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Things to do with your leftovers

Instead of putting leftovers into the bin, why not use them for tomorrow's ingredients? Here are some great ideas of what you can do with your food to give it a second life.



  • Make smoothies or juices from soft or 'over-ripe' fruits
  • Stewed fruit or fruit pies are a great way to use up apples, pears and berries
  • Freeze excess lemon or lime juice in ice block trays for later use in cooking
  • Scald and puree tomatoes to make an instant pasta sauce
  • Brown or black bananas are perfect for making banana bread


  • Grate cast off cheese into omelette or frittata
  • Use up extra milk in a creamy pasta sauce, or freeze for later use
  • Use yoghurt in a creamy smoothie or as ingredients in baking muffins

Bread and Pasta

  • Blend stale bread to make breadcrumbs or use as toast to serve with dips
  • Create a pasta bake using last night's pasta, just add cheese and pasta sauce
  • Leftover rice is perfect for making fried rice, rice balls and sweet puddings


  • Vegetables that are starting to wilt can be made into a soup
  • They make a great base for a crock pot meal or veggie pasta
  • Blend them up to make a dip or add some stock or water to make a yummy soup

Meat and Fish

  • Buy a whole chicken or fish and boil the bones for stock, which will freeze well too.
  • A bit of tuna could be added to pasta and made into a pasta bake
  • Chop bacon into an omelette or frittata, or creamy pasta bake

Check out this guide to commonly wasted foods and learn about how you can get more from the things we waste the most.

Compost or Leftovers?

Did you know that you can make a pesto out of carrot and celery tops? Or that you can cook up the greens from beets, turnips, or brussels sprouts? There are a lot of ways to cook with vegetable and fruit "scraps".

Celery Leaves

Add to soups and stews for a deep, celery flavour or chop up fine and put in a salad.

Broccoli Stems

Chop up the stems and use in your next stir-fry, soup or casserole.

Broth or Stock

Save your veggie peelings like onion and garlic peel. carrot ends, mushroom stems and stems from fresh herbs and spices, place in a container, label and freeze. Once you have enough, just pop them into a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a rolling boil. Simmer for an hour, then strain out the scraps. 

Mushroom Stems

Chop up and add to filling mixture for stuffed mushrooms, soups or casseroles.

Have a go at creating your own "leftover" soup using this recipe from Jo Richardson, The Kitchen Therapist.

leftover ends used for soup