Smart Ideas for Leftovers

There's no need to cook from scratch every night. It's easy to turn last night's meal into a tasty second dinner with these leftovers recipes.

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  • 1 of 25

    Turkey and Apricot Bread Salad

    A blend of dried fruits, blue cheese, and rosemary vinaigrette are the makings of an impressive salad. Toss leftover pieces of whole grain bread with the dressing to make homemade croutons that add tons of texture and flavor to the salad.

  • 2 of 25

    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.

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    Chicken Noodle Toss with Greens

    Turn last night's spiced chicken into an unbelievably delicious dinner tonight by tossing it with green onion, arugula, fresh basil, and rice noodles. A light lime-and-soy-sauce glaze adds a bright tanginess.

  • 4 of 25

    Greek-Style Quesadillas

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

  • 5 of 25

    Sesame-Crusted Beef and Spinach Salad

    Orange-mint vinaigrette lends tangy, refreshing flavor to this salad recipe, which uses thinly sliced steak and canned garbanzo beans as a protein-packed base.

  • 6 of 25

    Buffalo Chicken Pizzas

    Just five ingredients combine for classic Southwestern flavor and an exciting range of textures -- crisp pita, crunchy celery, and soft blue cheese. If you can't find Southwest-flavor chicken strips, just toss leftover deli chicken with a little hot pepper sauce.

  • 7 of 25

    New World Chili

    Fresh pumpkin, dried cranberries, jalapeno peppers, and turkey add a twist to slow-simmering chili that is a satisfying way to use up leftover turkey.

  • 8 of 25

    Beefy Bagel Sandwiches

    Got leftover steak? Simply layer the meat, mixed greens, red onion, and dried tomatoes on a toasted bagel for a hearty dinner sandwich.

  • 9 of 25

    Fresh Corn-Rice Salad

    Leftover rice makes the perfect vehicle for fresh corn, juicy tomatoes, and zippy arugula -- plus a punch of spice from jalapenos and red onion. It's the perfect no-cook dinner for the heat of the summer.

  • 10 of 25

    Tomatillo-Turkey Chili with Spelt

    This wholesome chili recipe is great for turkey leftovers. Spelt, a filling grain, adds texture and valuable nutrients.

  • 11 of 25

    Sesame-Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

    Making stir-fry is an easy way to use up extra veggies or meat. Ingredients like toasted sesame and ginger transform last night's leftovers into a full-flavor Asian dish.

  • 12 of 25

    Smoked Salmon Quesadillas with Avocado Salsa

    Try something totally delicoius with your leftover smoked salmon. Balance the rich, savory flavors with cream cheese and veggies wrapped in a crisp tortilla, and serve with a fresh avocado salsa.

  • 13 of 25

    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. Save even more time by using leftover lamb.

  • 14 of 25

    Smoky Calzone

    Filled with meat sauce, two kinds of cheese, and crushed red pepper, this calzone recipe will quickly become a family favorite. Premade pizza dough makes a super-simple crust, and leftover meat sauce also helps speed up prep.

  • 15 of 25

    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. Use leftover steak and dinner will be ready in a flash.

  • 16 of 25

    California-Style Chicken Pizza

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

  • 17 of 25

    Creamy Shrimp and Tomato Chowder

    This filling herb-seasoned soup is ready and on the table in just 18 minutes. Throw in leftover cooked fresh shrimp, or use the precooked frozen variety. Serve it with toasted focaccia bread.

  • 18 of 25

    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 to leftover chopped chicken.

  • 19 of 25

    Veggie-Fish Chowder

    Transform leftover white fish by using it in our simple chowder recipe. With fluffy mashed potatoes and fresh spring veggies, this simple supper is sure to become a weeknight favorite.

  • 20 of 25

    Potato-Ham Bake

    Leftover holiday ham is even better the second time around in our classic potato bake -- you can adapt it to any season or occasion. Seasonal asparagus, fresh tarragon, and peppery chives give this recipe a warm-weather spin.

  • 21 of 25

    Summer Stew

    This hearty stew is a snap to make with packaged beef or last night's leftover roast and rosemary-and-garlic-seasoned potatoes. Canned fire-roasted tomatoes make a simple broth.

  • 22 of 25

    Smoked Turkey Panini

    This mile-high turkey sandwich gets a fresh spin with thick-sliced country Italian bread and bruschetta topping. If you don't have peppered turkey on hand, leftover turkey works just as well.

  • 23 of 25

    Chef's Salad

    This classic salad tosses leftover chopped chicken with fresh garden veggies and your favorite dressing. The best part? It's ready in minutes.

  • 24 of 25

    Brown Rice Pilaf

    Season simple rice pilaf with majoram for a traditional Middle Eastern flavor. Adding mushrooms, carrots, and green onions makes this hearty side filling enough for a light, easy meal. Save time by using leftover rice -- simply cook your vegetables first, and add rice until heated through.

  • Next Slideshow Tasty 5-Ingredient Dinners

    Tasty 5-Ingredient Dinners

    Incredibly fast, incredibly tasty dinners do exist! We have 20-plus quick and easy dinner recipes that require a tiny grocery list of just five ingredients or fewer (we're assuming you already have oil, salt, and pepper in your pantry). So what's for dinner tonight?
    Begin Slideshow »

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