If you're like me, you know food often gets lost in the abyss of your fridge (like that container of beans way in the back that you're not 100% sure whether or not it's still good to eat...) Leftovers can be wonderful if you've made something delicious the day before and need an easy thing to throw in your lunch box for work or school. But what about all those random bits and pieces from meals that don't make a complete dish by themselves? It can be difficult to want to eat these odds and ends if they don't seem appealing. They often end up just sitting forlorn in the fridge until they start to get a little fuzzy. After all, mold likes to eat the same things we do! If you want to avoid this problem and cut down on your food waste, revamping your leftovers into a new dish can be a fun creative process and save you some money and the environment!

If you have leftover...


College, college cooking, Cooking, homemade, Rice noodles, noodles, Thai food, Thai, Thai peanut sauce, Thai Peanut Rice Noodles, Noodle Pull, Lifting Noodles
Amy Dong

Pasta can get kind of stale in the refrigerator, so revitalize it by turning it into a casserole or baking it like this cheesy pasta bake . You can also make a quick stir fry with longer noodles like spaghetti, egg noodles, or rice noodles. Try this lemon-basil stir fry if you need some inspiration, but anything asian is a sure hit. If you have leftover Mac & Cheese, try making cheesy pasta fritters!

Rice or Grains

rice, cereal, risotto
Jocelyn Hsu

Rice can last for a while, and it's great to add to different stir fries or curries for some good carbohydrates. Want something a little fancier? Try making sushi rolls, onigiri (rice cakes wrapped in seaweed), or DIY rice cakes instead of getting the store-bought version!


cereal, coffee, black beans, beans, vegetable, azuki bean, pasture, legume, kidney bean
Zoe Malin

 Beans are a great source of protein and super versatile ingredients! They can easily be added to tacos, curries, buddha bowls, you name it! There are also a ton of veggie bean burger recipes you can try, like this sweet potato black bean burger . You can also turn beans into hummus with some tahini, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper and the aid of a blender. It doesn't have to be chickpeas! I've made a smoother hummus using cannelloni beans and you can use black beans in this hummus recipe. 

Fruit (about to go bad?)

apple, juice, sweet, pasture
Santina Renzi

Fruit thats on it's last end and starting to go a bit soft is great to use for smoothies, either right away or freeze to use later on. You can also use a wide variety of fruits in different crisps and crumbles or jams and jellies. Have a lot of apples? Make cider or apple sauce! Bananas? Try looking at the vast amount of baked goods that use bananas as substitutes (e.g. cookies, banana bread, pancakes, and so on). You can also use bananas in nice-cream for a frozen summer treat. 

Vegetables (on their way out)

vegetable, pasture, pepper
Kristine Mahan

Most vegetables are super easy to freeze for later to use as stock, in stir fries or curries, and add to different soups for some extra flavor and nutrients. You can throw veggies like spinach into smoothies, use carrots for juice or in carrot cake, or make homemade tomato sauce out of old tomatoes! You can also easily fry basically anything and make really delicious fritters using old squash like in these zucchini corn fritters

What are some things you guys often find leftover in your fridge and want to use up? Send your requests or share any creative ideas our way in the comments!