Don’t throw out your BBQ leftovers—here’s what to do with them instead

This is proof that potato chip crumbs do not belong in the trash.

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There is nothing better than a summer barbecue. Lazily spending the afternoon in a backyard, lounging by the pool and most importantly, non stop eating; this sort of behavior is practically a legal requirement for summer. But when the evening winds down, we’ve all been in the same scenario. Your family and friends leave and suddenly you are left with mountains of leftovers.

I’m talking, enough hamburgers to feed an entire summer camp, sort of leftovers. Instead of trying to chase guests out with plates covered in tinfoil or just haphazardly throwing good food away, here are some of the top recipes from Pinterest on how you can take your leftovers and give them new life.

1. Leftover hamburgers: Mushroom swiss patty melt

If there is one thing that should be illegal in the good old USA, it should be letting a perfectly good hamburger go to waste. Fortunately, you won’t ever have to worry about what to do with leftover burgers again. This mushroom swiss patty melt recipe from Spend with Pennies is an easy way to repurpose your old burgers and give them (delicious) new life.

2. Leftover hamburger buns and hot dog buns: Slow cooker french toast

With this recipe from Brit + Co, you’ll be keeping your fingers crossed that all of your barbecue guests have suddenly become gluten free. The only prep you’ll have to do is just place the leftover buns into your slow cooker. Then you’ll wake up to the smell of sweet, cinnamon french toast. Make this delicious dish in one of our top rated slow cookers of 2018.

3. Leftover potato chips: Homemade chicken tenders

You can practically guarantee one thing at the end of every cookout—a sad bowl filled with potato chip crumbs. Instead of dumping the crumbs out, repurpose them for your next dinner by utilizing this recipe from These Old Cook Books. Simply lay out chicken on your favorite baking sheet, sprinkle liberally with potato chip crumbs and you’ll have homemade chicken tenders in no time.

4. Leftover pulled pork: Savory burrito bowl

One too many pulled pork sandwiches left over? Or maybe your guests weren’t too keen on putting enough greens on their plate. With this savory burrito bowl recipe from 365 Days of Slow Cooking all you need to do is whip out your Instant Pot, reheat the pork, pair it with your favorite vegetables and voila — an entirely new meal for your family to enjoy.

5. Leftover potato salad: Loaded mashed potato balls

Potato salad is one thing you do not want sitting for too long in your fridge. If you have plenty of leftovers don’t throw them out or send your guests home with mountains of potatoes. You can turn these leftovers into a tasty appetizer for tomorrow's dinner. With this recipe from Damn Delicious, all you need is a potato masher, a little bit of elbow grease and an oven; it’s that simple.

6. Leftover corn on the cob: Fried corn cakes

Nothing is more quintessential “backyard barbecue” than corn on the cob. However, there is also nothing quite as bulky as corn on the cob when it comes to taking up fridge space. To save space in your fridge, take those kernels and turn them into fried corn cakes with this easy to follow recipe from The Gracious Wife. Our top rated Cuisinart food processor will help you get those bulky ears of corn out of your fridge and onto the griddle for frying in no time.

7. Leftover grilled veggies: Breakfast frittata

Day old grilled veggies usually aren’t at the top of people’s lists for favorite snacks. However, you can utilize these leftovers right away the next morning by whipping up a breakfast frittata fit for a queen. All you need is this recipe from Cooking Light, leftover vegetables, eggs and a deep enough skillet, like one of Reviewed’s favorites.

8. Leftover chicken: Chicken and potato chip casserole

For a chilly summer night, this recipe from Bitz & Giggles has you combine two leftover barbecue staples, chicken and potato chips. Whipping up this dish in your dutch oven will instantly bring smiles to the faces of your loved ones, because the more calories that’s in a meal, the more love is in it, right?

9. Leftover cupcakes: Dessert parfait

The dessert table is always the largest at any backyard barbecue and also the one that people try to send home with guests the quickest. This time around, save a couple of cupcakes for yourself to repurpose into dessert parfaits with this recipe from Salvage Sister & Mister. Will they look like the same picture perfect cupcakes you had at the cookout? Nope. But will they taste just as good? Absolutely.

10. Leftover guacamole: Avocado pesto pasta

If you have any remaining guacamole (which honestly, would be shocking if you did) this pesto pasta recipe from Blissful Basil is the perfect way to make the most out of all of your remaining greens. The best part about this recipe is that you can use regular pasta or take some zucchini from the fridge and make your own zoodles. All you need is a spiralizer like one of our favorites, and a passion for vegetables. Don’t have a spiralizer and unsure what kind to get? Check out our review of the best ones of 2018 to see what would work best in your kitchen.

11. Leftover baked potatoes: Crock Pot potato soup

Let’s be real, potatoes are one of the greatest vegetables out there. I mean, they give us french fries AND potato chips, so what more could we ask from them? Unsurprisingly they are delicious in pretty much every meal and can even add an unexpected twist to some classic dishes, like soup. This recipe from Recipes that Crock is simple, tasty and can be made in one of our top rated Crock-Pots, on sale now on Amazon for $28.99.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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