11 Recipes That Transform Leftovers To Lunch

Enjoy the following guest post that was sent in to the mom blog. My kids are picky when it comes to new meals, but there are some great kid-friendly meals listed below.  I am looking forward to especially trying the Thin Crust Pizza, Chicken and Broccoli Frittata, Layered Nacho Bake and Cheesy Chicken wraps, but they ALL catch my eye!
Summer is here and increases the availability of a wide range of fresh produce. By utilizing the season’s fresh fruits and vegetables with the addition of pre-cooked meats, these eleven recipes illustrate some creative and delicious ways to turn yesterday’s leftovers into today’s scrumptious lunch. Quick and easy to prepare, these recipes serve four, but can be halved or doubled depending on the amount of servings required.

No boring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this list is designed to inspire your inner chef and give you the opportunity to show off your culinary skills by incorporating easy to substitute ingredients that allow you to develop your own unique and distinctive lunch creations. From home chefs to hospitality managers, individuals seeking to expand their cooking knowledge can benefit from these simple lunch ideas.


10 Recipes That Transform Leftovers To Lunch

Little Chicken Salad Rolls
Fresh and delicious, these wraps are not what you think.
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
½-teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ shredded carrot
½ bell pepper, diced or slivered
8 Boston lettuce leaves
8 Fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Combine first six ingredients, and toss to coat. Place one mint leaf in each lettuce leaf, then spoon mixture onto leaves, sprinkle with peanuts and roll up. Serve with dipping sauce. Combine 1-tablespoon rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1-teaspoon sugar in a saucepan, heat until sugar has dissolved.

Chicken and Wild Rice Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
1 cup cooked wild rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup Greek olives, pitted and diced
¼ cup pine nuts or pecans
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

Whisk oil and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add other ingredients and toss.

Ham and Swiss Cups
¾ cup chopped cooked ham, or deli sliced
1 small onion diced
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 beaten egg
1-teaspoon spicy mustard
¼-teaspoon pepper
8-oz. package refrigerated crescent rolls

Unroll and cut dough into 12 equal pieces. Press dough into 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and divide evenly between the cups. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 15 minutes or until golden.

Thin Crust Pizza
4 burrito size flour tortillas
1-cup pizza sauce
1-cup mozzarella cheese
Various meat or vegetable toppings

Place tortillas on a baking sheet, spread with sauce and add cheese and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese melts. Topping ideas: Leftover crumbled hamburgers, sliced onions, tomatoes, peppers.

Chicken and Broccoli Frittata
½ pound cleaned broccoli florets
2 tablespoons oil
½ onion, finely chopped
6 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken
Salt and pepper

Heat 1-tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof fry pan; add onion and sauté until soft. Add the broccoli and cook for approx. 3 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper, add the broccoli and onion. Place 1 tablespoon oil into the same skillet and pour in egg mixture, cook on low heat until set, then transfer to broiler until completely set.

Layered Nacho Bake
Using leftovers from taco night, spread in a greased 8×8 casserole dish, 1 cup refried beans, 1 cup taco meat, ½ cup salsa, 1 cup shredded cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees until hot. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded lettuce and sour cream. Yummy!

Super Bacon Swirls
6 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
4-oz can mushrooms, drained and chopped
¼-cup mayo
½-teaspoon garlic powder
8-oz refrigerated crescent rolls
6-oz cream cheese, softened
Egg wash

Mix first four ingredients. Unroll dough and press together perforations. Spread on cream cheese, and the bacon mixture. Roll up and cut into 1” pieces, arrange on un-greased baking sheet, brush with egg wash and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cajun Chicken Rolls
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
Salt and Pepper
2 cups chopped chicken or smoked sausage
Soft yeast rolls

Sauté onion and pepper until soft add the garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and meat and cook until the liquid is almost gone. Transfer to split rolls.

Cajun Sausage Rolls
Same as above, substitute with cooked polish or smoked sausage.

Pot Roast Beef Wraps
Combine 2 cups shredded beef, chopped carrots and onions leftover from a pot roast with ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese. Place mixture on a flour tortilla and roll up in aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-14 minutes.

Cheesy Chicken Wraps
Same as above, substituting cooked chicken, 1 cup cooked rice, ¼-cup ranch dressing.

If these recipes have inspired you to do more, check out Chicago’s great professional culinary programs.

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