Lip-smacking Leftovers

Ah, leftovers, evil evil leftovers! Chances are, at least once in the last week you were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner and thinking to yourself, “What am I going to with all this leftover _______?” I definitely got tired of throwing stuff away and wasting really delicious food, so here is a (hopefully) helpful list of ways to re-purpose your leftovers.



Meat (taco meat, roast, chicken, etc.):

Taquitos: Steam corn tortillas by placing 4 in a ziploc bag with a moist paper towel; seal almost all the way shut; microwave 20 seconds. Roll leftovers into the tortillas; spray or baste the outside of the tortillas with vegetable oil, bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes until crispy.

Use as a topping on baked potatoes (taco taters are a family fave!)

Pot pie: Use homemade or store bought crusts, mix meat/veggies with gravy or creamy soup (canned is fine) and bake!

Soup (add egg noodles, veggies and broth)

Hash and eggs: Dice potatoes into very small pieces, fry them with onions, peppers, celery (or any veggies!) and add meat (finely chopped). Top with a couple of fried eggs and add a slice of toast. Yum!


Pizza (on bagels, frozen garlic bread or pizza crust)

Fried Rice



Chili and cheese baked potatoes

Chili Spaghetti: This is a fantastic way to stretch out a small amount of leftover chili. Add chili to the top of cooked spaghetti noodles with cheddar cheese and onions if desired. This is seriously awesome.

Chili and cheese dogs

Open face chili burgers

Chili grilled cheese (honestly I have never tried this, but always wanted to. Basically you put the chili into the sandwich with the cheese. Tell me that doesn’t sound awesome)


Extra Potatoes:

Baked with leftovers as toppings

Breakfast tacos (diced, fried potatoes with scrambled eggs on a tortilla with cheese and salsa)

Twice baked: bake once; scoop out insides; mix with ranch dressing, sour cream, cheese, salt/pepper; stuff back into skins and bake until hot and bubbly.

Shepherds pie (if you have leftover mashed potatoes)

Potato pancakes (if you have leftover mashed potatoes): Heat oil in a pan; add a pancake shaped ball of mashed potatoes; fry on both sides. Can be served as a side or with an egg on top



Fried rice

In soup

As a base for stroganoff

Spanish rice: add some canned tomatoes and spices (or taco seasoning) while re-heating on the stove


Happy leftover cooking! And if you have any fabulous leftover ideas of your own, I’d love to hear about them in the comment section!



  1. Wendy Warren says:

    We had pizza tonight with leftover beets and caramelized onions and not-leftover sauteed kale, and smoked mozzarella. It was yummy! I also often make a thing with chicken or sausage, pasta, veggies, a simple white sauce or a little olive oil and some kind of cheese, any or all of which can be leftovers. (Or use the formula on this page for ratio of meat to starch to veggies if it helps to have a framework.
    Leftover chicken can go into chicken salad. You can make a hash out of leftover pot roast and veggies.
    If you have enough of something like soup or chili for another meal, throw it into the freezer and serve it next week!

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