A fridge stocked full of leftovers is always a reward... except when it's a burden. Like when you're feeding a group of 2 but you made a recipe that serves 6 to 8 and you're stuck eating the same good-tasting but not three-nights' worth over and over again. Like Groundhog's Day.
Leftovers are more of a reward when those leftovers can easily become something entirely new. By picking a versatile, flavor-flexible dish with the leftovers in mind—not just that you will eat them, but that you will cook with them—the prospect of eating "leftovers" for dinner becomes a little more exciting.
These 12 recipes shift seamlessly into dinners unrecognizable, but just as good, the next day:
Food52er Aliwaks turned leftover megedarra into great veggie burgers: Of the 3 cups she had leftover, she blended about 1 cup with an egg, grated carrots, fresh parsley, and cilantro, then folded it into the remaining 2 cups, shaped into patties, and sautéed in olive oil. Leftover megedarra will also take well to the fried rice treatment.
Crumble any leftover quinoa and mustard green cakes (or fried green meatlessballs, for that matter), then recrisp them on the stove. Mix into a rice casserole; use as the filling for enchiladas, burritos, or quesadillas; or toss into a salad of sturdy greens.
What's the most versatile, anything-is-possible dinner recipes you know? Tell us in the comments!
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.