10 Great Ways to Make the Most of Your Leftovers

Everyone of us, at one time or another, has made a delicious meal only to be left with leftovers. In my household, I constantly have food left over after a meal. I tend to cook far more than I need simply because I love cooking. I honestly hate to waste, but I don't always want the same dinner two nights in a row. That's when it's time to get creative. There is no reason to throw out leftover food, especially when most ingredients can be recreated into a whole new meal! Read on to discover some of the best Middle Eastern foods that, when leftover, can be used again to create an entirely different dish!

  • 01 of 10


    Hummus with pita bread
    Quentin Bacon / Getty Images

    The Middle East's most popular dip can be reused in so many ways. I make hummus all the time and I am always left with leftovers. No matter what kind of hummus you make, you can easily use it again to make something different. Hummus makes a great filling for veggies, like tomatoes, or deviled eggs with hummus. Hummus also makes a delicious spread on sandwiches in place of mayo, or it makes a fabulous sandwich in itself. Think hummus sandwich, hummus and veggie melt, and hummus and cucumber sandwich. You also shouldn't forget hummus pizza!

  • 02 of 10


    Chicken kabobs
    Dennis Lane Photography / Getty Images

    Kebabs are great for use in other dishes. One of my favorites ways to resuse kebabs after a delicious night's dinner is to turn them into breakfast the next morning. A leftover kebab omelet resuses most, if not all, ingredients you can use in a kebab. Veggies and meat can be chopped into smaller pieces and become the perfect filling for an egg omelet.

  • 03 of 10

    Grilled Chicken Breast

    Grilled chicken breasts
    sf_foodphoto / Getty Images

    With grilled chicken, the possibilities for using leftovers are practically endless. Leftover grilled chicken can be sliced into small pieces for use in a chicken pita sandwich. They can also be used as is for chicken pilaf. Pieces of chicken can also be used in just about any salad that you like.

  • 04 of 10

    Pita Chips

    Homemade Spicy Pita Chips, Selective focus macro.
    rojoimages / Getty Images

    The chance of having leftover pita chips may be rare, but if you have more pita chips than you can eat (as chips), use them in other dishes! Nothing beats the way pita chips absorb salad dressing.

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  • 05 of 10


    Tabouleh wheat salad

    The Spruce 

    Tabbouleh is one of my favorite salads to eat the next day, but if I've made too much then I need to use it for something different. A great way to use leftover tabbouleh is in a tabbouleh pita wrap. There is lots of flavor from the tabbouleh already, so some simple lettuce leaves and pita bread make this the ultimate snack or light lunch.

  • 06 of 10


    Lamb koftas with tzatziki
    Philip Wilkins / Getty Images

    No matter how you make your kofta - grilled, baked, fried or broiled - it can be reused. My favorite way is in a kofta pita sandwich. Imagine leftover kofta, but paired with pita bread, fresh veggies, and a little bit of hummus. Mmm Mmm good!

  • 07 of 10

    Ful Medames

    Ful medames - Egyptian,Sudanese dish
    MychkoAlezander / Getty Images

    Ful medames is a popular breakfast dish in Egypt. It is usually served with a fried egg and pita bread. By chance you've made an abundance of ful medames, turn them into ful nabed! Fool nabed is an Egyptian soup made from fava beans. In fool nabed, fava beans are pureed in a blender, and made into a soup. Use your leftovers from ful medames to puree.

  • 08 of 10

    White Rice

    White rice

    The Spruce 

    Actually, you can use white or any kind of rice you have as leftovers. Rice is one food that I can easily make too much of. Stored properly, rice can be resued. If you've had plain rice as a side dish, use it the next day in stuffed green peppers or stuffed tomatoes.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Pita Bread

    Pita Bread

    The Spruce

    Pita bread is another food that can be used for so much. It can be used to dip into hummus, filled with veggies or meat for a sandwich, or used in salad. Leftover pita bread, or any kind of bread you choose, can be torn into pieces and made into fattoush. Fattoush is a delicious bread and vegetable salad made with loads of fresh veggies, of your choice, and toasted bread.

  • 10 of 10

    Fresh Vegetables

    Assorted sautéed vegetables
    Hillary Kladke / Getty Images

    While fresh vegetables are not necessarily considered a leftover, sometimes I buy far too many veggies than I can use in a dish and I'm left with some fabulous produce that may end up going to waste. If I've used some carrots, celery, or cucumbers as a dipping tool for hummus, I can use my leftovers in salads like date, walnut, and celery salad, carrot raisin salad, or khyar bi laban. A great way to use up onions quickly is to make onion rings. Grilled eggplant can be turned into moutabel. Veggies can also be chopped and used on kebabs or in soups.