Dealing with a refrigerator of half-filled condiment bottles can feel a little overwhelming. Sure it's nice to have things on hand that lend flavor, but putting the sea of half-used bottles to use can seem daunting. Clean the condiment clutter with these 10 easy ideas!
Remember that the first thing you need to do is figure out which condiments to keep, which should be thrown out, and which should be used up:
Once you've done the purging, it's time to get cooking with these 10 easy ideas!
10 Ways To Use Up Condiments
1. Turn Them Into Dips: You can make a dip out of most any condiment by adding the leftovers in your bottle to a tub of sour cream, cream cheese or yogurt. Don't forget a squeeze of lemon or lime to help meld the two together.
2. Pasta and Potato Salads: Even though it's easy to think of both these things being strictly mayo or mustard based, many condiments can be mixed in to give it a unique taste that's sure to be a show stopper at your next family picnic.
3. Marinades: With grilling season in full swing, putting non-milk based condiments in a zip top bag with your proteins can be a great way to use up the end of a bottle. The only thing to keep an eye on is the amount of sugar you'll be using (which can cause burning or grill flare ups). If it's higher on the scale, use a low heat and cook things a little slower.
4. Salad Dressings: Although many of the condiments in your fridge might already be dressings, an easy way to get rid of more obscure things (like a bottle of plum or duck sauce) can be to mix it up with a little oil and vinegar and create a brand new concoction. Don't be scared to give something new a try, the worst that can happen is that it sucks, you have a laugh and life goes on.
5. Hand Pies and Calzones: One of our favorite ways to use up the tail ends of stray proteins in the fridge is making small hand pies or "calzones". Make a little dough, add a few other pantry staples and use it as a nice change to a more traditional marinara.
6. Pizza Sauce: You can't talk about the mini version above and not go full out. Instead of using pesto, marinara or just olive oil, try adding a little funk to your pie and spread on something fun. Make a dessert pizza using apple butter as the base, a Asian style pie by using up a bottle of duck sauce, the world is your condiment/pizza oyster!
7. Freeze Them: Some condiments (not oil based) will freeze quite well and can be a good option. Try using a small candy mold sprayed with quick release spray to freeze small individual portions, allowing you to pull out a teaspoon of worcestershire when you need it and add it to your hot pan.
8. Pick A Starch, Any Starch: Adding flavors from your fridge to pasta or rice dishes is a great way to polish off a bottle. Try adding them when stir frying or pan frying at the last minute for a good zip of flavor!
9. Sandwiches: Although this idea tops off the more obvious end of the scale, try using things other than mayo, mustard and horseradish!
10. Add 'em to Eggs!: It doesn't matter if you're making a frittata or scrambling them up, a few teaspoons of this or that is always acceptable in the blank slate egg dish. They're forgiving to all types of condiments and can be used in combination with almost everything in your fridge!
Do you have a way that's not listed above? Let us know below!
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(Image credits: Christine Gallary; Martha Stewart; Elizabeth Passarella)