29 Easy Leftover Meals That Make the Most of Your Food
By: Amanda Suazo
You toiled over a hot stove to make a wholesome meal — but what can you do with the leftovers? These leftover meals remix your meat, veggies, and starches into totally new dishes so you’ll never get caught in a dinner rut.
If you make leftover meals, keep food safety and storage in mind. Make leftover meals as soon as possible and consume or freeze them immediately. This approach not only makes your food taste fresher, it also reduces the release of histamines that can give you brain fog and fatigue. Plus, creating new dishes out of leftovers and freezing them can make meal prep a snap.
Make leftover meals with everything from meats to bread using these quick and easy recipes:
Veggie leftover meals
Use fresh or leftover cauliflower rice as a base for runny eggs and veggies in this easy leftover meal. Change it up with a mix of fresh and pre-made veggies, then drizzle with Brain Octane Oil for a total plant power-up.
Frittatas make easy leftover meals. Since this recipe requires pre-cooked veggies, you can swap in any leftovers you have from the night before and bake them into a fluffy, omelette-style meal.
Image via Mangia Paleo
If your meal planning for the week includes spaghetti squash, cook up an extra one and use the leftover strands to make these simple buns. Mix squash with fresh herbs, coconut flour, and spices for a tasty grain-free bread that holds up to your favorite sandwich toppings. To stay more Bulletproof, skip the garlic and fry in avocado oil or grass-fed ghee.
Keep leftover meals simple with this recipe. Plate cooked meat and veggies, then top with fresh herbs and a leftover veggie puree — no need to add extra ingredients or cook time.
Beef leftover meals
Image via pattysplate
This leftover meal turns your cooked beef into a breakfast-worthy dish you can enjoy anytime. Roast veggies (or gently re-heat some you already made), then add leftover shreds of beef and top it all with cooked eggs. Stay more Bulletproof on this recipe and keep your yolks runny to preserve their nourishing fats.
Image via Primal Palate
Instead of using a grain-filled tortilla, this leftover meal creates a wrap using a gently cooked egg. Stuff it with leftover taco meat (or any leftover beef you have on hand) and garnish with fresh cilantro. To keep this one more Bulletproof, skip the onion.
Image via The Castaway Kitchen
This impressive leftover meal makes use of both meatballs and zoodles you already cooked. Cook them with eggs and top with pesto for a fresh, grain-free spin on spaghetti and meatballs. To stay more Bulletproof, use a dairy-free pesto and coconut cream in the recipe.
Poultry leftover meals
Make the most of your leftover chicken with this rice-free sushi wrap. In just minutes, you can whip up a protein-packed sushi roll with leftover chicken and avocado slices — or your favorite leftover meats and veggies.
Image via Ancestral Nutrition
No crust needed: This leftover meal tastes just like pot pie filling, uses your leftover chicken or turkey, and packs your bowl with tender veggies and fresh herbs. For a more Bulletproof soup, use coconut cream, pastured bone broth, and grass-fed butter — plus, skip the potatoes or swap them with radishes.
Image via Paleo Running Momma
This warm leftover meal creates a salad-like mix with cooked chicken or turkey, homemade mayo, cranberries, and pecans. Add it all to a bed of lettuce, and your meal gets the perfect balance of crunchy, chewy textures. Stay more Bulletproof with this recipe and skip the onion powder, use raw pecans, get unsweetened dried cranberries, and use an avocado oil mayo.
Image via Paleohacks
Don’t toss your leftover turkey carcass! This meal transforms it into a flavorful broth, then adds chunky veggies and leftover turkey for a totally soothing soup. To stay more Bulletproof, use a pastured turkey, skip the mushrooms, and swap the onion and garlic for your favorite herbs.
Image via PinkWhen
Get all the savory flavor of a BLT without the bread using this leftover meal recipe. In minutes, you can whip up a satisfying salad with cooked turkey, avocado, crisp bacon, and fresh lettuce. To keep it more Bulletproof, skip the tomato if you are sensitive to nightshades.
Image via Paleo Running Momma
This leftover recipe transforms your cooked chicken into a party-ready appetizer. Drench the meat in a spicy, creamy sauce made out of hot sauce, mayo, and coconut cream — and don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the coconut. Stay more Bulletproof and use an avocado oil mayo and a hot sauce made with apple cider vinegar. Skip the garlic and onions as well, or just avoid eating them very often.
Image via The Healthy Maven
If you have leftover poultry and cranberry sauce from your holiday meal, this recipe works double duty and uses them both. Mix them together with green onions, crisp celery, and spices for a fresh take on lunch. Keep this one more Bulletproof and use raw walnuts and an avocado oil mayo, plus omit the garlic and get the freshest spices possible.
Sweet potato leftover meals
This leftover meal uses your cooked sweet potatoes to create a batter for light and crisp waffles without the grains. Bonus: These crispy waffles get an extra protein boost from heat-safe, grass-fed collagen peptides.
Image via Eat Heal Thrive
For a paleo-friendly take on a classic Irish dish, look no further than this leftover meal recipe. This dish creates savory veggie patties out of cooked sweet potato, cooked cabbage, and herbs. To keep it all more Bulletproof, avoid eating onions too often, and fry your patties in grass-fed ghee.
This leftover meal makes a sweet, frosty treat out of your leftover cooked sweet potato. Blend it together with grass-fed collagen and whey protein, along with a chocolatey cacao butter, for the ultimate paleo smoothie.
Image via Paleo Gluten Free Eats
If you would rather scoop your breakfast than sip it, this leftover meal still makes the most of your pre-cooked sweet potato. This recipe uses it as base for filling breakfast toppings like blueberries, almond butter, and non-dairy milk. To stay more Bulletproof, swap the almond milk with full-fat canned coconut milk, use raw almond butter, top with fresh blueberries, and pick up Ceylon cinnamon.
Leftover meals with rice
For carb refeed days on a cyclical keto diet, rice is an optimal choice — and this leftover meal transforms leftover rice into a sweet, creamy treat. Just toss your rice in a saucepan with butter, fresh strawberries, and coconut milk, and cook it down until it becomes a thick, creamy pudding.
Image via Beyond Kimchee
Turn your cooked rice into a totally snackable dish with this leftover meal recipe. Roll rice up with add-ins like crisp bacon, carrots, and ginger for an ultra-flavorful dish. To stay more Bulletproof, use pastured bacon, skip the garlic and mushrooms, and use avocado oil or grass-fed ghee instead of olive oil.
With this leftover meal, cooked and cooled rice becomes a simple yet flavorful lunch or dinner. Skip the rice cooking step and roll it together with layers of wild-caught smoked salmon, then top with creamy mayo and a sprig of dill.
Fish leftover meals
Skip chicken nuggets and make dippable, snackable fish cakes using this leftover meal recipe. Combine tender cooked fish with herbs and spices, then fry in ghee and top with a cool and creamy avocado sauce. Dinner is on the table in under 20 minutes!
Image via Step Away From The Carbs
This light and simple leftover meal adds cooked salmon to a bed of greens and tops it with a tart and tangy lemon vinaigrette. To keep it more Bulletproof, swap white wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar, and grind the black pepper fresh from high-quality peppercorns.
Image via Eating Richly
Knock out your leftover white rice and fish with this sushi-inspired leftover meal. This recipe loads your rice bowl with sushi toppings like fresh avocado, cucumber, nori strips, and chiles for a totally flavorful dish. Stay more Bulletproof and swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos, skip the sesame seeds, and avoid chiles if you are sensitive to nightshades.
Image via Tried and Tasty
This leftover meal repurposes your cooked salmon in a simple fish salad, all wrapped up with avocado and herbs. To keep it more Bulletproof, swap the yogurt with avocado oil mayo and use green onions instead of regular onion.
Leftover meals with bread
Transform leftover coconut flour bread (or any keto-friendly bread) into a luscious open-faced sandwich with this leftover meal idea. This version packs your BLT with fiber-rich produce like spinach and avocado.
You can turn any keto or paleo loaf of bread into crisp, seasoned breadsticks with this recipe. Simply fry them in buttery ghee until golden brown, and sprinkle with garlic and salt for 10-minute side dish that satisfies.
Leftover bread creates the perfect low-carb take on a sweet breakfast classic. With this leftover meal, you’ll fry your bread slices in ghee before slathering on a rich coconut yogurt topping. Add berries, cinnamon, or cacao nibs for a simple, elegant breakfast.
If you have leftover low-carb bread on hand, skip the English muffin steps in this breakfast dish and use it to create your own leftover meal. Use this recipe to create a rich hollandaise sauce and poached egg for a rich and flavorful breakfast without the carb crash.
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