Leftover Makeovers

Leftover Makeovers

This is a guest post written by Barb from Cultivating Motherhood.

I have always been a fan of making sure food doesn’t go to waste. The problem is, I get very bored with having leftover meals. It’s not that I can’t make myself eat them, they are just boring. During any given week, my family might have 3-4 leftover meals just sitting in the fridge because we’ve avoided eating them. (Well, I’ve avoided eating them, my husband has no problem with leftovers.)

I wanted a way to make leftovers more exciting. This is how my leftover makeovers were created! It isn’t a revolutionary idea or anything, but it’s so practical. I wanted to find a way to make new meals out of the leftovers that we already had in the fridge.

Recently we used roasted chicken that we had for dinner one night to make white bean chicken chili the next night. We roast a whole chicken often since it always gives us plenty of leftover chicken to make other meals with.(Since we get all of our chickens from a local farm I do not like wasting any of the chicken.)

Whole Cooked Chicken

For the chili, after dinner I pulled the leftover chicken off of the bones. The next evening, I just had to cut the veggies and cook.

Chicken Chili Prep

For this recipe, I added carrots, jalapeño, onion, corn, celery, green pepper, garlic, chicken stock, water, white beans, and spices. (I’ll occasionally add lentils to help thicken.)

Chicken Chili

I cooked the chili it in a stock pot, but this could easily be turned into a crockpot meal.

Bowl of Chicken Chili

Voila! A delicious leftover makeover!

The best part is that this batch of chili left us with enough to freeze for another meal! We are only a family of three so we are often have plenty of leftovers. If your family is larger, you can still do the same thing but start by roasting two chickens.

Other leftover makeovers from roasted chicken:

  • Chicken quesdaillas
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Chicken salad for lunch
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Chicken fajitas

Although many of these things are meals that you might make without using leftovers, I always find it easier to make these meals when I don’t have to cook the meat on the day of cooking. It makes the process much faster and makes it feel like a grand meal without much effort.

I’m always looking for new ideas on how to make leftovers more exciting and hope this will inspire you to try some leftover creations of your own!

Barb is wife and mother to a fun and spunky 22 month old tot Liam. She works full time as a pediatric nurse, but thinks her most important job is taking care of her family and home. She’s a breast feeding, cloth diapering, natural living, Pinterest obsessed mama who’s still figuring it all out. While she may be sleep deprived, busy, and slightly neurotic, she loves blogging about it all at Cultivating Motherhood.

responses to “Leftover Makeovers” 4

  1. Leftover "makeovers" definitely help us get through leftovers sometimes as well! My favorite leftover makeover is "taco eggs!" We take any leftover taco meat and cook it up with eggs and potatoes and top with cheese – like a skillet. If we have it we also add in bell peppers and onions. We top with salsa, sour cream and/or hot sauce! It's delicious! It is also good in warm tortillas as a breakfast burrito! Such a fun way to use up that leftover taco meat!

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