Summer is here – let the parties commence! There are many great recipes to try for your next pool-side gathering. This summer, make your delicious creations last by cooking meals that make great leftovers. Try some of these leftover-friendly summer meal ideas and learn how to store them properly with a few of these helpful tips.
For The Life of Your Leftovers
Not sure if that lunch meat is still safe to eat? Ever wonder how long a jar of peanut butter lasts in your pantry? Knowing how long your food will last and how to properly store it will keep you from wasting ingredients and help you save money.
- Fridge, Freezer or Pantry? Generally, freezing is the safest way to go. Chicken, fish, pork and steak last around six months in the freezer. However, these products only stay fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Always remember that when you’ve got cooked meat, it only has a lifetime of about three days until it is time to toss it. Most dairy products like milk, yogurt and sour cream only last for a max of two weeks. Print out this easy to use chart from Real Simple and hang it on your fridge to reference daily!
- Plastic or Glass? Make sure you’re choosing the right container for your food. Don’t forget to consider storage when your containers aren’t being used. Stackable square plastic ware is always a safe bet for keeping your cabinets and refrigerator organized. Be sure to clean your containers thoroughly after each use. Consider using at home cleaning ingredients to save money. Check out this article to learn how to make natural cleaning products from ingredients you have around the house!
Meals That’re Meant to be Saved
Now onto the good stuff! When cooking meals always think ahead – can you make extra to save as leftovers? Try to save staple ingredients so you can incorporate them later into other recipes.
- Grilled chicken can be saved and used in several other dishes. Consider saving a grilled chicken breast from your Sunday barbeque and chop it up into a fresh Caesar salad for lunch the next day! Make the salad your own with homemade Caesar dressing like this recipe from Will Cook for Friends.
- Taco ingredients make for great leftovers. Save your excess taco meat, corn, beans, and cheese to repurpose into a delicious summer treat – stuffed peppers! Cut large bell peppers in half and scoop them hollow. Stuff the peppers with your leftover taco ingredients and throw them on the grill while you and the family chill by the pool. Find stuffed pepper inspiration from this Cooking Classy chicken fajita stuffed pepper recipe!
- Homemade pizza is a great way to incorporate just about any leftover ingredients you have on hand, from grilled meat to veggies to even those leftover charcuterie and cheese plates (think goat cheese, salami and olives). Check out these clever ways to spruce up your leftover pizza from Cheat Sheet.
What is your favorite leftover meal? Share recipes and tips with us in a comment below!