9 Ways to Give Leftovers a Lift

“Leftovers … again?” You won’t hear that complaint once you try these tricks from Taste of Home readers.

“Leftovers … again?” You won’t hear that complaint once you try these tricks from Taste of Home readers. Your family will want seconds from your second-time-around servings!

1. Meat Makeover. “Even a small amount of leftover meat like pork or lamb can help make a super sandwich spread,” assures Linda U. of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. “I grind the meat with a bit of onion, celery, salt and pepper, then mix it with mayonnaise.”

2. “Soup-er” Beef and Noodles. When Melissa S. of Centreville, Michigan, fixes beef and noodles for her four daughters and husband, she turns the leftovers into soup. “To the chopped-up beef and noodles, I add a large can of tomato juice and a couple cans of any vegetables I have on hand,” Melissa explains. “It usually makes enough so I can put some in the freezer for a day when we need a quick meal.”

3. Steak Stretcher. Reports Jane P. of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, “I thicken beef broth to make a gravy, then add cut-up pieces of steak or roast beef and some French-style green beans. I serve this over mashed potatoes or rice, just like my mother-in-law used to do. It’s a satisfying supper even if there’s only a small amount of meat left.”

4. Meat Loaf Miracle. “Dip leftover slices of meat loaf into beaten egg, then coat with bread crumbs,” suggests Joan B. of Lisbon, Connecticut. “Fry in butter on both sides until hot and golden. They taste so good — like beef cutlets!”

5. Sloppy Joe Saver. From Austin, Minnesota, Carol E. writes, “Spread leftover Sloppy Joe meat in a casserole dish. Place sliced process cheese over the meat and top the cheese with homemade or refrigerator biscuits. Bake until the biscuits are done. I prepare extra sloppy Joe meat to be sure we have leftovers to use this way.”

6. Tacos Transformed. Denise S. of New Bern, North Carolina, uses leftover ground beef taco meat to make chili. “The zippy flavors blend well,” she says. “If you have any leftover shredded lettuce and tomatoes, they make a great salad with the simple addition of carrots and green peppers.”

7. Mashed Potato Mix-Up. “My favorite way to use up leftover mashed potatoes is to mix them with an egg, chopped green onion, and Parmesan cheese,” writes Angela B. of Guelph, Ontario. “I put it in a casserole dish, sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, and heat in the oven
until golden brown.”

8. Cabbage and Potato Scramble. “Chop up leftover boiled cabbage and potatoes,” advises Mary S. of Griffin, Georgia. “Melt butter in a pan, add the cabbage and potatoes with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, and cook on medium heat, stirring often until crisp. Delicious!”

9. Vegetable Surprise. Mary S. of York, Pennsylvania, recommends draining leftover vegetables well and adding them to an omelet along with a bit of shredded cheese.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest