10 Recipe ideas for leftovers

Helen Best-Shaw 13 September 2021

Here are ten ideas of how to cut down on food waste and use up some leftovers

It’s the UN’s International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction on September 29. I hate food waste so do all that I can to avoid throwing out perfectly good food.

One of my best tips is to meal plan, and only buy what I need. The next is to make full use of my freezer: I cycle things through quickly, and don’t have unknown packages lurking in the bottom. Here are ten ways I recycle my leftover food. 

Leftover Salad Soup

Leftover salad soup

I used to think that leftover dressed salad was only good for the bin. Limp, wilted lettuce is definitely not a good-looking ingredient. However, this delicious leftover salad soup is the perfect thing to make from leftover dressed salad. It tastes great, is light in calories, easy to make and cuts down on food waste. Once tasted you will deliberately make extra salad so you have leftovers for this!

Leftover Roast Dinner Pizza

Leftover roast dinner pizza

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got leftover chicken, lamb, duck, pork, turkey or beef, this leftover roast dinner pizza is a cute and tasty way to use it up along with some of the leftover vegetables and even the stuffing! Turn that Sunday roast into a Monday Pizza. I love this idea; who enjoys cooking on a Monday evening anyway? I don’t!

Preserve Avocados in the Freezer


We all know what it’s like: you buy a packet of avocados, all rock solid. But before you know it, they’re all ripe at the same time, but you might not feel like a meal of nothing but avocado and guacamole.

This post tells you everything you need to know about how to keep avocado from turning brown, helping save you money. There are also ideas for using frozen avocados.

Leftover Stuffing Waffles

Leftover stuffing waffles

This is such a simple idea! Cook leftover stuffing in a waffle iron for a side dish with a difference. I can even imagine it mixing well with some mashed potato to make a savoury potato waffle. Takes no time too.

Worm Composting With Worm Towers

Compost bin lid

Ok, so this isn’t a recipe, but rather a way of dealing with food scraps. If you’ve always thought that composting requires a large compost bin, here’s proof that it can be done on a much smaller scale: in the corner of a vegetable patch or flower border. Full directions of starting your own wormery, which quickly converts food waste to compost.

Sourdough Discard Crackers

Sourdough crackers

I love making sourdough, but it does involve throwing away excess sourdough starter that’s over risen and no good for making bread. There are all sorts of things that can be done with it: adding some to a yeasted loaf for some sourdough tang, or making fluffy pancakes. Here’s another plan: make your own cheese crackers. I love the idea of a “house cracker”, and this looks like the perfect recipe!

All About Bone Broth

Bone broth

If you make the occasional roast dinner, don’t just throw away the bones! There’s so much goodness that can be extracted. Here’s an extensive guide to making bone broth, perfect for ramen. The difference between bone broth and stock is that the broth is made using a little acidity, to extract minerals from the bones. If you’re making it in an electric pressure cooker, it’s quick and easy too!

Carrot Greens Pesto

Carrot pesto

I love heritage vegetables; delicious tomatoes ranging from dark burgundy to pale yellow, and similarly coloured carrots. But if you buy a bunch of carrots that come with vibrant green leaves still attached, there’s no need to discard the leafy greens. Here’s a great recipe for pesto with a difference. I keep my pesto in the freezer, only spooning out what I need each time.

Roasted Potato Peelings with Rosemary and Sea Salt

roasted potato peelings

Make these roasted potato peelings with scraps—instead of throwing out the peels, just stick them into the oven and you'll have lovely homemade crisps. Just wash them well and roast; they turn crispy and golden and are such an easy snack to make. Avoid any green parts and roast them with your favourite herbs or spices.

Gobi Ke Danthal Ki Sabzi

Gobi Ke Danthal Ki Sabzi

Gobi ke danthal ki sabzi recipe is a dry spiced curry made from cauliflower stalks and leaves. This curry is mildly spiced with a bit of mustard oil giving the dish its punch. Serve with rotis, parathas or as a side dish with dal rice combo.

Cheeseboard & Chutney Quiche

Cheeseboard and chutney quiche

This quiche was made to use up cheeseboard leftovers—you know all those little remnants that are too small to serve up but far too good to waste. There’s often leftover chutney too, whether it’s homemade or a good quality shop bought. The chutney will add an acid edge to the dish; sounds lovely to me!

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 10 years

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