Have you ever opened your fridge and seen nothing but leftovers and odds and ends that may be edible but are totally random? I have! If you happen to be in this situation and you’re contemplating closing your fridge and just going out to eat tonight, hold it right there! Surely you can come up with a healthy, delicious dinner made from leftovers. Doing so not only saves you money, but it also helps keep you healthy, because there are plenty of good meals to make from leftovers. You can test this out by letting the following recipes guide you. Keep in mind that you can always switch out a few ingredients for anything you happen to have on hand. Don’t be afraid to get creative while using up random foods from the fridge. You never know what meals to make from leftovers until you try!
Get advice on planning healthy meals when you read: The Rule of Three: A Guide to Healthy Eating
Bacon & Egg Frittata
As long as you have eggs in your fridge, you have access to a tasty treat that works any time of day. The Bacon & Egg Frittata from Parents Magazine calls for eggs, bacon, and chives…but you can actually use any meat and vegetables you happen to have in the fridge. So feel free to toss in some sausage, ham, chicken, turkey, or even beef, and then combine it with vegetables like tomatoes, green peppers, or whatever nutritious bits you find in your fridge. If you’ve got cheese, add that! Basically, a frittata works with just about any random fridge ingredients, which is why it’s one of the best meals to make from leftovers!
Any time you feel like making a hot, hearty meal that’s perfect for cold weather, turn the dregs of your fridge into Alphabet Soup like Parents Magazine suggests. Like the frittata, you can use nearly any meat and vegetables you have in this soup, and then add noodles and chicken broth. Not sure you have noodles? Not a problem. You can substitute rice, lentils, or beans to help soak up some of the broth. See? It’s super easy to come up with meals to make from leftovers!
You can use similar ideas around the holidays using the following as a guide: Reinvent Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
Beef with Celery, Cilantro, and Mint
If a frittata is the Italian version of a “clean out the fridge meal,” then you can consider stir-fry the Asian version. Thanks to recipes from Parents Magazine like Beef with Celery, Cilantro, and Mint, you can easily make a healthy dinner out of the dregs of your fridge. As long as you have a few common sauces and seasonings —such as toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, mint, and cilantro—you can create a great flavor that pairs well with pretty much any meat or vegetables you like.
Quick and Easy Leftover Chicken Quesadillas
Got some seasoned chicken or beef leftovers in your refrigerator? Then you can make Quick and Easy Leftover Chicken Quesadillas from Gimme Delicious! Just toss the seasoned meat with some cheese and any vegetables in your fridge—such as tomatoes, onion, or bell peppers—and then wrap them in tortillas for a tasty quesadilla. Feel free to add quesadilla essentials like cilantro, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream and you’re well on your way to using up random foods from the fridge for a healthy dinner.
These are just a few easy meals to make from leftovers. No matter which recipe you try, rest assured you’ll be saving money while eating healthy. After all, making your own meals at home is almost always healthier—and much more affordable—than eating somewhere else.
If you’re looking for other ways to keep a healthy diet without spending a lot of money, read: 7 Strategies for Eating Healthy on a Budget
Other sources for meals to make from leftovers:
65 Amazing Meals You Can Make from Leftovers Today
21 Ideas to Make the Most Out of Leftovers