When you live on a budget, groceries need to stretch. Make leftovers new with these 7 tips to stretch your grocery budget farther.
You know that chicken broccoli skillet recipe on the back of the condensed cream of broccoli soup can? I made it for my family, but I was not feeling like eating the leftovers. It did not go to waste, though. I came up with an idea to make the chicken broccoli and rice leftovers more appetizing. I turned them into a soup!
Here is the recipe and 6 more ideas to make leftovers new.
Chicken Broccoli Rice Soup (from leftovers!)
2 t olive oil
about 2 Cups Chicken-Broccoli-Rice skillet recipe leftovers
1/4-1/2 C onion, finely diced
1/4 C shredded cheddar
1 box (32 oz) chicken
stock-I use low sodium
salt, pepper to taste
extra cheddar and/or croutons for garnish (optional)
In a stock pot, drizzle in the olive oil and heat on medium. Add the diced onions and saute until the onions are soft (5 or so minutes). While onion is cooking, remove pieces of chicken from the leftovers and cut into bite-sized pieces if not done already.
Add in the chicken and skillet leftovers and pour in the entire box of broth. (You can add more or less depending on how much of the leftovers you have.) Stir it together.
Bring the soup to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Stir periodically-the rice will actually thicken the soup as it cooks and since everything is already cooked, you are really just heating it up.
When you taste this you will not believe that there is no cream in it!
Before serving, add the cheddar cheese (if desired) and mix into soup. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. You can garnish each bowl with additional shreds of cheese or seasoned croutons if you like.
Quick tip: Croutons work really well as a soup thickener or just adding a little extra flavor as a garnish.
More ways to make leftovers new:
Leftover pasta and leftover sauce
Place the leftover pasta in a 9×9 or 9×13 pan. Top with extra veggies and/or diced lunch meat and pour over the leftover sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese and bake at 350F until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, and the dish is heated through.
Leftover pasta sauce can be used as pizza sauce
Spoon onto a pizza crust-we use individual wheat pizza crusts so everyone can make their own-the kids love this! Add chopped veggies. (This is a great way to use up random extra veggies like zucchini, cucumber, extra bell pepper, etc. Let your kids decide which one or two they want to put on their pizza.) You can add shredded cheese, extra chicken or lunch meat if you want to add protein. Bake until cheese is melted.
Quick Tip: Use tortillas if you don’t have individual pizza crusts on hand.
Leftover pork loin
We occasionally buy pork loins. Normally there are two loins in a package. One is enough for our family of four, but I cook both to save time. Use the leftover cooked loin in a stir fry:
Chop some onion, bell pepper, and garlic and ginger if you have it-if not, you can use dry. I heat up some oil in a wok or electric skillet, add the onion, bell pepper, and seasonings. Saute them together until onion is soft. Add in the chopped pork loin. Saute together until the pork is warmed. I season to taste and use soy sauce instead of salt on this one for more ‘stir fry’ flavor. Serve it all over rice.
Quick tip: Use leftover roast chicken (or an extra chicken breast) to add protein to a salad. I do this for lunch a lot. Cook a whole package of chicken breasts and place them in a container in the fridge. It is easy to take out one chicken breast, chop it and add it to a salad.
Have you improvised with leftovers to make a great ‘new’ meal for your family? Share in the comments below.
This post is featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Recipes and Meal Planning Tips.
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