The Ultimate Leftover Vegetable Recipes To Stop Food Waste

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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 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.

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!


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!

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!

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.


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!

Vegan Korean Bibimbap Bowl (High-Protein Recipe!)

Check out the recipe here

Protein: 24g

Calories: 490kcal

Ready in:45 minutes

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!

Healthy Vegan Poke Bowl with Sesame Tofu

Check out the recipe here

Protein: 21g

Calories: 537kcal

Ready in:30 minutes

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.

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!


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.

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.

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.

Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes
  • 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


  • 4 tbsp hummus
  • 1 handful mushrooms (sliced)

  • 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.

  • Serve with brown rice and hummus.

    4 tbsp hummus

  • Done!

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 Facts

The Ultimate Leftover Vegetable Recipes To Stop Food Waste

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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!


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.

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Salad Bake (Protein Recipe)

Check out the recipe here

Protein: 24g

Calories: 548kcal

Ready in:42 minutes

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!

Avocado Chickpea Salad (5 Min, Vegetarian)

Check out the recipe here

Protein: 24g

Calories: 476kcal

Ready in:20 minutes

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.

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato with Halloumi

Check out the recipe here

Protein: 21g

Calories: 406kcal

Ready in:32 minutes

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!


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

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Check out the recipe here

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!

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