Not sure how to use leftover food? There is way more to do with your day old food than simply reheating a plate. Look at these leftover hacks to see how you can transform last night’s dinner into a brand-new dish.

6. Shepards Pie

Whenever I have leftover mashed potatoes I must make a shepherd’s pie the next day. It is one of the best recipes to make when you are questioning how to use leftover food.

All you have to do is add your choice of vegetables and ground beef into a skillet with a bit of chicken broth. I like to use carrots, peas, onions, and celery. Once your vegetable and beef mixture is more combined and saucy add it to a casserole dish. Layer your mashed potatoes on top and bake until crispy. This revamp of leftover mashed potatoes is so simple and makes a beautiful new meal. You can also add some shredded cheddar cheese on top of the mashed potatoes for a little more depth of flavor.

5. Enchiladas

Aleksanda Genvecha

There are hundreds of things to do with leftover chicken, but one of my favorites has got to be enchiladas. if you are thinking about how to use leftover food, make enchiladas.

Take your shredded chicken and combine it with enchilada sauce salt and pepper. Assemble by filling tortillas with the chicken mixture, shredded cheese, onions, cilantro, and cotija. Roll the tortillas closely and add them to a baking dish seem side down. On top add more enchilada sauce and shredded cheese, and bake for 20 minutes.

Then you are done, you could top it with sour cream and more cilantro once the enchiladas come out of the oven, but it isn’t necessary. These are surprisingly easy and make such good use of leftover chicken.

4. Chicken Salad

Another great use for leftover chicken is chicken salad. Chicken salad is a great thing for me to have in my fridge at school because it is a quick and easy lunch.

To make the salad combine shredded chicken with olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, mayo, diced celery, and salt and pepper to taste. This use of leftover ingredients is so easy and much better than reheating plain shredded chicken. Next time you are about to google how to use leftover food, make this instead.

3. Fried Rice

Pixzolo Photography

Whenever I am making white rice I deliberately make too much so that the following day I can make fried rice. Fried rice is a quick and easy dish and is a great way to use leftover rice.

To start preheat a skillet with a bit of sesame oil and add onions, peas, and carrots. Once those are tender push them to the side and add a beaten egg. Scramble the egg and then mix it with the veggies. Now you can add the rice and pour soy sauce on top. Mix completely and garnish with green onions.

I love fried rice and this simple recipe does not disappoint. Fried rice is my favorite dish to make with leftover rice. When people ask me how to use leftover food I always tell them fried rice because it is so versatile. You can throw in anything you have in your fridge.

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2. Rice Pudding

Another delicious thing to do with leftover rice is to make rice pudding. Rice pudding is so easy and such a great use of leftovers.

Just add one part rice to one part milk in a pot and stir until it thickens. You can add any sweeteners or flavors that you want and then enjoy. I like to add a bit of vanilla and some sugar to my rice pudding and top with cinnamon, but you could even add nuts or raisins. If you want to know how to use leftover food and you don’t want something savory, then rice pudding is your friend.

1. Mac and Cheese

You ever look in your fridge and notice you have about 6 different half-eaten blocks of cheese? My favorite thing to do with this is throw it all together and make mac and cheese.

Take all the cheeses and melt them down into a cheese sauce. Pour that over cooked pasta into a casserole dish, top with a bit of shredded cheese, and bake until the top is crispy. This baked mac and cheese is simple and delicious. If you are looking for how to use leftover food this is a great recipe because you can add whatever you want to your mac and cheese.

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For a few of these recipes, I use the Bruntmor Porcelain Rectangular Baking Dish from Target and it works perfectly.