ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ideas for Using Up Leftover Vegetables

Updated on July 27, 2009

Do you ever end up with small amounts of leftover vegetables wanting to go bad in your produce crisper? Maybe you cooked too many mushrooms or bought too many sweet potatoes. Maybe your produce is just going bad a little too quickly and you need to come up with a way to use it up before it goes to waste. Whatever your reasons for needing to use up your leftover veggies, this is the hub for you. Here is a list of ideas to inspire you to eat these vegetables before they need to be thrown away.

  1. Make a large omelet. Omelets are delicious and filling and best of all you can use up the odds and ends in your produce drawer. We like to add mushrooms, onions, peppers and even tomatoes to ours.
  2. Spaghetti sauce lends itself surprisingly well to hiding vegetables. You can either chop vegetables up into large chunks or steam and puree it to really hide it. Spinach, broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms and peppers all have found their way into my spaghetti sauce.
  3. Pizza is delicious and can be topped with just about anything. Personally for me, if I can add cheese on top, it sounds good.
  4. Stir-fry is a good idea for many reasons. It is good, good for you, easy and fast to cook and uses up the odds and ends of just about anything. Tonight for instance, I had one lone sweet potato, water chestnuts, tons of zucchini, garlic and onions that needed to be used. I cooked them all up with diced chicken and seasoned it with soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and a lime that was languishing in my crisper. My house smelled delightful and we had the best dinner.
  5. Quesadillas are a summertime favorite around here when tomatoes are ripening too quickly for me. Cheese and tomato is our favorite but we have also cooked these up with several different types of squashes, onions, peppers, mushrooms and broccoli.
  6. Soups and stews are the perfect winter fare for all those random veggies. In fact many people keep a container in their freezer and anytime they have leftover bits of veggies, they throw them all together in a bucket, juices and all. When the bucket is full they know it is time to make soup.
  7. Make a relish tray. Frequently for dinner I will put a large plate on the table with whatever fresh vegetables I can find. Add ranch dressing or hummus and this is a great side dish for any meal.
  8. Large salads can incorporate many vegetables. This would make a great lunch to take to work with dressing on the side.
  9. My husband makes what my kids call Famous Ramen noodles. Basically he digs out whatever veggies he can find in the fridge, chops them up small and adds them to the cooked noodles from the ramen packet. He also adds tuna, garlic salt and pepper and the kids all devour it.
  10. If you really have produce going bad too quickly and can't eat it then you can usually freeze it. Sometimes you do have to blanch it first, but that only takes a minute or two and will save your vegetables, and your money, from making their way to your trash can.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • katrinasui profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow! what a great idea to use leftover vegetables. Great Hub.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      9 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Great ideas. I already do some of them, but you have reminded me of some I haven't done in years. I used to do the Ramen stir fry dohn121 suggested above. There are directions on the package for using them like Lo Mein. I used to incorporate leftover pork or chicken into them along with spouts, greens,and whatever left-over veggies I had on hand. I've also used the spaghetti sauce trick. I like to add mushrooms and summer squashes to it. If I have more sauce than pasta, I toast some sourdough garlic bread and top with leftover sauce and cheese and bake until the cheese melts for poor man's pizza.

    • Santa Fe Gal profile image

      Santa Fe Gal 

      9 years ago

      Love the Quesadillas suggestion! Put cheese on anything and I'll eat it.

      Have you ever heard of a dish called Bubbles and Squeak? It's popular in the UK. You mix leftover veggies and meat (optional) with stuffing to form patties and fry them in a skillet with a little oil. The dish got it's name because the patties bubble and make a squeaking noise when the cook. It's a great way to use Thanksgiving leftover.

    • Gicky Soriano profile image

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      Your hub reminds me of my mom's dish. She would make a boiled chicken dinner complete with vegetables. The very next day, she would chop the chicken and vegetables and mix-in a Spanish-style tomato sauce mix. The recycled dish was called "Ropa Vieja" or "Old Clothes." Thank you for ten more creative ideas of rehashing left over vegetables into great meals.

    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 

      9 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      I mix all of it and grind it in to a paste and pour it in to my sambar( with out my wife seeing ) to go with rice.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      Great ideas Jennifer! I love the spaghetti sauce idea - anything that can hide vegetables in it sounds good!

      In India, we also tend to mix in a bit of flour and water and either roll them out and roast them or fry them like dumplings.

    • Staci-Barbo7 profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Jennifer, the soup idea is definitely my personal favorite. One other idea - if you have picky eaters that revolt at the sight of certain veggies - first blend up veggies that you then put in your spaghetti sauce, so they can't visually ID what's in there to complain that they don't like it or that you need to cull out those veggies for them. They usually like the flavor, just not the "looks," of those vegetables.

    • Nemingha profile image


      9 years ago

      One of my favorite snacks is a plateful of chopped cooked vegetables (it doesn't really matter which ones) tossed with either Italian or Balsamic salad dressing. Believe me, it tastes a lot better than it sounds. Great ideas as usual.

    • Tigermadstanley profile image

      Amanda Davey 

      9 years ago from Canterbury, Kent, UK

      Another hub full of useful ideas. Thanks for creating this Jennifer.

      Another idea is a vegetable curry which can be made in lots of different ways using whatever veg you've got.

      Of course creating chicken feed from leftovers or veg that need using up is also a great way to use them.

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Another useful and practical hub! I'm definitely one of your fans! Another idea, Jennifer, since ramen are dirt cheap, is to boil them maybe half-way (I sometimes just blanch them because they cook for the second time when being fried/sauteed) and them fry them up like Lo Mein. You could actually incorporate this into your list because you could of course dice up some vegetables to add to it. Hope this helps!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)