If you’re like me, you probably have some go-to meals that help you use up odds and ends. In my house that includes:
- Frittatas or omelettes with whatever veggies and cheese are available
- Putting a sunnyside up egg on just about anything
- Whatever-is-in-the-fridge pasta
- “Repast” or “scavenge” in which we make a buffet of whatever’s available (cheese? veggies? bread? fruit? nuts? pickles?)
- Lots of the recipes you’ll find in the Use-it-Up section of EatOrToss
But, it’s always fun to add more ideas to the use-it-up repertoire and today we’re serving up 10 main course ideas for eating deliciously while using up odds and ends. We hope you find some new inspiration!
For more mains inspiration, check out our list of Clean Out The Fridge Salads and Soups to Make When You Need to Clear Out Your Fridge and Cabinets. And thanks to the featured blogs for sharing their photos with us!
This recipe may have “lentils” in its name, but Rachel with Health My Lifestyle notes that it can work with any legume (chickpeas? kidney beans? butter beans?). Got vegetables that need using up? Toss them in! “As long as you have curry powder or paste and coconut milk, you can make endless combinations of curries with whatever else you have on hand!” Rachel writes. Plus, you can top with any stray nuts or seeds.
The backbone of this East Coast Hodgepodge from Earth, Food, Fire, is potatoes, carrots and green beans cooked in broth and cream. Chef and recipe developer Markus Mueller says “a hodge-podge is basically just a ‘mixed pot’ of vegetables,” so any stray veggies from your fridge, counter or garden will go great. Markus also points out that the hodgepodge cooks in 20 minutes and is great alongside meat or seafood.
If you have a can of beans, some bread and some random veggies, this is your ticket to a fast, hearty and healthy dinner. “In truth, it’s one of my all time favorite meals,” Rebecca writes on A Little and A Lot. “It offers the chance to transform some beans and whatever veggies happen to be rolling around in my refrigerator into something incredibly delicious, satisfying, and nutritions in roughly 30 minutes.” On her blog, she gives tips on adding some acid for zip and finding the perfect condiments and combos.
“This one-pot recipe uses pantry staples that you can mix up with what you have on hand,” Tina of Monday is Meatloaf writes. Central to the recipe are ground beef, rice, cheese and onion, but you can improvise the toppings and veggies in this fast recipe that bats cleanup well.
Do you have tortillas, protein and just about any kind of cheese? Then you’re well on your way to quesadillas. Kid Tested Recipes offers a number of ideas for different styles of quesadillas based on what you have on hand, from “Southwestern,” to “Mediterranean” to simply “breakfast.”
Debby Mayne over at Southern Home Express offers a number of one-pot recipes that can make the most of what you have on hand. Easy clean up and solid using-it-up sound like a win to us! She even offers a “formula for a shop-the-pantry casserole meal.” It includes “a meat, vegetable, starch (rice, pasta, or potatoes), and sauce (canned soup, gravy, or salad dressing).” Case in point: her Shop-The-Pantry Beef Casserole, with ground beef, rice, cheese, whatever veggies you have available and whatever broth and cream-based soup you can scrounge up.