Recipes with leftover food

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Cooked too much food and don’t want to throw it away nor feed the folks drab leftovers or just don’t have the time to cook up an elaborate meal. Times like these use your imagination and everything that you can find in the kitchen to give a brand new avatar to last night’s meal. Here are a few ideas to get you going. 

Boiled too much pasta?


In India we would call yummy cheese centered aranchini  - Chawal ke pakode.  Whatever you call them be rest assured they are crunchy, delicious and fuss free. If you have leftover pulao, noodles or tempered rice it’s even better! 

Bake it – Layer leftover rice or pasta with veggies and a white or tomato sauce and finally some breadcrumbs and cheese and bake to perfection for a whole new look to last night’s meal. 

India to Mexico


While making rotis it’s good to make a few extra so you can indulge in these delish enchiladas the next day. Use any stuffing you like. Baked beans and cheese work great. 

Nachos / Tacos-

Crisp up left over rotis on a pan and add beans, sour cream, salsa and cheese for an Indian twist to a Mexican favourite! 

Breaking bread 

Croutons and Breadcrumbs-

Panzanella salad is a classic recipe and the best part is that it calls for bread a day or two too old. Rub a clove of roasted garlic on the bread before or after toasting it for an extra burst of flavour. To make breadcrumbs just whiz them in a blender abs store in the fridge – use as required. 


A large batch of bread can be used to make delicious puddings. Add fresh fruits, nuts, dried fruits and even jam or marmalade to a classic bread and butter pudding for variation. 


Any kind of bread – Just tear them up into rough chunks and toss them up with fresh vegetables of your choice and a tadka to whip up a quick yummy snack. 

Serve up sabzi?

Make a soup-

You can easily turn a drab sabzi into a fancy soup. Stir fry with some garlic and add vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add in fresh veggies, rice, quinoa or pasta for a full meal. 

Make a tikki-

Mix the leftover sabzi with boiled mashed potatoes and add masalas to round off the taste. Shape into tikkis crumb and fry. No one will ever be able to guess what this fun snack used to be.

Rolls and Wraps-

One of the best way to make sabzi roti fun Is a wrap. Palak paneer, aloo matar, baingan bharta – you can transform any sabzi into a healthy fuss free roll.  Great for a quick fix morning breakfast. 

Last night’s chicken steak 

Omelettes and frittatas-

A great way to use up chunks of veggies, grains, meats and even seafood is to convert it into a frittata. Whisk them up with eggs and pour into a pan. Add your choice of herbs and spices and don’t forget plenty of cheese. 

Pizzas and Panini's-

These are a fabulous way to use up left over meats and chunky veg without anyone even noticing that they might have eaten something similar a day before. Stuff them up between pizza bread and grill or bake. 

Recommended recipes-
website of the year 2013
website of the year 2014
website of the year 2016
MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.