Creative Uses for Leftovers – Don’t Throw Away

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Let’s turn common leftovers into something new. Great and creative uses for leftovers. Make your grocery budget go a little farther.

Creative Ways To Use Leftovers

You made your grocery list, followed your meal plan, and got dinner on the table every night. Congratulations! Meal planning is the easiest way to simplify your life. However, you now have a fridge full of a little bit of this and a bit little of that.

Not to worry about those small amounts of leftovers. They too can be made into a meal too. Let’s get creative, shall we? Using leftovers is a great way to help keep your food budget in check, and it’s good for the environment too because you are reducing food waste.

Here are some creative ways to use leftovers, so that they don’t seem so leftover after all. Let’s heat things up with these creative ways to turn common leftovers into something new.

Read More Meal Planning Tips from Inspiring Savings

Make a Bowl

Are you looking for a single way to use up multiple leftovers at once? Then why not build your own bowl, you can add any ingredients that you want to a hearty bowl meal and it’s a great way to combine leftovers.

For example; Add leftover rice or pasta, with the leftover ground beef and those leftover roasted vegetables. Heat together in a bowl. You can even sprinkle it with cheese or your favorite sauce.

Wrap it Up

One way to breathe new life into your leftovers is to put them in a flour tortilla and make a wrap. You can do this with leftover veggies, sauces, cheese, or meat.

If you have some leftover rice, quinoa, or beans, you can add that as well to fill it out even more. Add the ingredients you want to your tortilla, wrap it up, and have a delicious meal or snack. Besides making wraps, we really enjoy making sandwiches too, like these baked ham sammies.

Make Soup

Soup is another great option if you want to re-purpose several leftovers at once. You can combine multiple proteins, vegetables, rice or pasta, and leftover broth to make an amazing soup. Believe me when I say that those leftovers taste nothing like before.

If you need to bulk it up to make enough for the entire family, add a can of tomatoes or broth. Season it with your favorite spices. If you happen to have leftover soup from this batch or future ones, freeze them in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, pop them out of the tray and into a labeled zip-top freezer bag.

You can pull a couple of them out for a quick meal any time.

Fried Rice

Fried rice can be a great way to turn those leftovers into another meal. You can turn leftover rice into a fabulous meal. Add in any leftover protein toss in a pan with veggies and viola. If not, and you want to add some protein to it to make a more complete meal, add a scrambled egg.

Here is a quick recipe to help you get started. A fun & creative use for leftovers.


Smoothies make a great breakfast, snack, or late-night dessert option. If you have fruit, veggies, or greens that are a little past their prime, toss them in your blender with a little yogurt.

There you go, a flavorful and yet healthy smoothie. Your fruits, veggies, and greens get used up, and you get a delicious breakfast or snack.

Fajitas, Tacos, or Quesadillas

Fajitas, tacos, or quesadillas are another quick and easy way to use up leftover meat, cheese, and vegetables. All you need are some taco shells or a tortilla to wrap them up in.

Quesadillas don’t have to have a Mexican flavor profile either…you can also make them with pesto, tomato, and spinach or chicken, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and ranch dressing. Quesadilla combinations are infinite…you can put anything in them. Just make sure that you keep some flour tortillas around.


Homemade pizza is another way to use up any leftovers you may have on hand, and the kids will love it too. Remember, pizza doesn’t have to be made on pizza crust. You can use bagels, English muffins, toast, left-over hamburger buns, tortillas, or even Portobello mushroom caps.

Top your “crust” with leftover pizza or pasta sauce, any leftover veggies or meat that you might have, and your favorite cheese. Pop it in the oven for a few minutes and you’ve got homemade pizza!


Omelets aren’t just for breakfast, they make a great lunch or dinner too! You can toss spinach, tomatoes, leftover taco meat, shredded chicken or pork, or diced ham in an omelet.

Has some leftover sauteed or roasted veggies? Throw those into your omelet too with your favorite cheese and enjoy a delicious and easy meal.


Casseroles are an obvious answer to using up leftovers, but the creativity that you can put into them is endless. With some pasta, potatoes, or rice, some vegetables, and a protein, you can make a casserole out of any combination that you like.

If you don’t know what to put in your casserole Google “casserole” and the leftover ingredients that you have on hand. You are guaranteed to find at least one casserole recipe using them, and probably many more than one.

Creative Ways to Use Leftovers

Now you have a variety of ideas. Just don’t toss out those leftovers. Turn them into a whole new meal that your family will enjoy instead.

Do you have any creative uses for leftovers that you would like to share here? Leave us a comment below. We love to hear all about it.

Other Great Meal Planning Articles

Meal Planning Saving You Time and Money
Frequently Asked Questions About Meal Planning
The Best Free Menu Planning Apps & Tools
Common Mistakes That First Time Meal Planners Make

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