Using leftover food

Love your leftover ingredients.

Last updated

2 August 2021

When preparing a shopping list and planning meals, recognise those ingredients that are likely to create additional opportunities, such as roast chicken. This could be the basis for sandwiches, or perhaps a risotto. Write your shopping list taking these leftover ingredients into account. 

Save money with leftover food and use it as packed lunch

Leftovers can provide a delicious filling for sandwiches. Leftover vegetables, meat or fish can also be tossed with lettuce or pasta and your favourite dressing.

Purposely cooking too much

Many ingredients can be purposely cooked as leftovers; for example, a double portion of pasta and rice can be frozen for another occasion. Whilst concerns have been raised in the past regarding freezing and defrosting cooked rice, it is perfectly safe following the correct guidelines. This Love Food Hate Waste video highlights the process.

Using leftover vegetables for soups, stir-fry or bubble and squeak

Leftover vegetables have so many uses in soups, stir fry meals or as bubble and squeak, which can be frozen for a future occasion.

Soup and pasta sauces

There are endless opportunities to use leftovers as soup, such as this chicken soup, or a pasta sauce – the simplest of sauces is made by blending leftover vegetables with a tin of whole tomatoes and using with your favourite pasta.

Frequently throwing away bread? Keep reading…

Bread and other bakery products are one of the items that most frequently gets thrown away. This excellent Bakery Pudding recipe makes use of stale croissants, doughnuts, muffins and pancakes and can also help to finish up leftover jam, honey or marmalade. If you’re looking to use up your loaf, why not treat yourself to a portion of bread and butter pudding.

Leftover fruit

Do you have leftover fruit? Or perhaps you have been blackberry picking. Here's an excellent recipe for a quick and easy apple and blackberry crumble which can be adapted to use other fruits as well. If you have some brown spotted bananas that need using up, try these banana and honey muffins.

Leftovers Night

With all these possibilities, why not dedicate one night of the week as a leftovers night. Turn it into a fun activity for all the family and continue to search the many other excellent recipes available, in addition to those above.