Use Your Leftovers For a Whole New Meal

Do you get tired of making dinner? You’ll be delighted to discover that a hectic life doesn’t mean every meal has to be on the run! Sometimes it’s difficult to make dinner every night, but with yesterday’s meal, it can be done. What’s more, using leftovers saves you money!

Don’t throw out your leftovers! Turn last night’s dinner into an entirely new dish with these easy recipes.

Leftover Chicken

Italian Baked Chicken & Patina From the Food Network


1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  3. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
  8. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta.
  9. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  10. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.
  11. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture.
  12. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes & then serve

Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings) 12.2 g fat, 325 mg sodium, 290 mg potassium, 6.9 g carbohydrates, 9.2 g protein, 3.4 g sugar.

Leftover Beef

Beef Fried Rice from The Food Network


2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup leftover broccoli
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup leftover beef
2 cups leftover cooked rice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. In a large wok or skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and pour them into the hot pan. Cook until set, about 1 minute.
  2. Remove them from the pan to a plate and set aside.
  3. Return the pan to the stove over high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
  4. Add the broccoli and bean sprouts, and stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the beef, rice and soy sauce. Season with pepper, to taste, and add the cooked egg.
  6. Toss and cook the mixture until hot, about 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer to serving dishes and garnish with sliced scallions.

Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings) 10 g fat, 691 mg sodium, 231 mg potassium, 77.2 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 0.6 g sugar.

Stuffed Mexican Peppers From Taste of Home


  • 6 Medium green or sweet red peppers
  • 1 pound left over ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cups cooked or leftover rice
  • 1-1/4 cups salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green chilies
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend


  1. Cut tops off peppers and discard; remove seeds. In a Dutch oven or large kettle, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the rice, 1 cup salsa, chilies, chili powder and salt. Spoon into peppers.
  3. Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup water to dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese and top with remaining salsa. Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving (yields 6 servings) 6.5 g fat, 661 mg sodium, 119 mg potassium, 17.4 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g protein, 0 g sugar.

Ham Leftovers

Ham Stir Fry with Couscous from All Recipes


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 ounce) package mixed broccoli and cauliflower florets
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1/4 pound cooked ham, cut into strips
  • 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  1. To Make Couscous: In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until fluffy. Cover and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add garlic, broccoli, cauliflower and carrot; stir-fry for 7 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender (add water as needed if pan gets too dry).
  4. Stir broth mixture and pour over vegetable mixture in skillet, then stir in ham and water chestnuts. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in almonds. Serve stir fry over hot couscous.

Nutritional information per serving (yields 6 servings) 8.8 g fat, 971 mg sodium, 414 mg potassium, 51 g carbohydrates, 14.7 g protein, 5.6 g sugar.


Make your night easier by making simple meals with your leftovers. It’s fun and it saves you money!

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Do you have any leftover meal recipes? Let us know how you use your leftovers by leaving a comment below.

Photo Credit: Liji Jinaraj

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