How to use up what's in the fridge

The past few months, between me forgetting what's in the fridge and the fridge freezing my produce, I've been finding a lot of slimy vegetables in my fridge. I just thought I'd toss out some ideas on what I've been doing lately to use up my veggies and leftovers.
  • Salad or relish tray. If your fruits and veggies are still in good condition, this is a great option.
  • Soup. Soups are so forgiving, and with a little practice, you can make a good soup from scratch with no recipe. You can include veggies, leftover meats and pastas, grains from the pantry . . . anything, really! I've even been known to throw in an apple. Just make sure everything goes together. There's a really interesting and yummy recipe for lettuce soup here.
  • Stir fry. You can fry or steam your veggies, and toss them with some meat or beans. Then add some sauce from a bottle or mix, or from my easy recipe.
  • Quiche. If you have eggs, this is a great option. You can hide all sorts of things in there, from almost-moldy cheese to wrinkly potatoes to leftover ham! Most sorts of veggies work well, too. Here is my favorite quiche recipe that I use for a guideline.
  • Pizza. You can use up old cheese, leftover sauce (it doesn't have to be tomato sauce!), veggies, meat . . . anything that goes together!
  • Grain salad. Toss leftover veggies with some meat or beans together with any sort of cooked grain and dressing.
I'm always looking for more ideas. How do you use up your food before it spoils?


  1. I turn leftover Sunday dinner (roast, potatoes, vegetables) into Shepherd's pie (meat, veggies, tomato sauce or gravy and seasonings, topped with mashed potatoes and cheese) Roasted chicken becomes some meal with leftover chicken, and then the bones are boiled for broth and the rest of the meat on the bones falls off to make chicken noodle soup (3 meals, one chicken). Chili can make navajo tacos the next day. A lot of my meals piggyback off of each other. All it takes is a little know how and a lot of creativity! You have a lot of good ideas too.

  2. I find a pasta dish is easy to use up veggies. I just add whatever's in the crisper (whether it is still crisp or not) to a tomato sauce. Zucchini, peppers, celery... it all tastes good.

    I do a pasta salad too that just means throwing whatever I can find in with rotini pasta and adding homemade salad dressing (italian or ranch are both good).

  3. Delicious ideas! I wish I could contribute some ideas...but I'll be using some of yours instead!

  4. I noticed that you commented on my blog, mommy stays home. I just wanted to thank you for the encouragement.

  5. Some great tips! thanks. Unfortunately by the time I remember to use up what's in the crisper--it's too far gone to rescue. I did throw some celery in a jug of icy cold water once, and it crisped right back up.

  6. Great ideas! I'm teaching a Stake RS workshop on saving money on your grocery bill next month and this fits right in!

    I find that packaging the leftover veggies from dinner in with the leftover main course keeps them from being overlooked when leftovers get eaten. Also, adding last night leftovers to tonight's new veggies for "mixed" veggies.

  7. To a little bit of leftover casserole, add some broth and turn it into a soup.

    To a little bit of leftover soup, add some rice or noodles or potatoes to thicken it up into a casserole.

    Keep a container in the freezer marked "Soup" and toss in little bits of leftovers that aren't likely to be used in other ways - even onion skins.

    When you cut up an onion, often the unused portion doesn't get used. Cut it all up - dice it - and put it in a container in the freezer. You need never waste onion again.