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24 Smart Ways To Use Up Any Food That’s About To Go Bad In Your Kitchen


24 Smart Ways To Use Up Any Food That’s About To Go Bad In Your Kitchen

1. Turn two overripe bananas into a half-dozen muffins.

2. Or peel bananas, freeze them, and make healthy soft-serve.

3. Cook wrinkly tomatoes down into 10-minute pasta sauce.

4. Oven-roast leftover garlic then slather it on toast or baguettes.

Roast partial heads or even stray cloves, depending on what you have left. (If you go for the former, plant them in a muffin tin so they stay upright in the oven.)

5. Turn dry-ish limes into ready-made margarita starters.

Because you never know when the craving will strike. (When it does, just add tequila and sweetener — and you’re good to go!)

7. Puree past-their-prime greens (like spinach or kale) then freeze them into smoothie boosters.


Totally fine if they’re a little wilted or droopy — you won’t be able to tell once everything gets pureed.

9. Freeze about-to-wilt herbs in olive oil, then use them as ready-made recipe starters.

10. Or toss herbs into a food processor with olive oil + cheese to make pesto.

Basil is the classic here, but you could also try parsley, cilantro, or even kale or spinach. Then drizzle pesto over pasta or meat, or swirl it into omelets.

11. Pile this-and-that veggie scraps into quick fritters.

Eggs + flour bind the mixture, so this works with any chopped veg: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, peppers, corn, etc. Then pair the fritters with a creamy dip!

12. Or throw leftover veggies into a clear-the-fridge frittata.

Can’t go wrong as long as you’ve got eggs + milk to bring everything together. Here’s a frittata that uses up zucchini, tomatoes, and frozen corn.

13. Or if you’ve got more odds and ends than actual vegetables, make broth.

14. Cook down mushy berries into stovetop jam.

All you need is berries + lemon juice + sugar. Then use the jam to top toast or waffles, or swirl it into yogurt.

Joe Lingeman / Kitchn

Easiest flavor booster ever — and if you can add any herbs, even better. Scoop the beans on toast, over salad greens, into pitas, or eat them solo.

16. Freeze leftover boxed broth into cubes.

Then drop them into recipes that call for a bit of liquid to add flavor at the end, like pasta sauces. Or use them to speed up the process when cooking down lots of greens.

17. Quick-pickle crunchy veg — red onions, radishes, jalapeños — then use as taco toppers.

19. Pile leftover vegetables or meat into DIY pizzas.

For the pizza base, try premade or homemade dough, English muffins, or naan. Just about any toppings work too: crumbled sausage, olives, peppers, etc.

20. Upgrade ramen noodles with rotisserie chicken scraps + boxed broth + any veg you have on hand.

21. Use leftover marinara sauce as the base of shortcut shakshuka.

Lauren Volo / Kitchn

This single-serve version is cooked in the microwave — but you could also scale it up or simmer it on the stovetop.

23. Wilt greens down — then add a few non-perishables to make it a full meal.

In this case: sundried tomatoes and canned white beans. If you’re not into kale, swap in spinach, broccolini, or cabbage.

24. Use that last lemon to clean your microwave.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

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