Thankfully, it’s never been easier to make the most of your ingredients with our tips, tricks and hacks. From transforming leftovers into delicious dishes to knowing what to do with odds and ends of fresh fruit and veg, we have all you need to know. And don’t forget to embrace your freezer — it’s the ultimate tool in the fight to reduce food waste. Keep these recipes to reduce food waste up your sleeve to help inspire your next meal and use up all those lovely leftovers.
Want more? Check out our 10 tips to reduce food waste
Wholesome, hearty and versatile, nothing beats a big bowl of minestrone soup. You can easily flex this recipe using whatever veg, stock or cheese you have to hand; and you can even swap pasta for rice if that works best for you.
Easy homemade pickle
Having a jar of homemade pickle in the fridge adds a touch of magic to almost any dish, and it couldn’t be more simple to make. Add any leftover bits of veg to a jar, pour in vinegar, a sprinkle of salt and sugar and you’ll have the ultimate zero-waste kitchen hack. We love it!
Jools’ chopped salad
A crunchy chopped salad is brilliant for using up the odds and ends of lettuce, veg, cheese, cooked meats, nuts – you name it!
Freezer-raid springtime risotto
Celebrate beautiful frozen veg with this comforting risotto. Get creative with flavour combos, and check out our easy swaps to make the most of what you’ve got.
Vivid green risotto
Or if you have fresh green veg to use up, this risotto is perfect. It’ll also make good use of any leftover cheeses, too – simply top it with a good sprinkling of it, and this is comfort food at its best!
Leftover squash pancakes
Use up leftover roasted squash in these super-speedy savoury pancakes – perfect for a last-minute brunch this weekend.
Gennaro’s pasta frittata – lots of ways
This humble pasta frittata is a fantastic vehicle for using up cooked pasta, and it’s super-quick to rustle up. Flavour-wise, you can easily adapt it to suit what you have.
Cauliflower cheese pasta
Finish off leftover cheese in this delicious pasta recipe. What’s more, you can change up the sauce using your favourite veg – go orange with carrot or squash, or green with broccoli, have fun with it!
Chicken, leek & pea pasta bake
Classic comfort food at its best, this delicious pasta bake is perfect for using up leftover cooked chicken.
Veggie pad Thai
This recipe is great for polishing off crunchy veg – think asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli, pak choi, or baby corn. Mix it up – whatever you throw in will be delicious.
Green veggie fritters
Give gorgeous cooked greens a new lease of life in this speedy fritter dish. Great for using up leftover cheese, and cooked Brussels sprouts, too!
Leftover lamb biryani
Embrace leftover cooked lamb, chicken, beef or veggies with this family favourite. Check out the swaps if you’re after some inspiration, but feel free to make it your own.
Speedy quiche traybake
Quiches are a great way to use up excess veg, and this traybake version couldn’t be easier. Flex your filling depending on what’s knocking about in your fridge.
Chicken & veg soup
Make sure you save the chicken carcass after your Sunday roast to make the delicious stock for this satisfying soup. This recipe is also amazing for using up any bits of veg.
Bubble and squeak
Good bubble & squeak is a thing of joy, so turn precious leftover cooked veg into an incredible pile of gnarly, veggie gorgeousness.
Good old bread & butter pudding
Bread is one of the most wasted foods in the UK, but it doesn’t need to be! Use it up in a sweet dessert, like this bread and butter pudding, or even in soups, salads and sauces.
MORE: Genius leftover bread ideas
Homemade candied peel
Transform the peel or squeezed rinds of any citrus fruit in this zero-waste baking staple – brilliant in hot cross buns, biscuits, and this ultimate gingerbread.
Want to find out more about food waste? Here’s what you need to know.
And if you’re after more ways to reduce your food waste, get clued up on the best-before myth, and check out our fabulous freezer tips.