‘Tis the season of leftovers. With so many parties to go to and so much food to be served, it is inevitable that there will be extras to nibble on through the week. But what do you do if you don’t want the same meal for the next five days? Do you keep it in your fridge because Grandma forced you to take it home, and you feel guilty throwing it away? Do you give half of it to your dog? No! Use this as an opportunity to get creative and make a new dish. Not only will you save money, but you will see how fun it can be to make a meal or three out of your Monday night meatloaf. Oh, and don’t think this is just for those holiday dinners! These ideas can be used year-round, so let’s get cooking!
Let’s start with the obvious – Thanksgiving dinner. You have potatoes, you have cranberries, you scored most of the turkey meat and maybe, just maybe, you got to keep the carcass. (Is it weird that I find the carcass to be the Thanksgiving jackpot?) Anyway, we have a whole collection devoted to Thanksgiving leftovers – so go ahead and click on Simple Recipes From Thanksgiving Leftovers.
Like I said before, I don’t want to focus on holidays only, let’s dig deep here. Go ahead and click on Two Meals From One Recipe for our version of MOGO (Make One – Get One).
Now let’s focus on that leftover protein that is cold and lonely in the back of your refrigerator. For your leftover ham, try cubing it up and putting it in Split Pea Soup. We also have an entire collection of ham recipes called 10 Ways to Use Leftover Easter Ham which will work for leftover ham anytime, not just Easter. I promise!
Chicken is the champion of leftovers because, let’s face it, you can put it in and on anything. Add it to your soup, salad, sandwich, rice or pasta to pump up your protein and round out your meal. One of my favorite things to do with leftover chicken is to make Apple Chicken Salad Pitas because I almost always have the additional ingredients on hand, and it packs great for lunch. For these cooler nights, my husband and I love the Deep-Dish Chicken Pot Pie, while our kids dig the Gametime Mexican Chicken Soup. For even more ideas, click on Rotisserie Chicken Recipes. These are great recipes to start with, and you can easily use your chicken leftovers in place of the rotisserie chicken.
As I think about what is currently in my fridge at home, I realize that I have an abundance of pasta to plow through this week. We had the cousins over for the weekend, and when I have a small army of people under the age of 8 in my house, I tend to make a lot of the go-to kid pleaser: buttered noodles (using Land O Lakes® Butter, of course!). That may be boring to some, but it works, so I’ll go with it. As I was saying, I have a mountain of buttered noodles in my fridge. Here is what I think I may make: Spanish Macaroni Skillet, Cheeseburger Mac or Italian Mac & Cheese, Chicken Vegetable Soup, or maybe the Chilironi Bake. All of those are fun options that I know my kids will enjoy.
So, go ahead and add your Monday night Classic Meatloaf leftovers to a hash or break it up and add it to a Classic Cheese Omelet. Leftovers do not have to be the same meal twice. Have fun and see what new meals you can concoct – then sit back and enjoy consuming your creativity!