food, glorious food / grilling

How to Love Your Leftovers!

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We all struggle to figure out what to do with leftovers sometimes. Whether you’ve made way too much of something, or just forgot that it was at the back of the fridge, we’ve got some tips to help you see yesterday’s meals in a new light. Here are some of your biggest questions about leftovers, answered!

How long do leftovers last in the fridge?

Leftover cooked food is usually good to eat for 3-4 days in the fridge. If you have more than you can eat in that time, we recommend portioning it out and then freezing it to buy yourself more time. Just be sure to periodically clean out your freezer the same way you’d clean out your fridge so frozen leftovers are not forgotten!

How do you make leftovers more interesting?

Keep a variety of different sauces and dressings on hand to give your leftovers a new identity or brighten them up. Tangy and/or herbaceous sauces like ginger scallion or chimichurri are particularly good for this!

When in doubt, get creative. Leftover roasted veggies can get a second life nestled in tacos, on a rice bowl, or as a pizza topping.

Want more tips? Check out our guide to making your leftovers into the “bestovers!”

What can I do with wilted veggies like celery or carrots?

These are perfect candidates for a batch of homemade vegetable stock! If you can’t make some now, freeze your carrots along with other veggie scraps, like fennel tops, mushroom stems, or leek greens, and make some later.

Can you really not store leftover open cans in the fridge?

You can, but should try to avoid it. The answer has more to do with keeping your food from tasting old and “canned” than it being an issue of food safety. Curious why? The full answer is honestly quite interesting.

How do I generate fewer leftovers?

Way to attack the problem at the source! If you’re looking to create fewer leftovers in the first place, start by planning meals and tracking what you already have at home. One of the best meal planning tools we know for calculating how much you’ll need for the week or that upcoming dinner party is the “guestimator” from Save the Food.


  • Annie Howland
    August 12, 2019 at 1:05 am

    I adore scrambled eggs with leftover veggies like zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. And fruit that had gotten a little overdue is perfect for smoothies.

    • Imperfect
      August 12, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      This is a great idea! That way you start the day by using up leftovers. Brilliant! We’re big fans of the smoothie approach, too.


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