Top Tips on How To Turn Leftovers into Tasty Meals

by Nicole Gibbs Sat, Aug 01, 20
5 MIN read time

Whether you’re getting into the art of meal prep, or you’re just a real foodie at heart, you’ll know that there’s nothing more disheartening that wasting food. Every food has a purpose, and even those left-over scraps can be re-used to recreate something equally as delicious. 

Perhaps you had the words ‘never waste your food’ drummed into you from a young age, yet you struggle with being creative. Or, maybe you never really gave it much thought, but realised that you seem to be throwing away a lot of food lately. 

Here’s a few ways how to turn those leftovers into another meal, so you no longer have to worry about wasting good food…


What to do with leftover chicken


Chicken is packed with protein and should be an essential part of your diet (unless you are Vegan). It’s also one of the tastiest and most versatile foods, which can lend itself into almost any cuisine. 

• Shred the chicken: Shred leftover chicken and stuff it into wraps, tacos, or toss over cheesy nachos to recreate a Mexican inspired meal. Add salsa, red onion, guacamole, sour cream and crunchy peppers for a loaded meal. 

• Spice up a salad: Most people assume chicken salads stop at Caesar but think about all the other versions. Add noodles and sweet chill sauce to chicken to create a Thai style salad, or grill the chicken coated in a tikka marinade to give an Indian kick.  Just add crunchy salad and veggies for a delicious next-day lunch.

Get experimental with extra rice

Rice is a funny one to cook, as it’s hard to gage the portion size. If you’re left with leftover rice, don’t just think about having it as a bland side dish. Here’s some other exciting options:  


• Make rice balls: These make an indulgent, crispy side dish which compliment most meals. You don’t have to deep fry them, the healthier way is to mix your rice with whatever you feel like (cheese is usually a good option!), roll into flour, dip into egg, and coat with toasted breadcrumbs, and simply bake. 


• Mix with meat or vegetables to make a casserole: Throwing leftover rice into a pan with cooked meat/vegetables, tinned tomatoes, stock and other chunky additions like potatoes or onions can make a heart-warming casserole. 


Pasta dishes

Pasta is another one which we can tend to make too much of. The beauty of leftover pasta is that you can have it the next day, hot or cold, to create the perfect base for many food ideas! 

• Hearty bakes: Add some chunky tomatoes, tuna and cheese and bake to make a comforting pasta bake

• Pasta salads: Salads can sometimes lack a good, solid carbohydrate. Liven up your next day pasta by adding in the pasta, some prawns, veggies or whatever you wish to bulk it out.  


Unwanted bread ends


Now there’s nothing more sorry looking than the last few slices of bread! Try not to save them by coating in butter and forcing a tasty – yet tough- sandwich. Try these two methods instead:

  • Breadcrumb toppings: A nice crunchy topping can be added to fish, pasta bakes or chicken by simply blitzing up the slices in a food processing and sprinkling them over your chosen food before baking. 
  • Homemade garlic bread: If you need a side dish idea for your Italian cooking, simply chop up garlic, mix with butter, parsley and a touch of olive oil, and spread over the bread ends. Grill for 5 minutes, and you’ll have a delicious, homemade, crunchy garlic bread. 


There’s nearly almost always a repurpose idea for any leftover ingredients you have in your kitchen. You can always turn to YouTube and Google for inspiration when you simply can’t decide what to do with them, as there will be an abundance of simple recipes out there for your inspiration. 

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