Rather than letting leftover proteins go to waste, repurpose them into a second-chance meal. You can do the same thing with leftover rice, potatoes and vegetables. These simple second-chance meals are also time savers and are budget friendly.
When you make a big pot of chili and have a good amount left, you have several options for second-chance meals. The first option is Cincinnati chili. This is just chili over spaghetti with cheddar cheese on top. You can improvise a bit and add sour cream, green onions or jalapenos to it too.
Another option is a loaded baked potato. Select large baking potatoes and bake them off. Once complete, fill the middles with chili, sour cream, diced onion and cheddar cheese.
Mix with ground pork for a meatloaf option. You won’t need to add eggs if you use chili as your wet ingredient. A little bit of breadcrumbs, crushed Cheez-it crackers or parmesan cheese will help keep things together.
Leftover taco meat makes a great taco salad. The meat should be kept room temperature. Mix it with your favorite lettuce blend, shredded cheese, tomatoes, onions, black olives (can be omitted), and fresh cilantro. Rather than using sour cream and salsa, dress the salad with a honey French (Catalina) dressing. For the tortilla crunch, crush up a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos (any flavor can be substituted), and serve. It is addictive in flavor.
Another idea for leftover taco meat is to turn it into a baked omelet for a quick brinner. In a casserole dish, put the leftover taco meat and enough scrambled egg mixture for your family. Add in fresh cilantro, black pepper, chopped tomatoes and onions. If your family likes a little heat, mild green chiles are also good in this dish. Top it with cheese and bake it until the eggs are done (about 25 minutes on 350 degrees). Top the bake with traditional taco toppings and serve some potatoes on the side.
Turn leftover pot roast into hash with eggs for brinner. Brinner combines breakfast and dinner and is always a pleaser at the dinner table. Shred the beef roast that you have left and cube some potatoes up very small. Add in fresh garlic, onion, salt, pepper and paprika. Let this cook until the potatoes are tender and there is a little crispy edge on the beef. Serve it with eggs and fruit for a great second-chance meal.
Turn leftover pork roast into BBQ shredded pork, pork stir fry or pork hand pies. Another idea that is a little off the wall is BBQ pasta. You can also mix in some sausage or ham for more flavor. For BBQ pasta, you will use barbecue sauce instead of marinara.
These second-chance meals are easy fixes and can be used as an idea to make an improvised dinner. Don’t let expensive proteins go to waste. If your children pack lunches, turn leftover chicken into chicken salad for lunch. Mixing more than one meat into a single dish is acceptable as well. When you need to clean out the fridge, take some of these tips and make a fun, family-friendly meal.
What is your favorite repurposed meal?