Leftovers are great, but sometimes even your most favorite dish gets boring after a while. Expand your meal options with these recipes for leftovers!
My fiancé and I live together and, even though it’s just the two of us, we often make meals that serve six or more. We do this for two reasons: 1) One serving according to most recipes does not equal one Kati-sized serving and 2) They make great lunches, midnight snacks, and are just plain awesome. Sometimes, however, we make more than we end up being able to eat, or we grow tired of what we’ve got in the fridge.
I think we all have this problem. We have all of these yummy leftovers, but we end up tired of eating them or we just don’t feel like finishing them. Then what happens? The leftovers go bad and we throw them away, while silently chastising ourselves for wasting food. I hate wasted food just as much as I love leftovers. For that reason, I’ve devised a solution to combat boring leftovers: turn them into something new! So, today I have for you three very simple and basic recipes for leftovers that can be used as-is or edited and built upon to take your leftovers from meh to YUMMY!
Keep in mind that these recipes and ingredient lists are merely a guide. Feel free to adjust the types and amounts of spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables, etc. used and tailor the recipe to fit whatever you have laying around in your kitchen! Or, use these leftover recipes as a guideline to create something totally new that no one has ever seen before! That would be pretty cool.
Leftover pasta? Let’s make a frittata!
I am one of those people who can’t ever manage to make pasta for only a few people. I pretty much always make enough to feed a small army, which is mostly fine because like I said, a normal serving size and my serving size are not even close to being the same thing. But, after a couple of days, leftover pasta can get boring. Here’s a pretty neat recipe I’ve used to take that pasta from okay to mmm!
Ingredients (Serves 4 - 6)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ¼ lb. of leftover pasta (spaghetti with marinara is a delicious classic and popular for the frittata, but pesto pasta is my favorite to use!)
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup of shredded mozzarella
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ½ cup of basil, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Set oven to broil
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
3. Add garlic and let cook for about 15 seconds (most of the cooking will happen in the oven)
4. Evenly arrange your leftover pasta in the pan and mix with the garlic
5. Pour in beaten eggs over the mixture and cook for 30 seconds
6. Season as desired
7. Top with cheese, tomato, and basil
8. Place skillet on middle rack of broiler for 6 minutes, or until the frittata sets
9. After cooling for a few minutes, slice and serve warm
**Spaghetti frittata recipe adapted from EatingWell**
Stale bread? How about some french toast!
I have this problem when it comes to bread. I get about halfway through the loaf, and get tired of making sandwiches. So, I end up with stale bread. Not fun. However, while trying to come up with some new food recipes one time, I created this gem! Who doesn’t love French toast?
Ingredients (Serves 2 - 3)
- 6 slices of your stale bread (get creative and try something different like banana or zucchini bread!)
- 3 eggs beaten
- ⅔ cup of milk
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- oil or butter
1. Over medium-high heat, lightly coat a medium skillet in oil or butter
2. Combine eggs, milk, spices, and vanilla in medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth
3. Soak each slice of bread in mixture
4. Cook in pan until both sides are golden-brown (replace oil or butter each time)
5. Serve warm with your favorite syrup (or maybe some homemade fruit compote and powdered sugar) and enjoy!
Overripe bananas? Whip up a loaf of banana bread!
Bananas are another one of those items we buy that we let sit there until they are perfectly ripe, and then we forget to eat them and bam, overripe bananas. It’s like they know we have been waiting for them to ripen, and they go “Nope, no perfectly ripe bananas for you today! We will be overripe!” Okay, the bananas probably don’t say that, but I can pretend. The cool thing about overripe bananas is that they make some wicked good banana bread. You can find some easy recipes out there for banana bread, but this one I have here is pretty dang good.
Image via Simply Recipes
- 2 or 3 overripe bananas (the mushier, the better!)
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup of butter melted
- ⅔ cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- a dash of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Coat a medium bread pan in butter or oil
3. Mash bananas with fork (or a potato masher if you have one)
4. Combine mashed bananas, flour, melted butter, sugar, baking soda, egg, vanilla extract, and salt into a medium mixing bowl (add chocolate chips or blueberries for a fun twist)
5. Pour batter into bread pan and bake in oven for about an hour (use a toothpick to test loaf for doneness)
6. Remove from oven and let sit until completely cooled
7. Serve and enjoy!
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Hope these 3 easy recipes help make your meal planning for the week a little easier! Please share with anyone you know who might need a little extra help with leftovers. Share your own ideas about what to do with leftovers in the comment section below—we always love to hear from our wonderful readers!
**Featured image via BuzzFeed