It’s the age-old question – what do you do with the remnants of a bag of salad greens that didn’t make it into your last bowl?
From stir fry to pesto, these 15 ideas for leftover salad greens are sure to inspire you.
With just a few humble ingredients, you can turn plain, limp lettuce into an exciting new meal or side dish.
Whether you’re looking for a healthy snack or something more substantial for dinner, these creative uses of leftover salad greens will provide endless possibilities in the kitchen.
In a rush? Here is the short answer:
Leftover salad greens can be used in a variety of ways. Try adding them to smoothies, omelets, soups, and stir-fries. You can also use them as wraps for sandwiches or tacos, mix them into casseroles or frittatas, blend them into pesto sauce and dressings, or top off pizzas with the extra greens.
What To Do With Leftover Salad Greens? (15 Ideas)
If you find yourself with leftover salad greens, don’t worry – there are plenty of delicious options to use them up.
From soups and casseroles to smoothies and pestos, here are fifteen ideas on what to do with your leftover greens:
Leftover salad greens can be used to make a delicious and nutritious smoothie.
- Start by adding your favorite fruits, such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries.
- Then add some yogurt for creaminess and a liquid base like almond milk or coconut water.
- Finally, throw in the leftover greens – spinach, kale, arugula – whatever you have on hand!
- Blend everything together until it’s smooth and enjoy!
Omelets are an easy way to use up leftover salad greens.
- Start by whisking together eggs with salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and pour the egg mixture into the pan.
- Once the omelet starts to set around the edges, sprinkle your desired amount of chopped salad greens onto one side of the omelet before folding it over itself.
- Cook for another minute or two until cooked through then serve hot!
Soup is always a great option when you’re looking for ways to use up leftovers!
- Start by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil until softened then add any other vegetables you have on hand such as carrots or celery.
- Pour in vegetable broth (or chicken broth if preferred) along with canned tomatoes (or fresh if available).
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes before adding your leftover salad greens at the end just before serving so they don’t get too soggy.
Leftover salad greens can be used to make a delicious stir-fry.
- Start by heating some oil in a pan and adding your favorite vegetables, such as onions, peppers, mushrooms, and carrots.
- Once the vegetables are cooked through, add the leftover greens and cook until they are wilted.
- Finish with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce for flavor.
- Serve over rice or noodles for a complete meal.
5. Wraps for sandwiches or tacos
Salad greens can also be used to make wraps for sandwiches or tacos.
- Start by spreading cream cheese on a tortilla wrap and then layer on the salad greens of your choice.
- Add other toppings like tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, avocado slices, shredded cheese – whatever you have on hand!
- Roll up the wrap tightly and enjoy!
6. Mix into casseroles
They can also be mixed into casseroles to give them an extra boost of nutrition and flavor.
Try mixing them into macaroni and cheese dishes or lasagna recipes before baking in the oven – it’s an easy way to get more veggies in your diet without sacrificing taste!
Frittatas are a great way to use up leftover salad greens.
- Start by sautéing the greens in olive oil until they’re wilted, then add them to beaten eggs with some cheese and herbs.
- Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve warm with a side of toast or as part of your next brunch spread.
8. Blend into pesto sauce
If you have extra basil, spinach, arugula, or kale on hand, blend it into your favorite pesto recipe for an added boost of flavor and nutrition.
Simply add the greens to your food processor along with garlic, nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
This delicious sauce can be used as a topping for pasta dishes or served over grilled chicken or fish.
9. Salad dressings
They can also be used to make flavorful homemade salad dressings!
Simply combine the greens with olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice), honey (or agave nectar) and seasonings like garlic powder and onion powder in a blender until smooth.
Use this dressing on top of salads or as a dip for vegetables – it’s sure to be a hit!
10. Toppings for pizzas
They can also be used to top pizzas.
Start by sautéing the greens in a bit of olive oil and garlic, then spread them over your pizza dough before adding other toppings like cheese, tomatoes, or mushrooms.
The cooked greens will add a delicious layer of flavor and texture to your pizza.
11. Sandwich fillings
Salad greens make an excellent sandwich filling!
Try mixing together some chopped lettuce with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions for a flavorful veggie-packed sandwich.
You can also add some crumbled feta cheese or shredded chicken for extra protein.
12. Stuff into quesadillas or burritos
If you’re looking for something more substantial than a sandwich, try stuffing your leftover salad greens into quesadillas or burritos.
- Start by heating up some tortillas in a skillet with butter or oil until they are lightly browned on both sides.
- Then fill each one with cooked vegetables like peppers and onions as well as the salad greens before folding it up and cooking until golden brown on both sides.
- Enjoy with salsa or guacamole!
13. Spring rolls or summer rolls
Spring rolls and summer rolls are a great way to use up leftover salad greens.
- Start by combining the greens with cooked noodles, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, and other vegetables of your choice.
- Then wrap it all up in a thin rice paper wrapper for an easy-to-eat snack or appetizer.
- Serve with a dipping sauce like hoisin or peanut sauce for added flavor.
14. Mix into pasta dishes
They can also be used as an ingredient in pasta dishes.
Simply mix them into your favorite tomato sauce and toss with cooked spaghetti or penne for a delicious meal that’s ready in minutes.
For extra flavor, add some crumbled feta cheese or Parmesan cheese on top before serving.
15. Fried rice or fried quinoa
Another great way is to make fried rice or fried quinoa.
- Start by sautéing garlic and onion in oil until fragrant then add the cooked grains of your choice along with the chopped salad greens and any other vegetables you have on hand (such as bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.).
- Cook until everything is heated through then season with soy sauce and serve hot!
In conclusion, leftover salad greens can be used in a variety of ways to create delicious and nutritious meals. From smoothies to spring rolls, there are plenty of creative and tasty ways to use up those greens.
Some of the best ways to use up leftover salad greens include smoothies, omelets, soups, stir-fries, wraps for sandwiches or tacos, mix into casseroles, frittatas, blend into pesto sauce, salad dressings, toppings for pizzas, sandwich fillings, stuff into quesadillas or burritos, spring rolls or summer rolls, mix into pasta dishes, and fried rice or fried quinoa.
Using up leftover salad greens is a great way to reduce food waste and get creative in the kitchen.
What To Do With Leftover Salad Greens? (15 Ideas)
- Wraps for sandwiches or tacos
- Mix into casseroles
- Blend into pesto sauce
- Salad dressings
- Toppings for pizzas
- Sandwich fillings
- Stuff into quesadillas or burritos
- Spring rolls or summer rolls
- Mix into pasta dishes
- Fried rice or fried quinoa
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a recipe in 30 minutes or less!
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.