5 Easy Meal Ideas Using Leftovers
When you are preparing your holiday menu, it can be overwhelming with all of the options and ingredients that you have to buy. Even worse, there are always TOO MANY leftovers. When you’re creating your shopping list, consider using these leftover ideas so that every item in your cart has a purpose. You can also use leftovers already in your home to create home-cooked meals packed with flavor.
Chicken and Veggie Casserole. This is probably the easiest way to use leftovers from your prior meals. If you have chicken leftover from cooking too much the night before or you have a rotisseries chicken that hasn’t been eaten completely, try making a casserole! You can also use whatever vegetables that you have on hand in your refrigerator or freezer. Some of my favorites are peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and green beans. With a few extra ingredients, you can make a casserole quickly.
Combine chicken and veggies with potatoes and cream of chicken soup, or you can mix chicken, veggies, cheese with milk, and rice.
Puff Pastry Turnovers. Try making turnovers that use puff pastries. Use whatever leftover meat you have already with cheese. For example, you could use turkey, ham, or chicken. Inside the puff pastry, you can combine the meat along with whatever leftover veggies you have. Add a sprinkle of cheese, close the pastries, and bake!
You could also create a puff pastry turnover with ground beef or leftover steak cut into small strips. Mix and match with different sauces like A1, ranch dressing, or horseradish.
Vegetable Pasta. If you are like most people, you probably have a bunch of boxes of various pasta noodles in your pantry that aren’t quite full enough to make a complete meal. Use all of those partial boxes to try this quick vegetable pasta. Just mix cooked pasta with your favorite vegetables and a can cream of mushroom condensed soup and bake. Since the pasta is in a casserole, it doesn’t matter if you’re mixing penne with ziti noodle. Whatever works!
Chicken Salad. Chicken salad is a comfort food that is delicious and easy to incorporate into a salad, wrap, or sandwich. You can take all your leftover chicken and tear it apart or cut into small pieces, then mix it with some mayonnaise and add your choice of veggies. Go with a classic chicken salad with celery, onions, nuts, and grapes, or add in any veggies you like. Try it with pesto sauce instead of mayo for a Mediterranean flavor. If you want to get creative, you can even use turkey instead of chicken. Thanksgiving leftovers are actually quite useful for simple lunches for the rest of the month!
Chicken salad wraps are perfect for lunch, and they pair nicely with a simple side salad.
Pizza. Using a pre-made pizza dough, you can top with leftover vegetables, chicken, beef, and cheese! Consider using ranch or another dressing instead of tomato sauce, and topping with your favorite cheeses and leftover meat. A fajita pizza comes together quickly with leftover peppers, cheese, and a steak cut into strips.
This holiday season use what you’ve got! Serve your family simple meals using fresh ingredients before they go bad. Leftovers aren’t so bad when you get creative!