College students and pizza. It's a love story that has stood the test of time. Pizza is a comfort and go-to, but it can get old after a couple (or ten) slices. It can easily become leftover pizza that can go to waste just as easily.
Personally, it causes me physical pain to throw out perfectly good food—leftovers are king! It's easy to think that an entire pizza can't be repurposed into anything different, but I challenged myself to do that and save the leftover pizza.
In doing this, I quickly realized I needed to look at everything differently (very philosophical, I know). You can't do much with a slice of pizza as is, but if you break it down, it becomes brand new. You can make it work in a variety of different ways.
For the record, I am not a professional chef—just a girl who hates wasting food. So I won't go so far as to call these recipes. They're more like little guides. I encourage creativity, especially in leftovers.
Depending on your personal preference, your pizza might be loaded down with ingredients or it could be more plain Jane. Either way, there is hope. My particular pizza was cheese with crumbled sausage and mushrooms, so it was pretty substantial.
The key is removing the topping from the crust, which isn't hard if it has been in the fridge. My best suggestions are to reheat and rehydrate those toppings in a sauté pan with some fresh oil and seasonings, and from there, you can use it with pasta, repurpose it in a lasagna filling, or make a fun pizza dip for an appetizer.
The crust is a little more tricky to work with because it can get a little, well, crusty. There are some creative uses for it, though. My first idea was to make your own Italian-style breadcrumbs. Use whatever it is you use to pulverize and cut up the crust into smaller pieces. Throw the pieces in with some fresh seasonings, and you have your own wonderful smelling breadcrumbs.
Another use is to make your own "crackers." I tossed the larger pieces with oil and seasonings and threw them in the oven for a few minutes. You can eat these little snacks with bruschetta or cheese.
Remember: leftovers are exciting, not scary.