15 Recipes We Think Are Better as Leftovers
Nothing is worse than making a meal that creates subpar leftovers, making you choose between avoiding food waste or having a lunch you'll actually enjoy. But you don't have to worry about this conundrum with these 15 recipes. Each makes leftovers that are actually more delicious than the day they were prepared fresh. Try making a batch of stuffed peppers, a pot of stew, or layer up a lasagna. You'll not only be thankful to have leftovers, you'll be looking forward to eating them.
World's Best Lasagna
Not only does lasagna taste more delicious the next day, it's way easier to cut and serve when it has had time to chill. This recipe takes a bit of prep time, but it's well worth it for the tasty leftovers you'll enjoy all week long.
Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Layered with three types of gooey cheese, hearty ground beef, and rich tomato sauce, this baked ziti is a sure-fire favorite for both dinner and as a leftover. Make sure to cook your ziti noodles until al dente (slightly firm); otherwise they'll be mushy when reheated.
Best Damn Chili
This recipe title isn't an exaggeration. Featuring three types of chilis, fire roasted tomatoes, and even a bottle of beer, this chili is bursting with bold flavor that only intensifies overnight in the fridge.
Thai Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk
Packed with pieces of chicken breast, bell peppers, and onions, this Thai-inspired curry is simmered in a light coconut sauce. Serve the leftovers over rice or noodles.
The Best Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a classic choice of dishes that make great leftovers. Bake it the night before, and serve with mashed potatoes and veggies, then the next day it will be ready for a deliciously sloppy sandwich.
My Favorite Chicken Salad
Chicken salad should always be made ahead. Not only does that give the recipe time to chill, it lets the bold flavors shine through with ingredients like sweet pickle relish, celery, pecans, and fresh dill. Eat it as-is, with crackers, or stuffed into a sandwich.
Sweet and Spicy Ginger Beer Pulled Pork
Chef John's American Goulash
"This is one of those very simple dishes that does not taste simple--perfect for your weeknight dinner rotation," says Chef John. Stir the fresh parsley into individual bowls, instead of the whole pot, to avoid sad and soggy parsley when you reheat it.
Zippy Shepherd's Pie
Any shepherd's pie makes excellent leftovers, but this "zippy" version does especially well. With bold flavors from Worcestershire sauce, a dash of curry powder, and a little ketchup, it's even tastier the next day.
Stuffed Mexican Peppers
The lovely thing about stuffed peppers is that they never get soggy, even when reheated as leftovers. This version features ground beef, rice, and spicy tomato sauce.
Good New Orleans Creole Gumbo
Decadent and time-consuming to make, gumbo isn't something you'll want to whip up every day. But this recipe makes 20 servings, perfect for plenty of leftovers, and it freezes well, too. Set aside a few hours on a weekend to make it, and you'll be rewarded with New Orleans flavor all week long.
Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes
There's no way to make sloppy joes ahead of time with their soft buns, but this baked potato version skips right over that issue. Recipe creator Michelle Kline describes it as, "Quick, hearty, and easy!"