There’s nothing worse than leftover meat sauce.
You’ve already used it for your pasta, but you don’t want to waste the rest of it.
But what else can you do with leftover meat sauce?
The answer: A LOT.
Here are 34 ways to use up that leftover meat sauce!
See Also: 46 Easy Wonton Wrapper Recipes
What to Do with Leftover Meat Sauce
The best way to use leftover meat sauce is to add it to a recipe that has a similar flavor profile. For example, if you have leftover meat sauce, you could make pizza or pasta the next day. If you have leftover chicken fajita sauce, you could use it in taquitos or on top of tacos.
If you don’t want a completely different dish, but just want to add some extra flavor, consider adding your leftover sauce to a soup or stew.
You can also save your sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Keep reading for more options:
This makes sense because pizza is already one of the best things in life—but if you don’t want to make your own dough, there are several options for getting premade dough at most grocery stores these days (just look at their refrigerated section).
And then all you have to do is add sauce and cheese (and whatever else strikes your fancy) and bake it off in the oven until it’s nice and golden brown on top—yum!
2. Freeze It and Use It Later in The Week
You can also simply freeze it for future use.
When you’re ready for a quick meal, just thaw out the frozen block of sauce in the fridge overnight and heat it up with a bit of water or milk over low heat until melted—and then serve over pasta or rice!
These are a great way to use up any leftover meatballs in your fridge too, but if that sounds too complicated for you then just grab some leftover spaghetti and toss it with some cooked meatballs and mozzarella cheese (or whatever other toppings strike your fancy).
Then just cook them all under the broiler until everything is hot and melty!
4. Spoon over Pasta
If you’re not feeling like pizza but still have some leftover meat sauce, try mixing it with some pasta instead!
You can use penne or any other shape of pasta that you prefer—and if you want to add some veggies into the mix, try adding some mushrooms or broccoli florets.
Just cook them until they’re soft before adding everything together with the sauce and stirring it all together until hot!
5. Make Soup
We love soup, but homemade soups can be tricky because they usually require some kind of cooking time that makes it hard to cook while you’re at work or school.
But if you have leftover meat sauce in the fridge, just add some veggies and pasta noodles to create a delicious treat that will warm your belly on a chilly day!
6. Add it to rice
If you’ve got some extra rice left over from dinner last night, why not stir in some meat sauce?
It’ll give the rice some extra flavor while still letting the rice shine through as its own distinct ingredient.
If you’re not into making your own pizza but still want to get creative with that leftover sauce, try using it as a dip for veggies like carrots, celery sticks or cucumbers!
A little bit goes a long way when you’re dipping things into stuff like this so don’t be afraid to be liberal with portions here!
8. Add It to A Salad as A Dressing
Mix some up with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and herbs like basil or rosemary and use it as a dressing on salad greens with tomatoes and cucumbers—it’ll give that salad some serious flavor while also adding extra protein!
9. Make Lasagna
Lasagna is a great way to use up leftover meat sauce because it’s basically just layers of pasta with meat sauce—so if you have both of those things sitting around, this dish is pretty simple to make:
Start by boiling some noodles; then layer them on top of each other with cheese and meat sauce in between each layer until everything has been used up; cover with tin foil; bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes; remove from oven; let cool for about 10 minutes before serving (or eating straight out of the pan).
10. Use It in Tacos or Quesadillas
Once again, this one is pretty easy—just add some salsa, cheese and maybe some lettuce if you want, wrap it up and cook until crispy on both sides.
If you’re really feeling crazy, put some extra cheese on top when it comes out of the oven so that when everything melts together, it’ll be even better (or gooeyier).
11. Use It As A Marinade For Chicken Or Pork Chops
If you’ve got some chicken or pork chops in your fridge that need using up, try marinating them in leftover meat sauce overnight before grilling them up!
The tomatoes will add a nice tanginess while they cook, while also bringing out the flavor of whatever protein you’re using.
Just be sure not to use too much sauce—you don’t want your meat getting soggy or falling apart when you cook it!
12. Make meatballs
These little bites of deliciousness are easy enough to make with just one hand!
Simply take some leftover meat sauce and form into balls by rolling them between your palms (you should end up with about 24 balls total).
Then cook them in a pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes until golden brown on all sides, then serve with spaghetti or over rice for an extra kick!
13. Use It As A Dip For Breadsticks
If you’re looking for something more savory than sweet, try using your meat sauce as a dip for breadsticks instead of just serving it with bread!
You can buy pre-made breadsticks from most grocery stores these days too, so if you’re not feeling up for making them yourself, this is an easy way to get all that delicious flavor without breaking a sweat in the kitchen!
14. Make Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is another great way to use up leftover meat sauce because all you need is some pasta, some veggies (like bell peppers), maybe some olives if you want them… and then toss with some leftover meat sauce and maybe even some grated parmesan cheese if you’re feeling like indulging a little bit.
It might sound pretty basic, but we promise that when done right this can be one of your new favorite meals!
If you’re not in the mood for pizza but still want something that tastes like it has a lot more flavor than plain ol’ spaghetti does on its own, try using your leftover meat sauce as a marinara sauce for pasta!
It’ll give your dish that extra kick of flavor without making it too heavy or rich—just make sure that you season properly so it doesn’t end up being bland (which can happen when there’s too much salt added).
16. Spread on Bread
If you’re feeling a little more traditional, spreading your leftover meat sauce onto some bread will make for some delicious sandwiches or toast toppings that everyone will love!
You can even get creative with this by adding a few different toppings like fresh basil leaves (for an Italian-inspired flavor), sliced tomatoes (for a fresh twist), or even some sautéed mushrooms if you want something even heartier (like adding them into the sauce before serving).
You can use pretty much any kind of pasta for this recipe (penne, spaghetti noodles, shells), but we really like using elbow macaroni because its shape means that it holds more sauce and cheese than other kinds of noodles do—which means more deliciousness for your taste buds!
Cut open a baked potato (or two!), sprinkle a little cheese on top, then pour some meat sauce over the top so that it soaks into the potato skin.
You can also add some veggies like peppers or onions if you’d like!
This savory dish is simple to make and can be served hot or cold depending on what you’re craving!
It’s also a great way to use up leftover rice that might otherwise go bad before you can eat it all.
Just combine cooked rice with a mixture of milk and cheese along with some chopped broccoli florets, then bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly around the edges but still soft inside (check after 15 minutes though just in case).
20. Use as Topping for Cauliflower Gratin or Rice Krispies Treats
If you’re not into eating bread on its own, but love the idea of using butter on top of something else, try using leftover meat sauce instead! It’ll give your plate a nice flavor boost without adding any calories or fat—so enjoy!
Another way this works well is adding some leftover meat sauce into scrambled eggs before cooking them up—it adds a bit more flavor, plus it makes a great breakfast dish when paired with some fresh fruit on the side.
22. Use in Place of Sour Cream when Making Tacos or Burritos
Add some of this deliciousness into your favorite taco or burrito recipe by substituting some of the sour cream with meat sauce (just make sure not too much).
You’ll be surprised how much flavor it adds!
Mash some potatoes with milk, butter, salt, pepper, and whatever else sounds good—then stir in some leftover meat sauce until it’s mixed in well.
You can also add other ingredients like cooked vegetables or cheese if you want more flavor!
Simply add some olive oil and garlic salt to a pot of steamed veggies (or even some frozen veggies), then add a couple spoonfuls of your leftover meat sauce and stir everything together until well-combined before serving!
The veggies will soak up all that delicious flavor while still retaining their own unique flavor profiles too—so good!
These muffins are perfect for when you’ve got some extra ground beef lying around but aren’t quite sure what to do with it yet!
The recipe uses all of that leftover meat sauce in addition to some shredded cheese and eggs—and then tops them with more delicious toppings like bacon bits or jalapeños!
26. Top Stuffed Peppers or Zucchini
You can also stuff these with just about anything, but we love using them as vehicles for leftover meat sauce.
Just chop up some veggies like mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes (or whatever else you might have lying around) and mix them together with your leftover meat sauce before spooning out into each pepper half-shell or zucchini slice.
Bake them off until they’re nice and tender inside—you’ll never be able to tell they weren’t made from scratch!
27. Add to Homemade Fries for A Blt Dip
You can also just add some leftover meat sauce on top of a plate of homemade French fries and eat them as-is!
It’s kind of like dipping into those classic potato wedges that come with every BLT—but better because it’s got more zing than just ketchup or mayo.
If you’re a grilled cheese lover (and really who isn’t?), then this one is for you.
Just take some leftover meat sauce and spread it onto your favorite crunchy bread slices—and then add whatever cheeses strike your fancy (mozzarella is always delicious).
Place two slices together with a slice of tomato between them if desired, then put them into a frying pan over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.
If you’re looking for something to satisfy your carb cravings while also using up that last bit of sauce, try baking in homemade tater tots!
Simply cut potatoes into equal pieces (or use store-bought frozen ones), toss with olive oil and seasoning salt, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.
Then transfer them to an oven-safe dish with the leftover meat sauce poured over top—and broil until bubbly hot!
30. Use as A Topping on Chili Dogs or Grilled Burgers
Top off your hot dog or burger with some leftover meat sauce for a nice spicy kick that’s sure to wake up your taste buds!
You can even make your own chili dogs or burgers by adding some chopped onions and grated cheese to the meat mixture before cooking it up in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes until they start to brown around the edges.
The best part about this dip is that it only takes about 15 minutes to make, so even if you’re short on time (or just want something quick), this recipe is perfect!
Mix together 1 cup of meat sauce with 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, ½ cup sour cream, and ½ cup ranch dressing until well combined.
Spread mixture into an 8-inch baking dish and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes until bubbling and hot.
Add your leftover meat sauce to an omelet along with any veggies you have on hand—this is especially great with fresh spinach!
You can also add some grated cheese if you like, but we recommend sticking with just the meat sauce for this one; adding too much cheese will make the omelet soggy and hard to flip.
This recipe couldn’t be simpler!
To make this simple and delicious recipe, take 1 cup of leftover meat sauce and spread it on half of an 8-inch circle-shaped pizza dough (you can use store-bought or homemade dough).
Fold the other half over the top and crimp the edges closed with your fingers if desired, then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked through in the middle.
The combination of melted cheese and savory tomato flavor inside warm dough will make this one of your new favorite quick meals!
34. Pizza Rolls
If you’ve got some extra dough lying around from making pizza (or even if you don’t), why not make pizza rolls?
Just roll out the dough and spread some tomato sauce on top, then add mozzarella cheese and cooked ground beef (or whatever other toppings you like).
Sprinkle Italian seasoning over top before rolling up into individual portions.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked through in the center.
What to Do with Leftover Meat Sauce: 34 Creative Ideas
- Make Homemade Pizza
- Freeze It and Use It Later in The Week
- Make Meatball Subs
- Spoon over Pasta
- Make Soup
- Add it to rice
- Use It as A Dip for Veggies
- Add It to A Salad as A Dressing
- Make Lasagna
- Use It in Tacos or Quesadillas
- Use It As A Marinade For Chicken Or Pork Chops
- Make meatballs
- Use It As A Dip For Breadsticks
- Make Pasta Salad
- Use It as Marinara Sauce for Pasta
- Spread on Bread
- Make Mac & Cheese
- Add to a Baked Potato
- Make Cheesy Rice & Broccoli Casserole
- Use as Topping for Cauliflower Gratin or Rice Krispies Treats
- Add It to Scrambled Eggs for A Savory Breakfast Dish
- Use in Place of Sour Cream when Making Tacos or Burritos
- Mix Into Mashed Potatoes for A Creamy Side Dish
- Drizzle Over Steamed Veggies for A Delicious Side Dish
- Cheesy Meatloaf Muffins
- Top Stuffed Peppers or Zucchini
- Add to Homemade Fries for A Blt Dip
- Top Off Your Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Bake Into Homemade Tater Tots
- Use as A Topping on Chili Dogs or Grilled Burgers
- Make Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Make an Omelette with The Sauce
- Bolognese Calzone
- Pizza Rolls
- Pick one of the ways to use up your leftover sauce.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.