Creative Leftovers

Leftovers don’t have to be boring, just a simple idea to give the leftover new life is to bake it with cheese. I like these little single serving gratin dishes for this, as it makes the dish fresh and special even for a weeknight meal.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

Easy to do, for this one I used leftover Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage, gathering it with some additional cheese and a bit of leftover tomato sauce.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

Begin with spraying the gratin dish with cooking spray, or lightly oil with olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Add the pasta leftover, and bit of sauce.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

Now, put a layer of cheese over the top.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned, and the dish is heated through. Yum! Looks like a brand new fresh dish, and doesn’t taste leftover at all!

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

Another day, the same idea with different pasta leftovers, this time a mushroom penne.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

Ever make a stovetop tuna noodle casserole? The leftovers can be much more flavorful baked in gratin dishes with more cheese.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

I like pasta, can you tell? Well, Italian food is DH’s favorite so I make it a lot. This time the leftovers featured bow tie pasta.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

Leftover Chicken Florentine Lasagne doesn’t look very appealing cold.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

But heated in the oven with a bit more cheese on top, and you have a wonderful fresh meal.

Creative Leftovers ~ From My Carolina Home

But it isn’t just pasta that works well, leftover turkey or chicken can become a delicious fresh entree in my recipe for Lighter Chicken Broccoli Mornay.

Chicken Broccoli Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Next time you have some leftovers, consider making an individual serving with small gratin baking dishes. The big advantage is that the dish is eaten straight out of the oven, which keeps the meal warm through dinner.

Lighter Mornay ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you have a set of gratin dishes? Do you do anything special to leftovers to freshen up the dish?

19 thoughts on “Creative Leftovers

  1. Patricia Cash

    Perfect timing! My husband has had enough leftover turkey and ham. But these and the others from you earlier post are just what I need.
    Thank you

  2. These all look so good!!! The cheese on the top sold it for me!! I LOVE cheese!! LOL!
    Thanks so much for stopping by!! I think my hubby LOVES to shop and find bargains more than i do!!

  3. Jennie Rauch

    Well, heck! EVERYTHING tastes better with a little more cheese!! Going to try to not shop so much this year & rescue too many dishes I don’t have storage space for. That said, good thing I’ve quarantined myself with this darned head cold, b/c this is Goodwill’s First Sat. everything 50% off day! Those little gratin dishes are so adorable! I’ll just enjoy yours!

  4. Melanie

    Yum; what time is dinner? Yes, I do but haven’t thought of this dish, and we love Italian and often have leftovers that could be incorporated into a creative leftover. Thanks for the great ideas. We have had record snow in mild-climate southern OR and power outages, including internet down, so getting creative without power is our most recent challenge! Love your single serving dishes! :o)

  5. Good Morning Carole! No, I do not have a set of those dishes, but I will be on the lookout for some! You are so right in that they help to make left overs look so much better plus that extra cheese….oh yummy! Hubby is not fond of left overs at all, so I shall try your suggestions and see if they will change his mind! So in answer to your question, no I do not have any special ways to bake up left overs and maybe that is the reason he does not like them. LOL. I hope that you have a spectacular day creating! Brenda

  6. dezertsuz

    I don’t have a set of gratin dishes, though I do have creme brulee dishes. I think those might be a little small for this great idea, though! Thanks!

  7. Jann Olson

    Cheese makes everything better! 🙂 I always throw an extra potato in the oven when we have baked potatoes. Then I cut them up, fry them, and top with cheese for a country potato. Great for a breakfast side dish! I have a couple of those individual serving dishes. I need to use them more often. Hubby and I are good at eating leftovers. I agree that it’s not difficult to refresh it and make it into an appetizing dish.

  8. I think I need to get some gratin dishes. I usually throw leftover pasta & sauce in a casserole dish, add cheese and cook. Putting them in individual serving dishes would make it more appealing, and give everyone more of that cheesy crust we all fight over. 🙂

  9. Mary Jean Cunningham

    I’m thinking the individual serving dishes might help with portion control, which is a problem around here when a certain someone really likes something! Because my husband has a cardiac condition I can’t use too much cheese but combining some low-fat cheese with some kind of crumb or panko topping would probably work well on top, I’m thinking – thanks for the idea of using individually-sized servings.

  10. What a great idea! You really have made these leftovers look like first time prepared dinners! They are also looking warm and toasty on this cold day! Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  11. Laurie

    Delicious suggestions! I need to get some of those little oven dishes. We appreciate you sharing your posts with us this week at Snickerdoodle! Pinning to share!

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  14. I love to make fun dishes out of the left overs. All of your left overs look awesome! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. We look forward to seeing you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

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