No matter what you pay for your meat, it is a valuable food that should not be wasted if at all possible. Actually, by some planning ahead, you can have what has been termed as “pre-meditated leftovers.” Make enough meat to last several meals, and you will reduce your cooking time by having pre-cooked meat available.
Instead of sighing because you have leftover meat, think of it is this way: you have a head start on your next meal because your meat is already cooked!
1. Freeze your leftover meat.
If you will not to be able to use up your meat before it spoils, the best course of action is to freeze it. I have done that before with various meats. Just be sure to label the package with the date and use it up in a timely manner.
2. Use your leftover meat in a soup.
If you do not have much meat leftover (enough for only half your family members, for example), use it in a soup. Another bonus to using leftover meat in a soup is that your soup is about halfway ready before you start cooking since the meat is already cooked. You can also use any leftover vegetables from a meal in your soup. The way I make soups and salads is just add whatever is in the refrigerator and sounds good at the time. How is that for a detailed recipe? 🙂
3. Add your leftover meat to an omelet.
If you are running out of time to make dinner and have eggs and leftover meat, you can have a meal on the table in less than half an hour! Who does not love breakfast for dinner once in a while? Add a side salad, and you area ready to eat.
4. Add leftover meat to a salad.
When I suggest to some people to eat more salads, they tend to say that salads do not keep them feeling full for very long. In return, I ask them if they have ever added meat to their salad. I eat a salad at least once a day for a meal, and I often add leftover ground beef to the salad to make it a more filling meal.
5. Create an entire different meal with your meat by using different seasonings.
Add taco seasonings to leftover ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken), and you have the start of taco salad, tacos, or burrito bowls. One friend says she always cooks meat with just salt so that the meat can be used in a variety of ways. However, if you have already seasoned the meat, you can still be creative and make another meal out of it.
6. Use leftover meat in sandwiches.
Leftover roast beef or chicken can be used to make a sandwich, and you will be saving money by not buying lunch meat. Plus, the leftover meat will taste better and have fewer preservatives. If you do not have quite enough chicken and need to make several sandwiches, make chicken salad sandwiches! Or, just add a slice of tomato and extra spinach or lettuce. 🙂
7. Use leftover meat in a casserole.
One of the benefits of making a casserole is that you don’t really need as much meat as in what is in most recipes. You also can use whatever meat you have.
8. Use leftover meat to make a pot pie.
Pot pie is an excellent way to use up leftover meat, whether it is ground meat or leftover roast
9. Use leftover meat any way you would use fresh meat!
There really are no “wrong” ways to use leftover meat. Just make sure that you refrigerate your leftovers in a timely manner and use them up before they spoil (again, refer to the first point and freeze your meat before it spoils).
What is your favorite way to use up leftover meat? Please share in the comments below.
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Thanks for all the great ideas! I like to add thinly sliced leftover meat to leftover rice and veggies and make fried rice for a quick and delicious lunch or supper.
Cara, my pleasure! Thank you for your kind words. Your way of using leftover meat sounds amazing. 🙂
Great idea! Even when you won’t have e leftovers from a particular recipe you can also just make extra to use for the future.
Beth, you are really thinking! Thank you for your kind words. 🙂