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Recipes with leftovers - 11 recipes

By Laurapackham

Growing up in a family of six, leftovers were common on the weekly dinner menu. My mother’s own term for it was “bitza” – “bits of this, and bits of that,” which we children often mistook for “pizza” only to have our hopes dashed by day-old Bolognese. However, leftovers don’t have to be an eclectic mismatch of flavours and dishes, indeed there are plenty of scrummy recipes to suit everyone, such as the traditional Bubble and Squeak to an endless variety of pies. I am a firm believer of the ethos “waste not, want not” and give the meat offcuts to the pets, leftover vegetables to the compost worms and love to revive leftovers into new dishes.
Tip: Know your fridge. Storing foods properly will give them the longest possible shelf-life so learn what goes where in the fridge, according to temperature.
Try: For example: Store milk in the main part of the fridge. Milk kept in the door rack begins to warm as soon as you open the fridge.

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Top rated Leftovers recipes


This Mason Jar salad is so easy to make with Christmas dinner leftovers or indeed, year-round! Great for picnics or...

  • 2 tbsp cranberry vinaigrette
  • 1.5 oz roasted turkey breast
  • 2 oz organic pears
  • 1 oz organic celery
  • 1 oz organic red onion
4.8/5 (49 Votes)


Using up leftovers

  • 250g Boiled or Leftover Mash Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Skimmed Milk
  • 150g Cooked Cabbage finely shredded
  • 2 Spring Onions thinly sliced (or half an Onion chopped)
  • Spray of Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove Crushed
  • 1 Heaped tsp plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3.2/5 (144 Votes)


An easy way to use up leftover rice

  • 2 tbsp peanut/vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger (chopped)
  • 5-6 mushrooms (caps, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas/green beans
  • 3 cups cold, leftover rice/ 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1-3 tbsp Sriracha sauce (depending on what you can handle!)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Ground pepper to taste
3.4/5 (119 Votes)


If you’re anything like me you will have so much leftover from Christmas Day you will have more food than you kno...

  • Cooked Chicken or Turkey
  • Leftover Stuffing (or a few sausages. Remove the skin and break into balls)
  • As much leftover veg as you want
  • Lemon Zest
  • Leftover gravy or water
3/5 (93 Votes)


A rough version of Louisiana Creole dish Jambalaya which doesn't cost much

  • 2 sausages (or the same amount of chorizo sausage from lidl)
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 onion (white or red)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 or more of the following
  • red pepper/ green pepper / handful of mushrooms
  • 0.5 cup rice (literally, measure it in a tea cup)
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock (hot water and chicken stock cube)
  • 1 tsp worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
3.8/5 (51 Votes)


uses up leftovers in fridge, no exact measurements required

  • 1 pack short crust pastry
  • 4-6 eggs
  • cheese - assorted flavours if possible
  • onions
  • spring onions
  • bacon/ham/smoked salmon etc
  • tomatoes
  • 6- ish mushrooms
  • possible mild chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • milk - if consistency too solid
  • any thing else that would taste ok in a flan
2.4/5 (98 Votes)


This recipe is great for using up leftovers, so it's very economical

  • Pizza Sauce
  • 175g Tomato Puree
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 0.5 Tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 300 ml Water
  • Simply stir thoroughly and you're ready to create your perfect pizza!
2.5/5 (87 Votes)


A great way to use leftovers, this is a super-speedy one-pan supper

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 rashers bacon, chopped
  • 175g mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • small knob of fresh root ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 250g cooked basmati rice
2.8/5 (13 Votes)


Based loosley on a paella recipe, but using leftover roast meats from the weekend!

  • 300g rice (any), I use basmati
  • 1ltr stock (any) stockpots or cubes or homemade
  • Leek
  • Mushroom (optional)
  • Frozen pease
  • Leftover cooked meat (gammon, chicken, pork etc)
  • A little oil
2.8/5 (4 Votes)


Family recipe using leftover ingredients from Sunday Roast

  • 150 g straight to the wok noodles
  • 250ml of chicken stock (use kallo stock cubes or own stock made from carcase)
  • Splash olive oil
  • 50 - 100 g ready ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ready prepared garlic
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 50g leftover cooked peas
  • 50g leftover cooked sweetcorn
  • 100g cooked chicken chopped
  • 1 tsp plain flour or cornflour
  • Spring onions chopped if available
2.8/5 (17 Votes)

More Leftovers recipes

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Jambalaya Mason Jar Turkey Cranberry Salad