12 genius ideas for using up leftover nuts and nibbles

Posted by Ella Buchan on 25 July 2016


Nuts and seeds make a great healthy snack as they are, and are versatile ingredients to add flavour and crunch to cakes and savoury dishes.

Often, though, recipes call for a handful here or there - leaving you with lots of opened packets, cupboard buddies with the half-eaten box of breadsticks and a tin of unloved crackers.

If you can’t quite munch your way through them all, here are some other ideas for those leftover nibbles.

Blitz them

Empty opened packets of nuts into a blender to make a versatile mix. Store in an airtight container, ready to use in recipes or just to sprinkle on cereal, yogurt or ice cream.

Chopped nuts
Shutterstock via: Stargazer

Zap them

Crackers gone a bit soggy or stale? Put them in a damp paper bag, close loosely and microwave on medium for 10 seconds at a time, until they feel fresh again.

You can also stick them in a warm oven, perhaps with a little butter, for a few minutes. They’ll have their snap back in no time.

Nut crackers
Shutterstock via: mikumistock


Dump any leftover nuts, seeds and crumbled up wholegrain crackers into your homemade granola.

Gimme Some Oven


Any roughly chopped nuts and seeds will give a boost to muffins or banana bread.

Try these banana nut muffins and experiment by adding different nuts.

House of Bakes


Nuts will add crunch to toppings on lasagne, mac ‘n’ cheese and fruit crumbles. For savoury bakes, mix cheese, herbs, chopped nuts and crumbled crackers for an extra-tasty dish.

Apple crumble
Shutterstock via: AnikonaAnn

Mixed nut pesto

You don’t have to use pricey pine nuts. Walnuts, brazils and even pistachios work wonderfully.

Basil isn’t compulsory, either. Use up parsley, coriander or tarragon and whizz up with grated parmesan, minced garlic and olive oil.

Nut pesto

Boost your porridge

Nuts and seeds add texture, flavour and extra healthiness to your morning bowl of porridge.

Or try no-cook Bircher muesli, combining oats with apple juice or milk, yogurt, apple and any fruit, nuts or seeds you have in your cupboard. Leave overnight in the fridge for breakfast on the go.

Porridge with fruit toppings
Zing Nutrition

Add crunch to salads

Tasty bits of cracker and a tablespoon of nuts make your lunch bowl that bit more interesting.

Perfect in coleslaw too.

Salad with nuts
Shutterstock via: Kiian Oksana

Trail mix

Combine any unsalted nuts, dried fruit and chocolate beans and store in an airtight container for up to four weeks, dipping in for lunch boxes and anytime nibbles.

This recipe from Homemade uses up rice cakes with melted choc, perfect to serve alongside your mix - and, once the chocolate topping has set, they’ll keep for up to a week.

Dried fruit and nut mix

Quick croutons

Break up breadsticks and crackers to sprinkle on top of soup, perhaps stirring in a spoonful of herby crème fraîche too.

Try with this summery gazpacho.

Soup with croutons

Pie crusts

Crush up crackers and mix with melted butter for a pie crust or quiche base. Add crumbled biscuits for sweet desserts, cheesecake or sundae-style puds with layers of fruit and yogurt.

Try this American-style key lime pie with cracker crust.

Gimme Some Oven

Save your salt

Add broken crackers to your salt shaker, flour and sugar bowl to prevent a build-up of moisture.

Shutterstock via: Jiri Hera

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