Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance.
Growing up in a larger family usually means that leftovers are a regular sight around the dinner table. At least once a week, my parents would say that we were having leftovers for dinner. Unfortunately, they never really transformed these leftovers into new meals. So if you didn’t like the meal the first time, you probably wouldn’t like it the second time around.
Since I started experimenting more in the kitchen, I have found that leftovers don’t always need to be reheated versions of the original meal. Sometimes leftovers can look and taste completely different. The trick is to have an idea about what you are planning to transform the leftovers of the original meal.
If you make a whole roasted chicken with a simple seasoning blend, the leftover chicken can be shredded and used to make chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings. Now if you roasted that chicken covered in tons of spices, you want to transform it into BBQ shredded chicken sandwiches.
What I have found is that the meat needs to be tender, juicy and bit overcooked in the original meal. When you transform it, the meat is already cooked so it should be added towards the end and it should be reheated on low heat. Low and slow is my method. This allows the meat to absorb the new flavors without being overcooked or dried out.
Another thing to keep in mind is the flavors of the original meal. You can always add spices but you can’t take them away. If you create a dish using Indian spices, then it may be a little difficult to transform those leftovers into a dish that uses Italian spices. I am planning on making a delicious spicy turkey chili for the leftovers of my Spicy Turkey Meatloaf. Since I added a bunch of spices up front, I will be using them again to season to chili. I also made some extra tomato sauce to use as the chili base.
Transforming leftovers into a new meal doesn’t have to be difficult process. It does require a little bit of thought up front so you don’t end up with a not-so-tasty mess on your hands. Overcooked meat will dry out during the reheating process. If you don’t like how spices and sauces taste together, then you probably won’t like how they taste in a transformed dish.
- 2 pounds ground turkey breast
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with an oven rack in the center position.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, onion, bell pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, tomato paste, paprika, cayenne pepper and chili powder. Mix together until everything is combined and evenly distributed.
- Transfer the turkey mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and shape into a loaf in the center of the dish. The loaf should be about 5 to 6 inches wide and 2 to 3 inches high. Pour the Spicy Tomato Sauce evenly over the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour the chicken stock, tomato paste, onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and chili powder into a blender. Puree until smooth. Drain the diced tomatoes and add to the tomato sauce. Mix together until the diced tomatoes are evenly distributed.
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For more #SundaySupper recipes and ideas on how to transform your leftovers, check out these other recipes:
- Apple Cider Braised Pork Roast by Magnolia Days
- Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf by girlichef
- Baked Barbecue Chicken by Alida’s Kitchen
- Brined and Roasted Turkey by Growin Up Gabel
- Chicken Cacciatore by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Cider Braised Pork Belly by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce by Neighborfood
- Coffee Rubbed Ham by Curious Cuisiniere
- Glazed Ham with Bonus Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes & Ham by The Foodie Army Wife
- Herb Crusted Roast Beef by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Herbed Pork Loin on Spaetzle by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Picadillo-Stuffed Chiles Rellenos by Foxes Love Lemons
- Pork Tinga by Juanita’s Cocina
- Roast Psycho Chicken by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Vegetables by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Shrimp Scampi & Sushi by NinjaBaking.com
- Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken by In The Kitchen With KP
- Slow-Cooker BBQ-Rubbed Turkey Breast by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Spicy Turkey Meatloaf by Runner’s Tales
- Sunday Supper Spicy Portuguese Pulled Pork by Family Foodie
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.