Download your FREE 7-Day Vegetarian High Protein

Weight Loss Meal Plan

Invalid email address
Start Today

The Ultimate Leftover Vegetable Recipes To Stop Food Waste

HurryTheFoodUp is reader-powered. If you click through using links on our site we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

The Ultimate Leftover Vegetable Recipes To Stop Food Waste | Hurry The Food Up

Why do we need leftover veg recipes? It’s simple, they’re designed to help you make the right food choices for your health and the environment.

I’ve felt the guilt of tossing food many times, and it has nudged me to break new ground with leftovers.
Why throw away veggies if they can be made into something healthy and delicious?

What are leftover vegetables?

By ‘leftovers’ we mean food that’s left after the rest has been used. So leftover veg is any unconsumed veggies that you can save for later.

Benefits of eting leftover vegetables

The main benefit of eating leftover veggies is devoted to battling food waste.

Even though this type of waste is biodegradable, it doesn’t cancel the waste of resources, such as land, water and labor. Produce doesn’t magically appear on our tables, right?

Let’s not forget about the pleasant bonus for your health and wallet. With a thought-out meal plan, you won’t have to spend extra time and money on groceries.

Preparing your leftovers

Leftover ingredients can enhance many meals, especially fritters, stir-fries, soups and casseroles. So how you deal with leftovers will depend on a particular recipe.

Here is some general advice on how to turn your leftover veggies into a delicious meal.

Safety tips

Always prioritize food safety as it directly impacts your well-being!

  • Refrigerate leftovers as soon as they’ve cooled down (within two hours).
  • Use leftover cooked vegetables within 3-4 days. If I have a lot going on in my fridge, I usually mark my containers with the date.
  • Keep cooked leftovers away from raw foods to avoid cross-contamination.

Choosing the right produce

It’s important to consider that some ingredients work better as leftovers than others.

  • Make a smart shopping list with fresh and high-quality foods. Fresh vegetables are an excellent way to dive into healthy leftover food recipes.
  • Go for sturdier vegetables like potatoes, carrots, bell peppers etc. I particularly like root vegetables for their firm texture.

Storage tips

Provide proper storage conditions for your leftover vegetables.

  • Transfer cooled leftovers to airtight containers and store them in a refrigerator set below 40°F (5°C).
  • Don’t overfill your fridge because it can mess up with air circulation and temperature. If you happen to be moving, here’s the best way to make sure you pack up your fridge and freezer properly!
  • If you have leftover veggies you can’t use within 3-4 days, consider freezing them.

Best leftover vegetable recipes

Now what to do with leftover vegetables? Thankfully, I have plenty of ideas for delicious recipes!

Fried rice

You can use up various leftover veggies to make a healthy dish of fried rice. This is the ideal moment to include some frozen vegetables as well.

1. Vegetarian Fried Rice

Check out the recipe here
4.74 from 50 votes
Protein: 21g
Calories: 537kcal
Ready in:15 minutes

Bonus: customize it with your favorite veg

All-time favorite takeout dish! This veggie fried rice is hands down one of the most delicious and easiest vegetarian leftover rice recipes. Ready in max. 15 minutes!

Fritters

You can find unique ways to use leftover fresh herbs, vegetables and seasonings. Leftover potatoes, zucchini, carrots, corn, green onions etc. are all amazing options to make a batch of fritters.

Here are some of our best veggie fritter ideas!

2. Easy Cottage Cheese Fritters with Salsa

Check out the recipe here
4.67 from 3 votes
Protein: 21g
Calories: 428kcal
Ready in:35 minutes
Recipe by: Abril Macías

Bonus: various alternatives for toppings, can be served with your choice of sauce

If you’re looking for a healthy and versatile recipe to use up leftover cottage cheese and lentils, try these cottage cheese fritters, served with salsa. 21g protein per serving!

3. Easy Sweetcorn Fritters

Check out the recipe here
4.76 from 33 votes
Protein: 16g
Calories: 325kcal
Ready in:20 minutes

Bonus: can serve with various accompaniments

If you need something quick and nutritious for the whole family, these sweetcorn fritters can be made for any weeknight tea. This fritter mixture can be made with virtually any leftovers in the cupboard.

Bowls

I love veggie bowls because they let my imagination run wild. Have your fun with these leftover vegetables recipes full of nutritious grains, proteins, toppings and sauces!

4. Vegan Korean Bibimbap Bowl (High-Protein Recipe!)

Check out the recipe here
5 from 4 votes
Protein: 24g
Calories: 490kcal
Ready in:45 minutes
Recipe by: Abril Macías

Bonus: great dish for midweek meal prep

This vegan Korean bibimbap makes a beautiful bowl of crunchy veg and tofu, drizzled with a peanut butter glaze. You can get creative with vegetables and sauces and still keep up that authentic Korean flavor!

5. Healthy Vegan Poke Bowl with Sesame Tofu

Check out the recipe here
5 from 2 votes
Protein: 21g
Calories: 537kcal
Ready in:30 minutes
Recipe by: Abril Macías

Bonus: healthy dish for leftover veg and rice

This vegan poke bowl is a fresh and healthy new recipe for lunch or dinner full of protein and fibre. Drizzled with a delicious sweet and nutty sesame sauce.

6. Leftovers Buddha Bowl

Check out the recipe here
5 from 2 votes
Protein: 21g
Calories: 424kcal
Ready in:30 minutes
Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Bonus: use any veggies, grains and proteins you want

A bowl of leftovers creates the most awesome Buddha bowl recipe. It’s tasty, quick and super versatile!

Traybakes

Cooked vegetables recipes for a quick sheet pan roast dinner—super adaptable and tasty! Leftover root veg, broccoli, bell peppers, and green beans are some of my favourite choices.

7. Leftovers Traybake

Check out the recipe here
5 from 1 vote
Protein: 23g
Calories: 503kcal
Ready in:40 minutes

Bonus: get creative with ingredients, seasonings and dips

Healthy grains, proteins and your vegetable of choice make a perfectly roasted vegetable goodness! This leftover traybake makes your lunch or dinner easier than it has ever been.

8. Easy Baked Feta with Veggies

Check out the recipe here
4.75 from 43 votes
Protein: 23g
Calories: 505kcal
Ready in:40 minutes
Recipe by: HurryTheFoodUp

Bonus: change it up with some leftover sweet potatoes

Baked feta with veggies — 1 tray, 30 minutes and roast dinner is on the table! An easy and healthy dish to serve with some brown rice or your favorite side.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes
Servings:2 people
Calories:505kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ cup brown rice (uncooked) (this is optional, and our favourite side)
  • 5 oz low fat feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp basil, dried (fresh is fine)
  • 2 tbsp parsley, dried (fresh is fine)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion (red or white)
  • 1 red bell pepper (your fave colour)
  • 2 good handful cherry tomatoes
  • 1 chili / jalapeño
  • 1 handful olives
  • 10 tbsp water
  • Salt to taste

Optional

  • 4 tbsp hummus
  • 1 handful mushrooms (sliced)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
  • Cook the brown rice according to package instructions.
    ½ cup brown rice
  • Cut the cheese into two equal, thin pieces and lay in baking tray.
    5 oz low fat feta cheese
  • Layer half the dried herbs over the cheese.
    2 tbsp basil, dried, 2 tbsp parsley, dried
  • Chop all veg (and garlic) into small pieces and chuck in a bowl.
    1 clove garlic, 1 onion, 1 red bell pepper, 2 good handful cherry tomatoes, 1 chili / jalapeño, 1 handful olives, 1 handful mushrooms
  • Add the oil, salt, water and the other half of the herbs and mix well. (If using fresh herbs all go into this mix so they won't burn).
    1 tbsp olive oil, 10 tbsp water, Salt to taste
  • Place the veg mixture on and all around the cheese.
  • Bake for 30 mins or until veg becomes soft.
    The dish is on the baking tray on a towel on a table with hummus, tomatoes, olives and a plate with rice | Hurry The Food Up
  • Serve with brown rice and hummus.
    4 tbsp hummus
    The Bake is served with rice on a table with hummus, tomatoes, olives, baking tray on a towel and a bowl with rice | Hurry The Food Up
  • Done!

NOTES

You can throw on pretty much whatever veg you fancy/need to use up. And a box of frozen mixed herbs is always handy to have lying around.
SERVE WITH: Brown rice and hummus are excellent companions to make that dish complete!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
The Ultimate Leftover Vegetable Recipes To Stop Food Waste
Amount per Serving
Calories
505
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
22
g
34
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Cholesterol
 
38
mg
13
%
Sodium
 
911
mg
40
%
Potassium
 
561
mg
16
%
Carbohydrates
 
58
g
19
%
Fiber
 
7
g
29
%
Sugar
 
9
g
10
%
Protein
 
23
g
46
%
Vitamin A
 
2484
IU
50
%
Vitamin C
 
118
mg
143
%
Calcium
 
109
mg
11
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @HurryTheFoodUp on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece!

9. Oven Roasted Broccoli Halloumi Traybake

Check out the recipe here
4.75 from 4 votes
Protein: 32g
Calories: 548kcal
Ready in:35 minutes
Recipe by: Abril Macías

Bonus: a nutty cashew pesto to drizzle on top—yum

If you need a healthy vegetarian dinner, this simple broccoli bake with halloumi & lentils serves 32g of protein and lots of flavor!

Salads

Preparing a salad is simple and quick, and you can use almost any veggies you desire. It’s also a good spot for a bunch of herbs, greens, nuts, seeds and dressings.

10. Sweet Potato and Broccoli Salad Bake (Protein Recipe)

Check out the recipe here
4.75 from 4 votes
Protein: 24g
Calories: 548kcal
Ready in:42 minutes
Recipe by: Abril Macías

Bonus: a delicious salad, and an awesome traybake in one go

This time-saving traybake with sweet potato, broccoli, and quinoa is full of all the good stuff. Only 10 minutes of prep!

11. Avocado Chickpea Salad with Quinoa

Check out the recipe here
5 from 4 votes
Protein: 24g
Calories: 476kcal
Ready in:20 minutes
Recipe by: Hauke Fox

Bonus: high in protein, fiber and put together in 5 minutes

Supercharge your lunch with this amazing avocado chickpea salad. Let’s put your leftover grains to use!

Roasted vegetables

You can simply put leftover veg on a parchment-lined pan and roast them to perfection. It’s also a great method for reheating already-cooked veggies.

12. Roasted Asparagus and Tomato with Halloumi

Check out the recipe here
5 from 2 votes
Protein: 21g
Calories: 406kcal
Ready in:32 minutes
Recipe by: Abril Macías

Bonus: just 10 minutes of prep

After a delicious, low-effort meal you can make with awesome vegetables and grains? Try roasted asparagus and tomatoes with halloumi and quinoa!

Soup

This is where we can work with leftover vegetable stock and an assortment of veggies.

13. Lentil Vegetable Soup

Check out the recipe here
4.89 from 9 votes
Protein: 19g
Calories: 438kcal
Ready in:45 minutes
Recipe by: Gabriela English

Bonus: high in fibre and low in calories

This lentil vegetable soup is the perfect option for a healthy vegan meal. It offers plenty of flavour inspired by Italian lentil soups.

How NOT to waste food

Knowing what to make with leftover vegetables is a big step toward reducing food waste, but you can do even more:

  • As mentioned before, make a smart shopping list to avoid unnecessary purchases. A quick tip from personal experience: don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry!
  • Plan at least a few meals for the week. If you need some inspiration, you can check out our free 7-day vegetarian meal plan for beginners or our free 7-day weight loss meal plan.
  • Familiarize yourself with proper storage methods for different ingredients. For example, keep your herbs fresh by putting them in a glass of water; make your greens last longer by storing them in a plastic container with a paper towel.
  • Reduce food waste by freezing leftover foods. Follow these freezing guides for some tips on how to freeze vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients:

Can You Freeze Asparagus? Here’s how

Can You Freeze Broccoli? Easy how-to guide

Can You Freeze Parmesan Cheese? A savvy storage guide

Can You Freeze Quinoa? Yes! follow this guide

Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts? Yes, here’s how!

Can You Freeze Pineapple? Yes! Learn tips & tricks

Can You Freeze Ginger? Yes! Explore the best technique

Can You Freeze Milk To Preserve It? Here’s how

Can You Freeze Beetroot? Easy step-by-step guide

Can You Freeze Kiwi? A guide to preserving the freshness

Frequent questions

What can I do with leftover cut up vegetables?

You can turn your cut up vegetables into a frittata, a stir fry with some noodles or rice, put them on a pizza or make a salad.

You can also use your leftover veggies to make stock or broth or throw them into a soup.

Is it OK to eat leftover vegetables?

Yes, it’s OK to eat leftover vegetables as long as they aren’t spoiled. It’s generally safe to consume them within 3-4 days if they’re stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

How do you reuse roasted vegetables?

Leftover roasted vegetables would make a great addition to your favorite lasagna recipe, pasta, grain bowls, soups and stews. You can also reheat them in the oven and serve them with a sauce.

Did you enjoy my selection of recipes for leftover vegetables? Share your strategies for reducing food waste in the comments!

Comments

Leave a comment below

Your comments make our day. Thank you! If you have a question, please skim the comments section – you might find an immediate answer there. If you made the recipe, please choose a star rating, too.

Recipe Rating




2 comments
  1. 5 stars
    I absolutely love the Refreshing pasta wirh peanut sauce when I am using up leftovers. You can swap in alot of different veg and I even use any pasta I have in the cupboard.

    1. Totally agree, definitely a winning recipes 😀 One of our oldest too!!