27 Dietitian-Approved Recipes Using Leftover Foods To Reduce Food Waste

Celebrating National Nutrition Month 2018, “Go Further With Food,” I rounded up 27 Dietitian-Approved Recipes Using Leftover Foods To Reduce Food Waste. This month is meant to bring awareness to people on how to live healthier lives. The theme, Go Further With Food, is meant to encourage people to take their food to the next level. Where we’re not only thinking about healthy food choices, but we’re also thinking about how to correctly reduce food waste, which will also lower your grocery bill. The below recipes use parts of foods we may throw away, such as vegetable tops, green “stems,” or ugly produce. Another way to reduce food waste is planning a menu and preparing meals in advance so you only buy what you need. This can save money, too.

Many of the below links don’t just contain incredible recipes, they also include posts on more examples of how to reduce food waste. Talk about tons of tasty education to go around. Enjoy the fabulous meals and continue to celebrate National Nutrition Month all year long.
(All photos were taken by the authors of the recipes).

Comfort Turkey or Chicken Soup for the Soul by Me (Family. Food. Fiesta.). This recipe uses bones from a rotisserie chicken or turkey and onion peels, garlic peels, celery and carrot tips, and many other vegetable parts that you generally compost or throw away.

Kitchen Scraps Vegetable Stock by Foods with Judes. Stocks are some of the easiest and best ways to use leftover vegetable scraps. Here is a simple and yummy recipe for a base stock to go in any soup or dish that needs a broth.

Kitchen Sink Minestrone by Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. “Turn Waste Into Soup,” shares Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. A variety of leftovers in your fridge can go into this scrumptious soup.

Whey-Too-Good Butternut Squash Soup by Crumb, Ink. This unique recipe uses leftover whey from strained yogurt in addition to the seeds found in the butternut squash that we usually throw away.

Kale, Lentil, and Beef Stew (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, & Stove Top) by Beautiful Eats & Things. Use wilted kale and carrots for this recipe. Also include the kale stems in this hearty stew to use all the parts.

Quick & Easy Herb & Lemon Sauce by Me (Family. Food. Fiesta.). Instead of throwing out wilted herbs, puree them for a fast sauce including the stems. Use any herb of choice to make a different flavor. Put the sauce over a protein like chicken, fish, steak, or tofu.

Spiced Sage Pumpkin Sauce by Crumb, Ink. Use the entire pumpkin (including the seeds as a garnish) to make this sauce. It’s a great thickener for soups or a sauce for pastas.

Creative Recipes to Upcycle Juice Pulp: Waffles, Pancakes, and Carrot Cake by Wendy Jo. These recipes use the pulp from carrots, zucchinis, or fruits to make the delicious dishes. Pure tasty genius.

Pineapple Core & Spinach Smoothie by The Domestic Dietitian. Don’t trash that pineapple core. Use it in this incredible smoothie. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants for health, wellness, and flavor.

Carrot Top Pesto Recipe + 15 Ways to Use Pesto by Snacking in Sneakers. This recipe uses the green leafy top of the carrots. Fabulous way to get your greens in, too.

Ricotta Mashed Potato Gnocchi by Byte Sized Nutrition. This recipe uses leftover mashed potatoes (if there are any 😊). Delish.

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna by One Hungry Bunny. Use the carrot peels, broccoli and swiss chard stems, and other veggie scraps of choice in this rich and healthy lasagna.

Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine by Live Best. Use the stalk and the stem of the cauliflower. It also thickens the sauce so you use less butter. Win-win situation.

Italian Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Instant Pot by Hungry Hobby. Use the entire potato, including the skin so there is minimal food waste.

Broccoli Rice Stir-Fry by Jessica Cording Nutrition. Not only will you use the stems of the broccoli, you can also use other leftover/ugly vegetables in your fridge for this savory dish.

Creamy Broccoli and Avocado Soup by Triad to Wellness. Great way to use all parts of the broccoli including the stems.

Broccoli Slaw Salad with Flaxseeds & Hemp Seeds by Amy Gorin Nutrition. Another way to use the stems of broccoli. Make a slaw.

Champagne Confetti Slaw by Eat Real Live Well.  Use the “ugly” produce in your fridge and the parts of the cabbage and carrots we don’t usually eat.

Kale + Persimmon Salad with Pecan Yogurt Dressing by Fork in the Road. This salad is made entirely from recovered “ugly” produce. You don’t have to throw it away and you can still enjoy a super flavorful dish!

Warm Golden Beet & Beet Green Salad with Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing by Macrobalanced. Don’t throw away those beet greens on top of the beets. Use them in many recipes including this tasty salad.

Spring Pasta Salad with Dill Frond and Radish Green Pesto by Rachael Hartley Nutrition. A wonderful way to use the green tops of radishes and fronds from fennel. Super low food waste in this awesome recipe.

The Easiest Oatmeal Muffins You’ll Ever Make by Sarah Remmer. This recipe uses leftover oatmeal. You don’t have to throw out the old, cold stuff. And there’s a quick video to watch, too.

Asian-Style Farro Buddha Bowl with Crispy Baked Tofu by Jessica Levinson. A fabulous way to use leftover roasted veggies or grains in a brand new dish. Make this recipe with any grain of choice (not just farro).

Swiss Chard Potato Chive Frittata by Kara Lydon – The Foodie Dietitian. Throw leftover or excess veggies into a frittata and enjoy a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Easy Vegetarian Enchiladas + 5 Simple Tips to Reduce Food Waste by The Spicy RD Nutrition. Use up the vegetables that are about to go bad and include the stems of kale and other greens in this dish. The “ugly” veggies just got incredibly delicious.

Asian-Style Turkey Meatloaf with Honey-Soy Glaze by Jessica Levinson. Use the “ugly” veggies in your fridge for this umami-rich recipe.

One Glass Sangria for Reducing Food Waste by Champagne Nutrition. This is the best recipe for having an incredible drink and using up all parts of the fruit (rind included).

For past National Nutrition Month posts, check out:

March is National Nutrition Month, So Put Your Best Fork Forward

31 Traditional, Healthy Family Favorite Recipes from Dietitians

30 Delicious Dinners from 30 Dietitians

By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN

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  1. Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers March 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    So many great recipe ideas here! I’ve been trying to work on reducing food waste both from an environmental and money perspective. Love all these ideas.

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN March 5, 2018 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Awesome! And thank you so much for sharing your recipes and tips!

  2. Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian March 5, 2018 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I love all these ideas! Cutting back on food waste is never a bad thing, thanks for the great ideas.

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN March 5, 2018 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Your recipe is sooo good! Thanks for sharing too!

  3. […] Looking for more inspiration on ways to upcycle food or use the entire vegetable instead of tossing out the stems or tops? Look no further than our dear friend, colleague, & Born To Eat Mama Sarah Koszyk over at Family. Food. Fiesta…check out her creative post with over 20 upcycled recipes from dietitians!  […]

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN March 7, 2018 at 7:57 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your incredible ideas and recipes with using juice pulp. Fantastic way to reduce food waste

  4. Phil March 6, 2018 at 11:10 am - Reply

    THANK YOU! What a wonderful way to reduce and utilize “waste”. We try to use our leftovers, but these recipes take waste food reduction to a new level.

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN March 7, 2018 at 7:59 am - Reply

      Yes. It’s a concept and practice we can do more often. Thanks for sharing!

  5. […] put in the salad. It’s here in my friend Liz’s carrot top pesto and here in my friend Sarah’s Koszyk’s 27 Dietitian-Approved Recipes to Reduce Food Waste. Bonus: in that post, you get my One Glass Sangria recipe because it uses that leftover wine and […]

  6. […] you put in the salad. It’s here in my friend Liz’s carrot top pesto and here in my friend Sarah’s Koszyk’s 27 Dietitian-Approved Recipes to Reduce Food Waste. Bonus: in that post, you get my One Glass Sangria recipe because it uses that leftover wine and […]

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