With fall fast approaching, we’re in back-to-school (and back-to-work) mode. Since schedules are busy, we have to make the most of our time in the kitchen, and that means putting leftovers to good use.
On a leisurely night, prepare a special dinner, such as roasted chicken or braised meat — and be sure to make extra. The next night you can transform what you’ve already cooked into another meal entirely. Here are some of our favorite ideas and recipes to help you start planning.
If you want to eat well on Monday and Tuesday, roast a chicken for your Sunday supper. Assemble a quick dinner by adding leftovers to a chopped salad, or make a chicken potpie for something special.
Grilled steak makes a fast and satisfying dinner when paired with chimichurri sauce and a side of quinoa. Save leftovers for fajitas the next day.
Skewers of grilled vegetables like eggplant, squash, onions and bell peppers make wonderful sides, and you’ll be happy to have the cooked veggies on hand for lunch. Try them in this grilled summer vegetable salad or over cheesy polenta.
Any time you’re making a sauce, make a bigger batch than you need for one meal. Serve pesto alongside grilled chicken the first night, then tossed with spaghetti or baked into a strata.
Whole fillets make an elegant presentation for fish, but you can also break up any extra to fill tacos. Serve with a zesty mango-avocado salsa.
Pork tenderloin is great for feeding a crowd. Slice leftovers into thin pieces and tuck into Vietnamese-inspired sandwiches or serve over Asian noodles.
If you bake a ham for a special dinner party, you’re likely to have extra. Dice the meat and use it to add flavor to a hearty soup, like our white bean and ham soup with cornbread croutons.
|Sauteed or Roasted Vegetables
Yesterday’s side dish can become today’s main course. Saute broccolini (or any of your favorite green vegetables) and cook it into a frittata, toss in a salad with beans or serve over pasta.
Here’s an idea to save for Thanksgiving (or any other time you roast a turkey). Bake the shredded meat into a tetrazzini, a retro casserole with egg noodles, button mushrooms and a cheesy sauce. It works with cooked chicken, too.
Braised meat is the ultimate cook once, eat twice food. First, serve it over spicy squash, then over noodles with an Italian tomato sauce and sausages. Add it to chili verde to feed a crowd, or sandwich between buns with barbecue sauce for a Southern spin. We promise you won’t get bored.