Were all about the leftovers, but sometimes it gets old to reheat and eat them the same way. We reached out to our loyal followers, #FreebsNation and learned all their favorite ways to repurpose leftovers so that theyre eating a new meal every time!

Repurpose your leftovers with these great ideas - Tips from Fun Cheap or Free

We hope that #Shelftember has been going great for you and youre really taking your shelf cooking to a whole new level! (If you dont know what were talking about, then make sure that you check out THIS post to get all of the deets.) You basically rocked our socks off when you chimed in on your favorite pantry staples over on this post. What an amazing resource! We loved it so much that we asked you another question in our Shelf Cooking Community!

What is your favorite meal that leaves leftovers and how do you repurpose it to keep the family excited about dinner time!?

Leftovers can definitely be boring if you dont reheat them the correctly or repurpose them by adding a little something new. But using up leftovers is a huge part of shelf cooking and we want to see you continue rocking your new cooking style even after #Shelftember is over. It's all about those little habits to help you save money.

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Having some tried and true ways that Freebs repurpose leftovers is just what you may need to help you to make shelf cooking a more permanent part of your meal planning! If you haven't already, check out my most recent meal planning video where I walk you through how I actually meal plan! Are you ready to see what your fellow Freebs said? Lets get to it!


Before we get started, its important that you understand why we asked this question, especially if youre new to shelf cooking. For one, its all about using what you have on hand and supplementing with a few items that you need from the store. Its also about not letting any food go to waste.

If you know that youre going to have leftovers, then you need to have a plan for those when youre doing your weekly meal plan

Its also very convenient to cook up a large batch of what youre making for dinner that night so that youre able to meal prep and know that your food has a purpose. You can either plan on having those extra leftovers throughout the week in different meals (that well get to in a minute!) or you can freeze them in appropriate portions to eat later. Now that you understand the why, lets get to the how of repurposing leftovers!


While you can use virtually anything to help you to repurpose your leftovers, here's a short list of the most-used items that you will need!


Chicken is a meat that is so versatile and can be used in almost any dish! Here are the Freebs favorite ways to cook and repurpose chicken leftovers.

Use these tips from Fun Cheap or Free to repurpose your chicken leftovers

MEAL 1: Shredded Chicken
MEAL 2: Chicken Noodle Soup
MEAL 3: Chicken Pot Pie

MEAL 1: Chicken Fajitas
MEAL 2: Chicken Fajita Nachos
MEAL 3: Chicken Quesadillas

MEAL 1: Roasted Chicken
MEAL 2: Chicken and Dumplings
MEAL 3: Chicken Pasta Salad

MEAL 1: Homemade Chicken Tenders
MEAL 2: Chicken Tender Wrap
MEAL 3: Chicken Parmesan

MEAL 1: Chicken Tacos
MEAL 2: Chicken Nachos
MEAL 3: Chicken Tortilla Soup

MEAL 1: Grilled Chicken
MEAL 2: Homemade KFC Bowls
MEAL 3: Creamy Chicken Potato Soup

MEAL 1: BBQ Chicken
MEAL 2: BBQ Chicken Nachos
MEAL 3: BBQ Chicken Pizza

MEAL 1: Asian Chicken
MEAL 2: Chicken Stir Fry
MEAL 3: Chicken Fried Rice

MEAL 1: Crockpot Chicken and Gravy
MEAL 2: Pasta
MEAL 3: Chicken Spaghetti

MEAL 1: Garlic Butter Baked Chicken Breast
MEAL 2: Chicken Sub Sandwiches
MEAL 3: Chicken Stew

MEAL 1: Smothered Chicken Burritos
MEAL 2: Mexican Chicken Taquitos
MEAL 3: Chicken Taquito Salad

MEAL 1: Chicken Caesar Salad
MEAL 2: Chicken and Rice
MEAL 3: Chicken Tater Tot Casserole


Beef can be expensive, so its a MUST to make sure that you arent wasteful with it! Here are some of the Freebs favorite ways to repurpose their beef leftovers.

Use these great tips from Fun Cheap or Free for your beef leftovers

MEAL 1: Mississippi Pot Roast
MEAL 2: Pot Roast Subs
MEAL 3: Pot Roast Stew

MEAL 1: Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
MEAL 2: Meatloaf Sandwiches
MEAL 3: Shepherds Pie

MEAL 1: Beef Roast French Dip
MEAL 2: Chipotle Beef Taquitos
MEAL 3: BBQ Beef Sliders

MEAL 1: Brisket
MEAL 2: Brisket Nachos
MEAL 3: Brisket Tacos

MEAL 1: Beef Roast
MEAL 2: Beef Tostadas
MEAL 3: Roast-Stuffed Shells

MEAL 1: Chili
MEAL 2: Chili Cheese Dogs
MEAL 3: Chili Nachos

MEAL 1: Cheesy Meatloaf
MEAL 2: Cheeseburger
MEAL 3: Cheeseburger Pasta Bake

MEAL 1: Tacos
MEAL 2: Taco Salad
MEAL 3: Taco Soup


Pork is another meat that is so easy to make into something else. Here are the Freebs favorite ways to repurpose pork leftovers.

Use these tips from Fun Cheap or Free to repurpose your pork

MEAL 1: Pulled Pork
MEAL 2: Pulled Pork Nachos
MEAL 3: Pulled Pork Baked Potatoes

MEAL 1: Pork Roast
MEAL 2: Pork Fajitas
MEAL 3: Pork Taquitos

MEAL 1: Crockpot Pork
MEAL 2: Pork Burrito
MEAL 3: Pork Wraps

MEAL 1: Pork Chops
MEAL 2: Cheesy Pork and Rice
MEAL 3: Pork Fried Rice

MEAL 1: Pork Tenderloin
MEAL 2: Pork Lo Mein
MEAL 3: Pork Stroganoff

MEAL 1: Herb-Roasted Pork
MEAL 2: Pork Tamales
MEAL 3: Pork Carnitas


Give us all the carbs! Pasta is so good, but it can definitely get old when youre on day 3 of eating it. Check out what all the Freebs do to repurpose their pasta leftovers.

Use these great tips from our followers and Fun Cheap or Free

MEAL 1: Pasta with Meatballs
MEAL 2: Meatball Subs
MEAL 3: Meatball Pizza

MEAL 1: Bolognese
MEAL 2: Lasagna
MEAL 3: Sloppy Giuseppe

MEAL 1: Spaghetti
MEAL 2: Chicken Parmesan
MEAL 3: Pizza Casserole

MEAL 1: Fettuccini Alfredo
MEAL 2: Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
MEAL 3: Chicken Alfredo Soup

MEAL 1: Macaroni and Cheese
MEAL 2: French Onion Soup Mac and Cheese
MEAL 3: Macaroni and Cheese Baked Cheese Balls


Sometimes you have some random things leftover from your meal that you need to repurpose. Here are just a few ideas from the Freebs to really get your mind spinning.

Use these great tips from our followers and Fun Cheap or Free to repurpose other leftovers

MEAL 1: Breakfast Sausage
MEAL 2: Breakfast Flatbread
MEAL 3: Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash

MEAL 1: Honey Ham
MEAL 2: Ham Breakfast Casserole
MEAL 3: Split Pea Soup

MEAL 1: Pinto Bean Meal
MEAL 2: Chili
MEAL 3: Tacos

MEAL 1: Scrambled Eggs
MEAL 2: Breakfast Burritos
MEAL 3: Fried Rice

MEAL 1: Roasted Turkey
MEAL 2: Turkey Tetrazzini
MEAL 3: Turkey Noodle Soup

MEAL 1: Blackened Tilapia
MEAL 2: Fish Tacos
MEAL 3: Potato Fish Cakes

Alright, well there you have it! The Freebs favorite ways to plan to repurpose leftovers.

Now when you go to meal plan, you can make sure that you make enough for meal 1, that you'll be able to mix things up and create at least 1 or 2 more meals for your week! 🙂 How awesome is that!? Decrease your cooking time in the kitchen and make meal planning a little easier.

What are you favorite ways? Let us know in the comments below!

Make sure that you check out ShelfCooking.com to get even more great ideas and tips! 

Check out ShelfCooking.com

That sounds like every parent's dream, right?!

Want more great ideas to repurpose your leftovers? Make sure that you check out these posts!