Salmon Hash with Poached Eggs
Turn last night's poached or roasted salmon into brunch with this salmon, bacon, and potato hash topped with poached eggs. This recipe comes together in just minutes, and can be used for leftover ham or another cooked fish.
Macaroni and Many Cheeses
At the end of their wine-and-cheese parties, cheese experts Helen Jane Hearn and Natalie Wassum gather any leftovers to make an incredible mac and cheese later in the week. The adaptation below, based on a recipe from Marion Cunningham's The Supper Book, works beautifully with any semi-hard cheese but is particularly good with an international blend of French Mimolette, aged Dutch Gouda and American Vella dry Jack. A fine layer of Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano forms a crisp topping.
If you don’t want to poach chicken breasts for this slightly dressed-up chicken tetrazzini, you can use meat from leftover roast chicken or a rotisserie chicken picked up from the grocery instead. Mushrooms, linguine, and a rich sauce turn it into a satisfying dinner.
Challah French Toast
French toast always feels decadent at breakfast or brunch, with its crisp edges and custardy center. But when you make French toast with challah, you push that luxurious feeling over the top. Use this recipe when you have leftover challah, or simply want to make an especially decadent French toast. And if you don't have challah, a loaf of brioche will substitute for this recipe nicely.
Fromage fort is the ultimate way to use up leftover cheese. Fromage fort is a spread made from leftover pieces of cheese mixed with wine, garlic, and herbs. You can serve it chilled or at room temperature as a spread with crackers or vegetables, or smear it on slices of bread and bake or broil it. While the origins of fromage fort are unclear, it is believed to have been created in the French countryside as a way to repurpose leftover cheese into a delicious, spreadable treat. We love Jacques Pépin's recipe, which includes a splash of white wine.
Short Rib Banh Mi with Quick Pickles and Fresh Herbs
These Vietnamese-inspired sandwiches are a clever and tasty way to use the meat and vegetables from leftover beef stew in a whole new way.
Gnocchi with Roast Chicken, Bacon, and Kale
This comforting gnocchi recipe with chicken, bacon, and kale has it all. Cook the kale and onion in the rendered bacon fat, imbuing them with that smoky flavor while saving the bacon bits for topping. Store-bought gnocchi and leftover roast chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken do much of the heavy lifting here, making this cozy dinner easy to pull off on a weeknight.
Irish Potato and Corned Beef Cakes
This meaty version of Irish Boxty, classic potato pancakes, is the perfect use for leftover corned beef, and can even be made with leftover mashed potatoes as well.
Leftover Chicken Soup
Marcus Samuelsson's chicken soup uses the whole bird, from bones to livers, to make a nearly no-waste dinner. First, Samuelsson makes the stock from charred aromatics and chicken bones. Then, he sears the livers and shreds the chicken for the soup. Feel free to substitute store-bought stock and upgrade it by simmering with charred vegetables.
Savory Bread Pudding
This bread pudding can be prepared up to a day in advance and then baked the day you serve it. You can use French, sourdough, wheat, rye or any good quality bread for this recipe; it's a great use for odds and ends of stale or dried up bread.
Smoked Brisket Noodle Soup
This down-home bowl comes from the brain of Griffin Bufkin, proprietor of Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island, Georgia. He showcases his restaurant’s fantastic barbecued brisket — paired with tender egg noodles, okra, corn, and lima beans — in each smoky bite. Use leftover smoked brisket or purchase some from your favorite local barbecue joint or specialty grocery store.
Leftover Blue Cheese Chicken Salad Sandwich
Trust chef Jonathan Waxman, famous for his roast chicken, to create a tasty chicken salad for leftover chicken. He dresses this one with a mix of yogurt and Gorgonzola cheese, and gives it crunch with sugar snap peas, radishes, and celery.
The filling for these bao may seem unexpected, but Claudette Zepeda's recipe for Birria, a chile-rich savory shredded beef, is a delicious match for the chewy and slightly-sweet dough. If you are lucky enough to come across some cilantro blossoms at the farmer's market, pick some up. They make a wonderful garnish for the bao. Be sure to line the bottom of your steamer with parchment paper so the bao dough sticks to the paper, and not the steamer.
Spicy Sloppy Joes
Make this easy weeknight dish using leftovers from Mom's Meatloaf or another meatloaf recipe to make these hearty sandwiches spiced with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
For more Food & Wine news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Food & Wine.