25 Lip-Smacking Dishes You can Make from Leftover Food

Do you end up wasting food every time you cook? Is it difficult for you to get the measurement right for a meal? If the answer is yes, you must have leftovers every day that goes down the drain. It’s time to make a change and stop wasting food.

Leftover foods can be converted into delicious recipes if you know the right trick. Check out these 25 lip-smacking dishes that can be churned out of leftovers so that you don’t end up wasting surplus food.

Take a look at this incredible video for dinner ideas with leftover pancakes and scroll down for some other quick and easy leftover food ideas.

1) Croutons


If you are not in a mood to eat day-old French bread, turn it into crispy croutons and top it up on your soup. Cut the bread slices into cubes and season them with butter or olive oil, herbs and salt. Toast them well in your microwave and add them to your soup.

2) Mixed vegetable cutlets


Leftover dry vegetable curry is often thrown out. Instead of wasting your vegetables, turn it into delectable cutlets. Make the veggies dry by adding bread crumbs or maida to it. Add cheese and mix well. Roll them into small balls and press them between your palms to shape them into cutlets. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry them. Serve with ketchup or chutney.

3) Fried rice


There’s not much to do in this recipe. If you have leftover rice from the day before just fry it in oil along with the vegetables of your choice. You can also add eggs or cooked chicken pieces to it, if you want.

4) Leftover pizza quiche


Let’s face it, nobody wants to eat leftover pizza the next day. Why not turn it into something interesting like a quiche? Chop up the pizza slices and combine with spinach, eggs and ground meat. Pour the mixture into a pie crust and bake the contents for about 30 minutes, covered with aluminium foil.

5) Banana halwa


Overly ripe bananas smell nasty and naturally, nobody wants to eat them. Turn these nasty bananas into a delicious dessert. Peel and slice the bananas. Heat ghee in a pan and sauté the bananas till they are completely mashed. Add sugar and enough water. Cook on low heat and allow the mixture to thicken. Add cardamom powder and serve.

6) Curried noodle patties


Got some soggy spaghetti from last night? Try out this amazing recipe to turn them into delicious snacks. Spread some red Thai curry paste in a bowl and add eggs to it. Add tofu, cilantro, green onions and salt. Mix well. Add in the spaghetti and combine everything properly. Heat oil in a pan and pour the mixture using a spoon and shape it like a patty. Fry till it turns golden brown. Serve with ketchup.

7) Bread dahi chaat


This leftover bread recipe is sure to tingle your taste buds. Cut the bread slices into cubes and fry them in oil till they turn golden brown. Mix chaat masala, black salt, red chilli powder, sugar and roasted cumin powder with curd. Place the fried bread pieces on a plate and pour this curd mixture on top. Garnish with sev and chopped coriander leaves.

8) Keema paratha


A simple way to use your leftover minced meat is to stuff it into a paratha. Knead the dough for paratha. Make small balls out of it and make a small depression in them. Stuff the keema and seal the edges of the dough. Roll out the parathas and fry them carefully on a tawa.

9) Rice kheer


Another lip-smacking sweet dish you can make out of leftover rice is kheer or rice pudding. Heat 1 litre of milk in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the leftover rice to it. Add 5-6 tbsp of sugar. Then add cardamom powder, almonds and cashews. Keep stirring. When the mixture becomes thick, switch of the flame.

10) Masala idli


Turn your boring, leftover idlis into a spicy delight. Cut the idlis into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan and add the leftover idli pieces. Stir fry them until they are lightly crisp. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside. In 2 teaspoons of oil in the same pan, add some onions, capsicum, green chillies and saute them on medium heat until tender. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, turmeric powder, chilli powder and mix well. Saute until the tomatoes are tender. Add this mixture to the fried idli bowl and sprinkle chopped coriander and mint leaves. Mix well and serve with ketchup.

11) Chicken club salad


Turn your leftover chicken into a healthy salad. Combine tomatoes, onions, celery, mayonnaise and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Add in the leftover chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the pieces evenly. Serve the salad over lettuce leaves.

12) Chapati upma


Shred the chapatis into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once they splutter, add chopped onions and sauté for a minute. Add peanuts, capsicum, sesame seeds and the shredded chapatis. Mix well. Season with salt, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

13) Banana smoothie


Another delectable and healthy recipe with over ripened bananas. Blend the frozen bananas with milk, peanut butter and vanilla essence until smooth. Add chocolate chips and serve.

14) Fish tacos

Fish Tacos

If you have leftover fish and you don’t know what to with it, try this simple recipe. Shred the fish and remove the bones carefully. Marinate the onions with red vinegar for 30 minutes. Heat the tortillas in a microwave for a minute. Place a spoonful of the shredded fish onto the centre of the tortilla. Top it up with marinated onions. Serve with sour cream or salsa.

15) Dal paratha


Leftover dal can also be made into a stuffed paratha. Heat a pan and pour the dal into it. Increase the heat and let the water from the dal evaporate completely. When the dal turns dry, lower the heat and add chopped onions, green chillies, hing and chaat masala to it. Allow it to cool. Knead the dough for paratha. Make small balls out of it and make a small depression in them. Stuff the dal mixture and seal the edges of the dough. Roll out the parathas and fry them carefully on a tawa.

16) Chicken and veggie soup


Leftover vegetables needn’t be thrown away. Heat olive oil and fry the leftover vegetables. Add chicken or shrimps to it. Add some chicken broth, salt, pepper and dried herbs. Add some cornflour to thicken the soup. Serve hot.

17) Chicken wrap


There’s no need to throw away your leftover chicken. Prepare this simple wrap with a handful of ingredients and you’ll end up making a delicious snack for yourself. Grill the vegetables of your choice. Shred the chicken into pieces. Take a whole wheat tortilla and fill it up with the grilled veggies and shredded chicken. Add some mayonnaise or sour cream if you want. Wrap the contents with the tortilla and serve.

18) Baingan bharta sandwich


Baingan bharta or mashed eggplant is a popular dish in North India. So if you have some leftover baingan bharta, try making this sandwich for breakfast. Just apply some butter on the toasted bread slices and place the leftover baingan bharta in the centre. Cover it with another slice and serve.

19) Bread upma


Another simple dish that can be prepared with leftover bread is bread upma. Tear the bread slices into small pieces. Heat oil and add mustard seeds. Allow it to crackle and add curry leaves. Then add sliced onion, chopped carrots, bread pieces, peanuts, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and allow the bread to get lightly crisp. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

20) Dahi idli


Curd or dahi idlis make an amazing breakfast option. Beat the curd with water, salt and sugar. Heat oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal, hing, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Add this to the curd. Grind cashews, chillies and grated coconut together. Add it to the curd and mix well. Finally add the idlis and serve.

21) Aloo egg roll


Got some leftover mashed potatoes? Prepare aloo egg rolls. Beat an egg with salt in a bowl. Heat a tawa and place a chapatti on it. Fry it with oil and add the beaten egg. Let one side of the chapatti get coated with the egg. Keep this on a plate and spread tomato ketchup on it. Place the mashed potato mixture at the centre and roll the chapatti.

22) Lemon rice


Add some tangy flavour to the leftover rice and make it mouth-watering. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, chana dal, dry red chillies, curry leaves and peanuts. Fry for a minute and add the leftover rice. Add turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice. Your lemon rice is ready to eat.

23) Roti porridge


This porridge with leftover chapattis is healthy and tasty at the same time. Microwave the chapattis for 2 minutes till they turn crisp. Break them and grind into a fine powder. Combine milk, cut fruits, dry fruits, honey and the powdered chapatti in a bowl. Serve chilled.

24) Pasta stir fry


Leftover pasta can be made into a healthy breakfast recipe by adding a dash of vegetables. Heat oil in a pan and stir fry the boiled vegetables of your choice. Add meat if you like. Add in the leftover pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

25) Bread pudding


Leftover white or brown bread can be made into this savoury bread pudding. Oil a baking dish and place the bread pieces on it. Pour milk on it. Add grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to it. Bake it on 350 degrees for 30 minutes and serve.

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