Do leftovers have a bad reputation in your household? Maybe you should try preparing meals that taste even better the next day. Some dishes improve when the ingredients are given time to fuse. Try these five time-tested recipes that give leftovers a good name — meaning you get a great dinner (plus less waste and more money in your pocket).

If you like what you see, we have three more recipes for your leftover dining pleasure. Just scroll to the bottom of the page for the link.

creamy asparagus soup

Photo: photo-oasis/Shutterstock

Creamy Asparagus Soup
Put fresh spring asparagus to good use in a cream of asparagus soup.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 6-8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 level tablespoon dried herbs: parsley, oregano, thyme
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound asparagus, chopped, setting aside tips
  • Dash sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 wedge lemon
Cooking directions
  1. Rinse vegetables.
  2. Add oil and butter to large, heavy-bottomed cooking pot. Melt over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onion, celery and garlic, stirring periodically until tender, 5 or 6 minutes. Add dried herbs and stir about 1 minute, until aromatic.
  3. Pour vegetable broth, milk and water into pot. Bring to a low boil, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile snap off woody stems and chop asparagus stalks into small sections. Stir into soup and bring to a low boil, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat and allow soup to cool 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Pour 4 cups of soup into blender and process until smooth. Return to pot. Reheat soup, adding asparagus tips last. Serve hot with a spritz of lemon and toast.
baked eggplant parmesan

Photo: Karuka/Shutterstock

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Reduce calories and the mess of frying. Baking renders eggplant into a savory dish.

Prep time: 40 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 2 1-pound eggplants
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Dash fresh thyme, optional garnish
Cooking directions
  1. Rinse vegetables and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove green stem and cut eggplant into 1/2-inch thick medallions.
  3. Crack 2 eggs into flat-sided mixing bowl and stir about 1 minute.
  4. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, seasoning, salt and pepper in a separate mixing bowl. Stir until blended.
  5. Coat 2 foil-lined baking sheets with olive oil.
  6. Dredge eggplant in egg batter then coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes until golden brown on bottom and flip. Cook for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven.
  7. Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Add half the eggplant. Layer 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, then eggplant, then sauce and repeat. Sprinkle with any breadcrumbs that remain. Heat for 15 more minutes until cheese begins to brown.
  8. Plate dish with sauce that remains and serve hot.
Recipes that give leftovers a good name
These dishes maintain their good looks and great taste even after a day or three.