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Feb 24, 2008 12:25 PM

What do you make when you need leftovers next day?


I have just realized that it will help my busy Monday night schedule tremendously if I plan to always make something on Sunday nights that will allow for leftovers. There are just two of us but my husband is a big eater, so things I would have thought would allow for leftovers, typically don't :-) I've done meatloaf for this purpose and that works, but I don't want to be doing that every week. Ditto for a Mexican casserole.

I try to cook relatively healthy, but tasty! Any ideas that will fit the bill would be greatly appreciated - I'm thinking along the lines of casseroles and crockpot dishes, but am very open to other possibilities that I haven't thought of - that's why I'm here.

Thanks in advance,

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  1. For leftovers, I love making lasagna, but it's not exactly healthy! Also, I recommend Japanese curry. It's super easy to make, relatively healthy (relative to lasagna, anyway), and if you make a huge stockpot full of it and a bunch of rice, you'll be set for another couple meals. Plus, curry is (in my opinion) one of those things that actually tastes better after a day or two.

    1. This white bean, leek & spinach soup is so simple and one of my absolute favorites, especially for leftovers during the week. Very healthy, but you can beef it up by adding sausage.

      I also cook a lot of recipes from Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Mujadara is easy, filling and re-heats well. I'll have that with a merguez sausage and some rocket and I'm good to go.

      There's also a great chickpea and chicken (thighs) recipe from that cookbook that is great for leftovers, too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MB fka MB

        Yes, lentils! They're good and good for you, and reheat nicely. I like the french puy lentils especially. Serve under baked salmon on Sunday, refrigerate, and mix in some sausage and spinach on Monday and reheat.

        For just regular leftovers during the week, I'll make a chicken, eggplant & mushroom casserole w/ tomato sauce, penne and cheese.

        1. re: MB fka MB

          This soup looks great, I'll be making it this weeked with some sausage.


        2. I agree with the Japanese curry idea! I'm addicted to Saveur's recipe for Wafuu - Japanese chicken and potato curry - it's very yummy. And lucky it's avaiilable online:

          I also have fallen in love with Dave Lieberman's Mexican Chicken Stew recipe - quick & simple to made with rotisserie chicken as he did it in his show, and easily doubled.


          1 Reply
          1. re: kpzoo

            I made this chicken stew recipe and it's really great the day after. So simple, fast, healthy and flavorful! I will def. add this to my repertoire.

          2. I am not a real fan of leftovers and am replying to your post to urge you to consider a a pressure cooker. Wonderful fresh and healthy meals in minutes. We both use our several times a week. Risotto in 7.5 minutes? Split Pea soup in about 10 and you will need to chop some carrot and onion. Beef stew in about 35. You can even make a cheesecake in a PC.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Candy

              How long does your pressure cooker take to get up to steam? I have an old Presto one and when you add the warm up time it takes at least an hour all together. Have there been improvements in this since the 70s when I received mine? If so, it might be worth getting a new one.

              1. re: coll

                I think a lot of it is going to depend on your range. It is worth getting a new one, they are much safer than they used to be. Mine is Stainless tri-ply with an aluminum core for more even heating too.

                1. re: Candy

                  I have a Viking gas range so I'm OK there. For some reason I've never been afraid of explosions like most people, probably because I never saw one in real life; everyone I know seems to have a horror story from their childhood. Never even replaced the gasket, still looks good to me! Just lucky I guess....well my birthdays coming up so something to think about. Before I learned the low and slow oven method, it was the only way I could get tender meat.

              2. re: Candy

                25 minute short ribs w/wide egg noodles, a very quick meal.

                coll, my new 6qt presto probably takes about 15-20 mins to get up to steam.

                1. re: azhotdish

                  Thanks, now I don't feel so old fashioned!

              3. Soup works well. A sandwich or salad can be added if it's not particularly hearty.

                Chili. You can do chicken chili if you want to try to be healthier. Or replace the beef with ground turkey.

                Lasagna or baked ziti can be made *slightly* more healthy by using part skim ricotta and mozz, and adding in some veggies.

                Lean beef stew in the crockpot. Easy reheat, too.

                Not healthy, but mac and cheese makes for nice leftovers.

                Swedish meatballs can be made in the crockpot. Or regular meatballs in red sauce.

                Shepherd's pie goes over well in my house and makes for good leftovers. I use extra lean ground beef (like Laura's).

                Good luck. I'm sure I'll think of more ideas as soon as I post this :)