There is nothing better than using leftover food to make a new meal in just a few minutes. Dinner ideas leftovers is a welcome treat on a busy weeknight.

Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas (Leftovers)

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There is nothing better than using leftover food to make a new meal in just a few minutes. Dinner ideas with leftovers are the best way to whip up easy dinner ideas in minutes.

Leftover shredded chicken

And leftover magic is a wonderful basic cooking skill to master!

If you have a little leftover meat, any kind will work, you can whip up a quick quesadilla meal in no time. The secret to great quesadillas is the crunch! Follow these instructions for cooking a quesadilla and you’ll have a family pleaser that everyone will love.

Leftover food

The first thing you need to do when making quesadillas is to use butter. Real butter. Not margarine, butter. Margarine is full of water which will make your quesadilla soggy and you won’t get that nice crunch on the outside that you will with butter.

There is nothing better than using leftover food to make a new meal in just a few minutes. Dinner ideas leftovers is a welcome treat on a busy weeknight.
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Quick and Easy Leftover Meat Quesadillas

Super quick and easy recipe idea using up the leftovers in your fridge. Save dinner tonight!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: quesadillas
Servings: 1
Author: Christina


  • 1 T Butter
  • 1/4 c leftover meat
  • 1/4 c shredded cheese
  • 2 tortillas (flour or corn)


  • Heat up your skillet and add butter.
  • Cook until melted
  • Place tortilla on skillet
  • Sprinkle on meat and cheese
  • Spread sauce on other tortilla
  • Lay on top
  • Cook until the bottom of the tortilla is lightly browned and nice and crispy
  • Flip quesadilla and cook until second side is crispy

What kind of sauce would taste great on a quesadilla? Pico would be a wonderful topping and add tons of flavor. Salsa works well in quesadillas as well as guacamole. A chipotle ranch would be awesome as well. Whatever kind of sauce you like.

Quick dinner ideas

Nachos are a great way to use up leftovers. Just chop up the meat and other cooked vegetables you have in the fridge. Lay some tortilla chips on a sheet pan and heat oven to 350. Sprinkle chopped meat and vegetables over the top.

Sprinkle on a few handfuls of shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and chips are crispy.

Add some fresh pico, sour cream, salsa or whatever else you have on hand. Super easy and super quick dinner for the family.

Pork roast is super versatile. It’s inexpensive meat but makes a ton. I love to serve it the first night like roast or in pulled pork sandwiches and then make a ton of other meals from it on the following nights.

Buying a whole chicken can save you a ton of money. You can throw it in the instant pot or crockpot (even frozen) and make several meals out of it.

This instant pot turkey breast makes a wonderful tender juicy flavorful meal in no time with lots of meat for leftovers.

Leftover spaghetti makes a wonderful spaghetti pie. It’s rich, savory, and even kids love it. Who doesn’t want to eat pie for dinner? Check out the recipe here.

Tons of quick and easy dinner ideas can be made with the leftovers in the fridge. Pull everything out, see what goes together and whip up one of these awesome soups or pasta meals. There are even great meatless meals that can be made with leftovers.

Dinner ideas for tonight

Pretty much anything can go into a taco. All you need are some heated tortillas and the leftovers from your fridge chopped up and ready to sprinkle in. Add shredded cheese, tomatoes and lettuce plus a dollop of sour cream for a super easy tasty meal.

A quiche or egg casserole is a great way to use up what’s leftover in the fridge. Check out this egg casserole that even my kids can make. Whatever you have on hand can go right in this recipe as well.

shredded chicken on a plate next to two forks

Chicken pot pie is a wonderfully comforting meal for the family. You can use whatever leftover meat you have. Chop it up and make the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted.

Pop it in the oven and work on homework, baths or whatever you need to get done while it bakes. You’ll have a tasty meal your family will love a few minutes later. I love set it and forget it meals that I don’t have to stand over. They are a real lifesaver.

Any kind of meat can be used in a pot pie. I love making them with my leftover turkey after the holidays. I think turkey pot pie is my favorite, but you can make any kind of beef, pork, poultry or whatever you have on hand into a wonderful meat pie.

leftovers in the fridge in containers with labels for quick and easy dinner ideas with leftovers

The first thing you need to do to make chicken pot pie, turkey pot pie or whatever pot pie is make a crust. Check here for the best one ever.

Leftover Meat Pot Pie

Use whatever meat you have leftover from dinner the night before to make a comforting savory pot pie your family will love.


  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 2 c chopped cooked leftover meat
  • 2 c leftover chopped vegetables or bag of frozen veggies
  • 1 crust and biscuits or double crust for top layer


  1. You can top the pot pie with a layer of crust or a few biscuits
  2. Place butter and onion in skillet and cook on low heat until translucent and soft.
  3. Add salt, sage, pepper and flour.
  4. Cook and stir until flour starts to slightly brown
  5. Add chicken broth and milk all at once and stir until thickened and bubbly.  A few extra minutes of cooking will take this sauce from good to delightful, so don’t stop too soon.
  6. Add veggies and meat and stir.
  7. Dump into pie shell.
  8. Top with desired topping.
  9. Bake at 350 until thick and bubbly and crust is nicely browned. 45-60 minutes.

Try these leftover brisket recipes, leftover chicken recipes and leftover pulled pork recipes for even more inspiration for leftover meat.

Transforming leftover food into masterpieces that your family won’t recognize takes a little practice, but you’ll be doing it before you know it. Eating at home is healthier than eating out and leftovers can save the day and help you give your family healthier meals. If you want to know more about feeding your family healthy, check this out.

And if you’re just looking for a quick dinner idea for kids, check this out.

scraping leftovers into a container and containers of leftovers on the counter top

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