20 Meals That Make Great Leftovers

updated Nov 30, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Cooked spaghetti and sauce in an Instant Pot
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Leftovers are the ultimate lifesaver on busy weeknights. With the right recipe, leftovers mean opening your fridge for dinner isn’t a drag. From vegetable lasagna and BBQ meatloaf, to slow cooker chicken tikka masala and pumpkin chili, these 20 dinner recipes are even better the next day.

Pasta and Rice

1 / 7
How To Make the Best Instant Pot Spaghetti
How to make a luxurious, family-friendly spaghetti and meat sauce in your Instant Pot.
Go to Recipe
2 / 7
Cheesy Ravioli Pasta Bake

When cheese ravioli is tossed in an abundance of marinara sauce, piled in a casserole dish, layered with even more cheese, and baked, it takes on all the good qualities of the classic layered pasta dish.

Go to Recipe
3 / 7
Italian Sausage and Peppers Baked Ziti

Throw in some Italian sausage and sweet peppers, and the smell of this baked casserole will lure everybody into the kitchen even though the sun’s still up.

Go to Recipe
4 / 7
Cheesy Vegetarian Lasagna

When one has fresh tomato sauce, homemade ricotta, and a huge haul of vegetables in one’s fridge, a hearty lasagna is really the only possible course of action.

Go to Recipe
5 / 7
Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger
An easy recipe for orzo pasta with sweet potato, mushrooms, leafy greens, and fresh ginger.
Go to Recipe
6 / 7
Kimchi Fried Rice with Extra Greens
Kimchi and gochujang give fried rice a spicy Korean kick.
Go to Recipe
7 / 7
Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls
Filled with chicken, rice, black beans, corn, and salsa, these burrito bowls come together quickly with an Instant Pot.
Go to Recipe

Soup, Stew, and Curry

1 / 8
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Tex-Mex version has fire-roasted tomatoes, carrots, and black beans in a lightly spiced broth, and hits all the notes when you need a bright-yet-warming meal.

Go to Recipe
2 / 8
Wild Mushroom & Farro Soup

It’s hearty and filling even with no meat, and Ina has a few extra tips for ways to finish it off in a special way.

Go to Recipe
3 / 8
Pumpkin Chili

It can easily be made vegan, too, by adding extra olive oil to replace the butter, and serving dairy-free toppings in place of the cheddar cheese and sour cream, or skipping them entirely.

Go to Recipe
4 / 8
Vegan Chili
Red lentils and a duo of beans makes this vegan chili super meaty, and a slew of pantry ingredients impart a ultra-deep, rich flavor.
Go to Recipe
5 / 8
A Very Good Beef Stew

It’s a dish that will serve you well through long winters and family visits and other small moments of need.

Go to Recipe
6 / 8
Kale and Cannellini Bean Stew

Stews like these are designed to make you feel good in every possible way. Brimming with veggies and spices, each of these wholesome stews will support you.

Go to Recipe
7 / 8
Kidney Bean and Coconut Curry

Kidney beans are typically confined to chili, but they are surprisingly right at home in this Chadian bean and coconut dish. The base of the dish is flavored with an aromatic combination of cardamon, garlic, curry, and green chili.

Go to Recipe
8 / 8
Quick Butternut Squash Curry

This Thai curry can be whipped up in less time than it takes to call for takeout, so put the phone down and get in the kitchen. It’s also meatless, but thanks to hearty vegetables like butternut squash and broccoli, plus creamy coconut milk, it’s immensely satisfying and has all the necessary flavors to make you feel like cooking for fall has finally arrived.

Go to Recipe

Meaty Mains

1 / 6
One-Pot Weeknight Beef Stroganoff
Tender noodles, ground beef, and mushrooms all cooked together in a creamy, comforting sauce.
Go to Recipe
2 / 6
Slow Cooker Maple-Mustard Pulled Pork
Transform everyday pulled pork with your slow cooker and the sweet and tangy flavors of maple syrup and mustard.
Go to Recipe
3 / 6
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Spooned over some steamed rice, this easy slow cooker tikka masala is about to make your busy days very happy indeed.
Go to Recipe
4 / 6
Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls
Filled with chicken, rice, black beans, corn, and salsa, these burrito bowls come together quickly with an Instant Pot.
Go to Recipe
5 / 6
Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf

This juicy turkey meatloaf has no intentions of being the boring, dry lump some meatloaves turn out to be, and that’s all thanks to the delicious tang of BBQ sauce that goes into the meat mixture and on top of it as a glaze.

Go to Recipe
6 / 6
Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken
Slow cooker BBQ shredded chicken is an easy weeknight dinner that can be made with chicken breasts, thighs, or a combo of the two.
Go to Recipe