Best Leftover Recipes

Cook once, eat twice

Pesto salmon pasta
Pesto salmon pasta. Rick Poon/Moment/Getty Images

Leftovers have a bad reputation. Most people remember dry meatloaf, reheated again and again, or an overcooked casserole that just isn't appealing any more. These delicious leftover recipes are different!

In each of the recipe sets below, you cook one meal, saving some of the food for another recipe that you can make in the next few days. And don't worry - the original, or starter recipe is very easy too! The time savings are really incredible, and it just gives you a good feeling knowing that half your work for tonight's dinner is already done.

Always refrigerate any perishable foods, such as cooked meat, chicken, seafood, or pork, or any dish with eggs or cheese, promptly. None of these foods should be out of refrigeration longer than 2 hours; 1 hour if the temperature is above 80°F. Cover the food tightly with plastic wrap or foil and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them again.

Make sure that you plan carefully for these meals. If the first recipe makes four servings and there are four people in your family, you'll need to increase the original recipe so you'll have enough food leftover for the second day. For instance, in the Peach Glazed Ham Steak Recipe, purchase, prepare, and grill two ham steaks so you'll have leftovers for the salad.

Feel free to substitute your family's favorite ingredients in the following recipes. And make sure you follow strict food safety rules, refrigerating the leftovers promptly in shallow containers, covering them well so they don't dry out in the fridge, and using them within 2-3 days. Enjoy these recipes!

Cook Once Eat Twice


Chicken Breasts

Salmon Steaks


Ground Chicken

Roast Chicken

  • First Meal: Myron's Crockpot Roast Chicken
  • Second Meal: Chicken Pesto Croissant Sandwiches

Chicken Risotto

Turkey Breast


  • First Meal: Marinated Steak
  • Second Meal: Grilled Sirloin Steak and Corn Salad


  • First Meal: Clam Linguine
  • Second Meal: Pasta and Clam Chowder

Ham Steak

  • First Meal: Peach Glazed Ham Steak
  • Second Meal: Ham Tortellini Caesar Salad