We’ve all been there. It’s 9 p.m., and you’re staring into the fridge, wondering what to do with that lone chicken breast and half a zucchini.
Before you toss your leftovers, here’s a little food for thought: According to a study by the National Resources Defense Council, approximately 40% of the food in the United States goes to waste. That’s enough to fill up a football stadium! However, there are some easy ways to cut down on food waste and make something delicious. Here are 10 tasty ways to reuse leftovers.
1. Sandwich Wrap
Have some leftover chicken, steak, or pork? Use it in a tortilla or pita with some greens and your favorite sauce or dressing.
This is a great go-to recipe when you have leftover meat and vegetables. Sauté your veggies, whisk enough eggs to cover the ingredients, and pour into a baking dish. Top with cheese, if desired, and bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Rice Bowl
This is a creative way to use up any leftover cooked grains. Top your cooked rice or quinoa with sautéed veggies, protein, and a sauce or dressing of your choice.
Here’s an option to use vegetables that look a little wilted. Sauté your veggies, cube some meat, and add chicken broth and cooked pasta.
5. Breakfast Burrito
Do you have leftover cooked meat and vegetables? Scramble a couple of eggs, mix your ingredients, wrap them in a tortilla and enjoy.
Use a store-bought pizza crust and top it with whatever you have on hand. Leftover veggies, chicken, and even fish all make great pizza toppings.
7. Fried Rice
Use leftover rice to make fried rice. Just add some veggies and protein, and you’ve got a delicious and easy dinner.
8. Stir Fry
In a large skillet, toss pasta with soy sauce, leftover veggies, a bit of butter, and pieces of meat or tofu for an easy weeknight dinner.
9. Pasta Salad
Here’s a way to reuse leftover rotisserie chicken. Dice it, and toss it with any pasta, veggies, favorite spices, and a half cup of mayo to create a tasty pasta salad.
Do you have small amounts of leftover chicken, pork, or beef? Turn them into kabobs! Cube the meat, thread them onto skewers, then grill.
There’s no need to throw away perfectly good food just because you’re sick of eating it the same way. Finding ways to reuse leftovers saves you money in the long run and helps you reduce food waste. So next time you’re stuck with leftovers, don’t be afraid to give them a new purpose.
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Erika Marie is a fashion and beauty writer as well as a hardcore vintage clothing enthusiast. In her free time, she can be found thrifting for hidden gems to add to her collection.