Four creative leftover recipes

fridge full of food

Everyone should eat their leftovers because 46% of the food in processing, consumption, and distribution becomes food waste. Although this problem is systematic and not something that individuals can do much to fix, it’s always smart environmentally and financially to eat all of the food that you buy but expiration dates creep up on us all. So here’s a list of ways to get rid of nearly expired leftovers.

Trying to get rid of deli meat or veggies?

picture of quiche with hamMake some quiche. Get some pastry dough and line muffin tins with it (or simply line the tin with some leftover cheese, for a lower carb option). Once the pastry dough is ready, fill the cups with raw scrambled eggs and chopped up pieces of whatever deli meat or veggies you want to get rid of. Pop them in the oven for 40 minutes at 325º F or until the egg is fully cooked.

Trying to get rid of side dishes or nearly expired bread?

sandwichMake a sandwich. There are really no rules of what a sandwich can or cannot have. If egg salad and ice cream are both appropriate ingredients on a sandwich (although ideally, no one would eat both in one sandwich) then no one can tell you that you cant use certain leftovers as sandwich ingredients. Put your fried rice in the sandwich! Who is stopping you? Dream big.

Have a little extra time to make a great meal but would rather run through some leftovers?

ravioli in a cast iron skilletMake ravioli. All you need is a couple of ingredients you probably already have laying around like eggs and flour. There are countless easy recipes for ravioli all over the internet. Just find one you like and stick to it! Make sure whatever you put inside the ravioli is properly cooked. Before you know it your stomach will be full and your fridge will be a little more empty.

Want a low effort pasta dish?

lasagnaMake lasagna. This is one of my most controversial food takes: I don’t believe that there is anything sacred about lasagna. My grandma taught me my family’s lasagna recipe once and it took hours in a hot kitchen the first time I tried to make my own. I don’t understand the amount of effort people put into them. In my freshman year of college, I would routinely buy mozzarella, vegan ground “beef”, and whatever pasta sauce was on sale at Target. When I got home, I’d make a lasagna that I could eat for a week. Like I said with sandwiches, no one can tell you that you can’t use certain leftovers as lasagna ingredients. Do whatever you want. Just get rid of your leftovers!


  1. best leftover hack: fry an egg to put on top of stews. it takes two minutes to heat leftovers in the microwave and then you have a perfect runny yolk 🥰

  2. one hack I like doing is ordering pizza … then I have pizza for multiple days….but this is too expensive… these hacks mentioned here….I think I’ll try them out….particularly the lasagna one
    … my girlfriend is coming over today for lasagna

  3. If there’s not a lot of leftovers but you still want to get rid of them in a single dish, pizza also does the job. There are no correct toppings for a pizza, so as long as everything’s cooked well, it can be an easy way to use up some leftovers

  4. Lasagne sounds delicious…! Also, pasta works great with leftovers! Change flavor each time you eat…

    1. Yes! As a freshman, I would often make lasagna with more typical breakfast ingredients for breakfast and would switch up the veggies depending on the season for dinner.

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