Cooking With Leftovers

When you refuse to waste food, sometimes the food you make gets really weird...

A List of Recipes!

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Buffalo Blue Cheese Crackers

Being a Bills fan, football season makes us crave Frank’s and blue cheese…

They were a great texture, but they could use more blue cheese flavor, which can be fixed by just dipping them in blue cheese…

Here’s the recipe..

You should submit to this. Don’t waste your leftovers… @food52

What’s in mine? Definitely a meat thermometer, a small nonstick pan, a wooden cutting board, a microplane, an egg slicer, and a mini food processor (although I have yet to own one of those)…

Roasted Tomato Pesto

The basil from my garden is overflowing right now, so I super pruned it, picked off the good leaves, and made a big batch of pesto to freeze in ice cube trays. These are going to be great to drop into soups in the winter..


Fried Grits Fingers

The grits came in the mystery box, so we made them all. The day old cold leftovers are perfect for frying up. When I cut them up the way that I do, they kind of look like fingers… Pesto gives them a flavor punch!



Orecchiette with Chorizo Gravy

Submitted by cookingwithleftovers

It took me until the last mystery box to discover that not using every ingredient in the box was the way to go. The ‘little ear’ pasta is my favorite kind, so that is the star of this dish, mixed with creamy, thick, spicy, earthy gravy sauce.. Cozy comfort food.


  • 2 1/2 cups dry orecchiette pasta, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water
  • 4 pads of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 2 chorizo sausage links
  • 2 big sticks rosemary (about 2 tablespoons, chopped), divided
  • asparagus stalks and 1/2 lemon
  • tomato garnish

Cook the pasta al dente with about 1/2 tablespoon rosemary in the boiling water, and reserve the cooking liquid. Squeeze the chorizo out of the casings and into a hot pan. Cook until crispy.

Remove 3/4 of the chorizo from the pan; add butter and flour. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes until combined, then add the pasta water slowly- a little at a time- mixing into the flour and cooking on low heat until gravy-like. Add in the remaining rosemary and season well with salt and pepper. After another 5 minutes or so, fold in the chorizo.

Cook the asparagus with the lemon in the oven- 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

In a bowl, add a big spoonful of pasta, a big spoonful of chorizo gravy, a few tomato quarters as a garnish, and top with some asparagus.

Just plan to take a nap afterwards..

Stuffed Tortilla Shells

We were in Mexico.. The quesadillas came with guac, pico, and black bean sides, all in small tortilla shells.

The shells get soggy overnight in the resort fridge, so put them in a frying pan until they crisp up, then stuff them with scrambled eggs and leftover salad..

A garnish transformed into a meal. The best leftovers..

Deconstructed Guaco Tacos

Of course we ordered too many Guaco Tacos from Lone Star in Buffalo - because they are so damn good.. But alas, they get soggy the day after, even though the guacamole holds up overnight.

Don’t waste your soggy tacos.

Tomato Mac N Cheese

I can’t complain about the abundance of tomatoes in my garden. but. so. many.. Also, I promised myself that I would do something great with all the leftover cheese bits in my fridge.. Hence, this dish.

It worked out surprisingly well. The acidity of the tomato is offset by the blue cheese tartness and the smoky paprika.

And I never have any milk, but that should not ever stop you..

Roast Beef Spring Rolls

I love roast beef. I love making roast beef. AND I love cold leftover roast beef.. This is a good recipe from the Hungry Mouse.

Apples left from the MasterChef Mystery Box. The remains of a beef roast.. And a basil mustard dressing. All fit nicely in spring roll wrappers.

Most things do really..

Last Mystery Box…


Sage Meatballs with Apple Chutney

Submitted by cookingwithleftovers

With beautiful apples in this basket, I decided to use them twice- in the meatballs and with a dipping sauce. Add sage to a mixture of sausage and turkey, and make them bite sized, so you can just pop them in your mouth, even as a cold midnight snack. I use my fingers, no toothpicks necessary…


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 links sweet Italian sausage, uncased (1/2 pound?)
  • 1 cup diced, peeled apple (1/2 Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, diced

Apple chutney:

  • 2 cups diced, peeled apple (1 apple- mine was a Granny Smith-Pink Lady combo)
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

Mix the meatball ingredients together, season, and form into tiny balls. Don’t overmix… I made tiny balls with a 1 tablespoon scoop. It was the perfect size. Put onto a greased HOT grill (or in the oven). 425 degrees, for 8 minutes, flipping once. Makes about 30 count.

To make the dipping chutney, cook the apple and 1/2 cup water down with the spices in a sauce pan for 10 minutes or so, until the apples mash up nicely. Add to a food processor (or immersion blender), with the other 1/2 cup water and blend up until just slightly chunky.

Then try not to eat them all at once… Save some for a midnight snack.

Green Tomato Soup

These tomatoes were a casualty of me trying to tame my overzealous tomato plants. (I didn’t stake them early enough). I felt bad enough about it that I had to pick them up and make them proud..

Enter filling, delicious, soul-warming soup. Add caramelized onions, ham, a roasted green chile, & chicken broth, and garnish with something bright!

Fresh Corn Polenta

My mom came to visit and brought me seven ears of fresh beautiful corn - just one day before I left the country.. so I came back to good corn going bad, and we just can’t have that, can we? This really is a genius recipe. Taken from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet Corn Polenta on Food 52.

It’s simple, and buttery, and sweet… Add balsamic and you have a meal..


  • 7 ears of corn, stripped and trimmed of anything bad..
  • 2 cups reserved cooking liquid

Cut the good corn off the cob, put into a pan, and cover with water. Cook on a low simmer for 12 minutes and then, using a slotted spoon, transfer to a blender and blend up really good. Put the corn back in the pan with the cooking liquid and cook on medium low, stirring regularly, for 20-30 minutes until firmed up into a mash. Season well.

Garnish with one small tomato and two basil leaves, chopped, with a splash of balsamic and olive oil.

Then make corn stock with the remaining bits of the corn cobs, and dry out the husks! Oh and figure out something to do with them.. hmm, something great.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Second time making it, and I am definitely getting better. So good for you.. And so tasty!

Garden Salad

This salad is made entirely of things in my garden. But it is the dressing that is superb - made with leftover herbs..

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh herbs (mostly basil, but some dill)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger vinegar (or whatever fancy vinegar you have)

Puree it up all together, or dice up the herbs and garlic and mix in the liquids. Dollop a big spoonful onto your salad- zucchini ribbons, fresh picked kale, quartered cherry tomatoes.

Just don’t tell anyone that I was not harvesting, but simply pruning the herbs today..