We eat with our eyes first, so why not take yesterday’s meal and elevate it to drool-worthy status by plating it with style? Just reheating meatloaf doesn’t do a lot to excite our eyes, or taste buds. But if you use a slice of meatloaf as the base, dollop mashed potatoes on top, then dot the outside edge of the plate with ketchup, it feels gourmet—and irresistible.
Our sister site Tablespoon.com, knows exactly what we’re talking about and is an excellent source for tips on how to plate like a chef. Best of all, it’s easier than you think!
2. Get Saucy
Sometimes all you need is a shake, drizzle or dollop to give your leftovers new life. That’s where store-bought condiments come in, but we’re not just talking ketchup and ranch. With the explosion of international flavors, there’s no shortage of ready-made options.
If you like Sriracha, try harissa, a Tunisian smoky-hot chili pepper sauce, or Gochujang, a Korean sweet and spicy pepper sauce. Furikake is a Japanese seasoning that’s usually sprinkled over rice, but brings extra flavor to vegetables and fish, and is worth having on hand. For a hit of sweetness, which is great on sandwiches, seek out chutney or quince paste—a thick Spanish jelly that pairs well with Manchego cheese.
You can also make great super-fast dips with what you have on hand to add zip to otherwise ho-hum leftovers. Because, let’s be honest, everything is better with a sauce or a dip!
Ketchup + mustard + mayo = animal sauce
Maple syrup + Dijon mustard + olive oil = maple mustard sauce
Ranch dressing + dried dill = dilly ranch
Yogurt + refrigerated pesto = easy green goddess dressing
Parsley + olive oil + garlic + vinegar = chimichurri sauce
1. Lean in to Leftovers
Some foods are even better the next day, which makes you want leftovers. Here are the ten recipes we always double for exactly that reason. Whether you freeze some for later, or spend the whole week eating the same thing, plating differently, or drizzling with a sauce is totally up to you. Just don’t let them go to waste!