13 tasty ways to use up every morsel of your leftovers

Posted by Sainsbury’s on 21 January 2016

Waste less and save more with these ideas for using up ingredients on the turn. For more ideas, check out Sainsbury's Food Rescue site that's bursting with ideas.

1. Turn roast chicken into soups and salads

Roasting a whole chicken is a wonderfully economical way to get a few meals from one. Leftover chicken is great added to salads and soups for next day’s lunch or to use as the basis for a delicious Mediterranean chicken wrap that the kids will love. Toss the chicken in a garlic and olive oil mixture, add any leftover grilled vegetables, wrap in a wholewheat tortilla and finish with a topping of hummus.

Roast chicken is also great for bulking out stir fries, curries and pies – throw in the kids’ favourite veg and you have a delicious dinner for the family.

Whole roast chicken
Via: Sainsbury's

2. Turn spaghetti and meatballs into sloppy Joes

Leftover spaghetti and meatballs can of course be eaten for lunch (in fact, some people say it’s more delicious the next day), but if you want to try something different, take leftover meatballs and make delicious (and messy) sloppy joes. Simply serve hot meatballs mixed with leftover tomato sauce in white finger buns, sprinkle with parsley and enjoy. Be sure to keep extra napkins on hand for this one as it’s bound to get messy.

Meatballs in a hot dog bun
Via: Sainsbury's

3. Turn mashed potato into bubble and squeak

Sometimes it can be tricky to get the portioning of mashed potatoes right. If you’re stuck with a few extra spoonfuls the day after the night before, there’s lots of things you can do with it. Bubble and squeak is a classic crowd pleaser and a great way to use up any other leftover veg you have too. Make it breakfast-worthy by serving with a poached egg.

Don’t forget too that mash is the perfect topping for a plethora of pies – whether that’s shepherd’s pie, cottage pie or fish pie. Loosen with a little milk if it needs it.

Mashed potato bubble and squeak with poached egg
Via: Sainsbury's

4. Turn cheese crumbs into cheese sauce

Odds and ends of cheese need never end up in the bin. Combine in a pan with milk and flour to make a cheese sauce that can be used in lots of dishes like lasagnemacaroni cheese and baked potatoes. Alternatively, stick it in the freezer for future meals.

Pasta with cheese sauce
Via: Sainsbury's

5. Turn bananas into banana bread

Bananas that are turning black don’t make the most appetising snack, but whatever you do, don’t chuck them away! Moist, over-ripe bananas are perfect fodder for banana bread and it’s super-simple to make. Serve up to the kids for a quick brekkie, or pack a few slices for emergency snacks on a day out. Alternatively, freeze your bananas-on-the-turn and use them to make delicious summer fruit smoothies.

Banana bread
Via: Sainsbury's

6. Turn bread into croutons

Bread can always be frozen, and stocking up on a few loaves is a great way to save a little time over the summer holidays. But if you’ve got a few slices or half a baguette going spare and the kids are already up to their ears in sarnies, bread-on-the-turn is perfect for making homemade croutons for a lunchtime salad.

Making croutons is super simple: just tear the bread into bite-size pieces and toss in a bowl with some olive oil. Spread out on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for about five minutes or until crisp and golden.

Or, you could whip up a special breakfast of French toast for the family instead. Try our delicious recipe for Fruity French toast.

French toast with fruit and yoghurt
Via: Sainsbury's

7. Turn bolognese into burritos

No one can resist a hearty spag bol but by cooking a little extra, you can turn the leftovers into delicious wraps for lunch. This Spaghetti Bolognese recipe can easily be stretched or doubled and once it’s cool, pop it in the fridge until the next day. Then simply season up with chipotle, cinnamon, cumin and coriander, wrap it in a soft flour tortilla with cooked rice and cheese and serve with guacamole.

Spaghetti bolognese with vegetables
Via: Sainsbury's

8. Turn a roast into a curry

Chicken, turkey and joints of red meat often have leftover meat that can be reused for more than sandwiches. Cut into strips or cubes, you can pop it into a curry sauce, stew or tagine or strew it over a salad for a healthy option with all the rich flavours of roasted meat. Try this Lemon and thyme roast chicken recipe for aromatic leftovers that are fantastically versatile.

Whole roast chicken
Via: Sainsbury's

9. Turn sausages into a cassoulet

A plate of sausages and mash makes a delicious dinner, but grill a few more than you need and they can be used for a succulent quick sausage cassoulet the next day. Heat them through in a pan, add vegetables, smoked paprika, tomatoes, stock and beans, serve and top with stuffing. Your cooked sausages can also be sliced up and tossed into a crowd-pleasing pasta salad alongside smoked mozzarella, tomato paste and grilled peppers.

Sausage cassoulet with vegetables
Via: Sainsbury's

10. Turn fish into a risotto dish

Grilled trout cooked with a little lemon, parsley and capers lends itself particularly well to dishes prepared the next day, flaking easily into salads and pasta. It works especially well in rice dishes, so why not try this filling Risotto with trout & kale recipe? It’s easy to assemble – just make a basic creamy risotto with fennel and kale then top with the flaked fish (reheated in a pan) and garnish with Parmesan and lemon zest.

Fish risotto
Via: Sainsbury's

11. Turn roast lamb into a Mediterranean salad

Beyond the traditional roast dinner, meat can be roasted with fragrant flavours that can really enhance the next day’s lunch. Lamb is especially flexible, so try marinating it with Mediterranean-style spices, such as garlic, cloves, dill, lemon, and oregano to add to an authentic Greek salad or introduce some Moroccan influences. This Cumin roast lamb with spinach puree recipe is a delicious way to infuse the meat and should stretch to two more meals after serving four people. Try adding it to a bowl of spiced couscous and grilled vegetables for a no-cook quick lunch that can be assembled in less than five minutes.

whole roasted lamb
Via: Sainsbury's

12. Turn a stir fry into a miso soup

Sweet and sour dishes, stir fries and crispy duck all go great with egg noodles, but cook some extra and the next day can be the perfect opportunity to make a tasty miso soup with noodles. Try this easy Thai pork and pak choi noodle soup recipe for a light lunch – just pop in vegetables, ginger, stock and pork followed by your cooked noodles, before finishing with a little miso paste and coriander for a satisfying, filling broth.

Stir fry miso soup
Via: Homemade

13. Turn rice into stuffed peppers

Golden, saffron-infused fried vegetable rice makes a tasty meal on its own or as a side to grilled meat, prawns, curries or pieces of chicken, but keep your leftovers to get stuffing the following day. Portobello mushrooms or this stuffed peppers recipe are delicious with a vegetable rice filling and all you need to add is some halved cherry tomatoes and creamy crumbled cheese to infuse it with fresh flavours. Serve with a salad of peppery rocket, drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar.

Peppers stuffed with rice
Via: Sainsbury's