So, the game day party was a hit. The decorations were on point, you cheered your heart out, kids played, your team won (we hope), and now you’re left with the biggest party favor of all…leftovers!
What some see as a mountain of mess, we see as an opportunity to minimize food waste and stretch the dollars you’ve already spent on quality food.
Plus, with some-pre planning and encouraged creativity, you can share take-away boxes with your guests so everyone can enjoy your Smithfield game day recipes all week long, in all new ways.
Here are 5 ways to transform your Game Day leftovers.
1. Say Yes to Quesadillas
We love how quick and easy quesadillas are, whether it’s a savory snack for a house full of kids or part of a family dinner, they’re customizable and easy to share.
Two game day recipes we’re eyeing that are sure to provide supreme ingredients for quesadilla leftovers are the bacon and cheese dip and Italian sausage nachos. Set aside some of your delicious cheesy dip for the base, and top with any remaining Italian sausage from your nachos.
2. Breakfast, Anyone?
3. Don’t Forget About the Pasta-bilities
No matter the spread from your party, you can soak up the flavors from your deliciously seasoned dishes like leftover Italian sausage sliders or the cowboy chili hot dog fixings to create a brand new pasta dish for dinner the following night. Some ideas for “next-night” pasta transformations include baked ziti with smoked sausage, a chili pasta bake, or even a creamy spinach and sausage pasta. Bon appetit!
4. Your Freezer is Your Friend
This is a mantra to remember. Fruit salads and crudite platters are often present at game day events and one of the easiest areas to repurpose into leftover use. To start, turn fruit salad leftovers into individually packaged, pre-proportioned smoothie packs. Keep these easily accessible in your freezer and ready to toss into your blender. Next, compile remaining veggies from your crudite plates, charcuterie boards or dip platters into a freezer-safe container to be used in soups and sautees.
Freezer Tip: If you’re a fan of acidity and brine-y flavors, skip the freezer and try quick pickling leftover veggies. Carrots, cauliflower, peppers, and snap peas are all perfectly “pickle-able”. Simply submerge your vegetables of choice into an existing empty pickle jar full of the leftover brine, or make your own brine with vinegar (distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar), water, and salt. Let this mix marinate for up to 48 hours, then enjoy as a delicious side or addition to salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more.
5. Bun(s) in the Oven
Maybe your Game Day included the ultimate DIY hot dog bar and you’ve got buns to spare, we got you. Whether it’s hot dog or burger buns there are many ways to repurpose these breads into homemade croutons, breadcrumbs, casseroles, or even bread pudding.
Storage tip: wrap your leftover buns tightly in plastic and keep them at room temperature for up to one week. You’re looking for them to get just a little dry and crunchy to become the perfect temperament for their second use in any form mentioned above. Of course, you never know if any will make it to the one-week mark uneaten!
In need of more inspiration for your next family meal? Smithfield Foods’ large portfolio of products, including Smithfield® Bacon, Nathan’s Famous® Beef Franks and Eckrich® Smoked Sausage, can meet your household’s needs for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snack time.