25 Smart Ideas for Leftovers

There's no need to cook every night. It's simple to turn last night's leftovers into a magical second supper with these delicious meal ideas.


  • view all thumbnails
Smoky Calzone
1/26
Smoky Calzone

    Filled with meat sauce, two kinds of cheese, and crushed red pepper, this calzone recipe will quickly become a family favorite. Pizza dough from the fridge makes a super-simple crust; leftover meat sauce also helps keep things quick.

2/26
Ranchero Beef Hash

    Ideal for a Sunday brunch, this dish calls for leftover beef roast, red potatoes, eggs, and salsa. Tortilla strips add a bit of crunch.

3/26
Chicken Noodle Toss with Greens

    Turn leftover spiced chicken into an unbelievably good second dinner by tossing it with green onion, arugula, fresh basil, and rice noodles. With a light lime juice-soy sauce glaze, the dish is full of flavor.

4/26
Greek-Style Quesadillas

    For a Mediterranean spin on a Mexican favorite, fill flour tortillas with roasted chicken, feta cheese, red onion, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and Greek vinaigrette salad dressing.

5/26
Beefy Bagel Sandwiches

    To reinvent steak leftovers from last night, simply layer the meat, mixed greens, red onions, and dried tomatoes on a toasted bagel.

6/26
New World Chili

    Fresh pumpkin, dried cranberries, jalapeno peppers, and turkey add a twist to slow-simmering chili.

7/26
Fresh Corn-Rice Salad

    Filled with fresh corn, cold rice, juicy tomatoes, and fresh arugula, this light and fresh salad makes the ideal hot-weather supper. Slivers of jalapeno pepper and red onion add punch.

8/26
Cuban Fried Rice

    This simple supper requires just seven ingredients. Fresh pineapple tempers the spice of chopped jalapeno peppers, while chunks of ham make it nice and filling.

9/26
Summer Stew

    This hearty stew is a snap to make with packaged (cooked) beef and rosemary-and-garlic-seasoned potatoes; canned fire-roasted tomatoes make a simple broth.

10/26
Basil Chicken Stack-Ups

    Lime juice and basil add a burst of flavor to ripe tomatoes, creamy avocado, and roasted chicken.

11/26
Herbed Lamb Steak Salads

    Creamy yogurt and fresh mint make a delicious dressing for this 20-minute salad of hearty lamb, crisp greens, and crunchy radishes.

12/26
Turkey Tortilla Soup

    Turn leftover turkey into a delicious soup. With pantry-ready ingredients such as zesty salsa, chicken broth, and tortilla chips, this recipe is ready in a flash.

13/26
Spicy Beef Noodle Bowl

    No complicated sauce is required for this delicious Asian-inspired dish. Just pick up a bottle of peanut sauce from the market and you'll be set.

14/26
Monterey Tortilla Casseroles

    Filled with chicken, corn, Mexican cheese, and salsa verde, these individual casseroles are nice and hearty. Make them ahead for a microwaveable meal that's just right for hectic nights.

15/26
California-Style Chicken Pizza

    Sun-dried tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, parmesan-tomato sauce, and grilled or roasted chicken leftovers top this crispy-crust pizza.

16/26
Creamy Shrimp and Tomato Chowder

    This filling herb-seasoned soup is ready and on the table in just 18 minutes. Serve it with toasted focaccia bread.

17/26
Beef Stroganoff

    With its rich cream sauce, pepper-coated steak, and fresh veggies, this pasta classic is sure to be a hit.

18/26
Chicken Alfredo and Rice Casserole

    This classic chicken and rice casserole is quick and easy. Refrigerated pasta sauce trades place with soup as a rich, no-fuss base, while leftover cubed chicken -- roasted or fried -- keeps the whole dish simple.

19/26
Sesame Chicken with Noodles

    Sesame oil adds a nutty taste to this 400-calorie dish that takes just 20 minutes to make. Sweet peppers and cilantro keep things colorful, while Asian garlic-chili sauce adds a subtle kick.

20/26
Veggie Fish Chowder

    With tender white fish, fluffy mashed potatoes, and fresh spring veggies, this simple supper is sure to become a weeknight favorite in your house.

21/26
Greek Chicken Salad

    Grilled chicken marinated in garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano adds filling protein to this colorful salad. Feta cheese, cucumber, red onion, and olives keep it traditional.

22/26
Potato-Ham Bake

    This classic ham and potato bake is timeless -- you can adapt it to any season or occasion. Seasonal asparagus, fresh tarragon, and peppery chives give this recipe a warm-weather spin.

23/26
Thai-Chicken Pasta

    Forget takeout. This fresh twist on Pad Thai requires only six ingredients and 20 minutes to make. To make the dish spicier, stir in some crushed red pepper.

24/26
Smoked Turkey Panini

    This mile-high turkey sandwich gets a fresh spin with thick-sliced country Italian bread and bruschetta topping.

25/26
Chef's Salad

    We show you how to make the best variation this classic salad, which tosses together with your favorite dressing and lots of fresh veggies and meats in just 30 minutes.

26/26
Popular Slideshows
These fresh, healthier, never-boring meal ideas ar...

These high-flavor main course recipes fall within ...

Hosting a last-minute get together? These deliciou...


Top Brands


Related Links
These fresh, healthier, never-boring meal ideas ar...

These high-flavor main course recipes fall within ...

Hosting a last-minute get together? These deliciou...

A three-step makeover lets this living room accomo...

Share Your Thoughts