ATK at Home

Recipes That Make the Best Leftovers You Can Eat Cold

My favorite dishes to cook once and eat twice (or more).

Published May 6, 2020.

Cooking every meal at home was nice at first, a daily challenge that I enjoyed because I love to cook. And while I still look forward to experimenting with new recipes and finding new family favorites, I've also started to focus on recipes I can prepare that will feed us for more than one meal. That's why it's a good thing I love leftovers—especially leftovers you can eat cold.

Most people appreciate leftovers, especially when you’re sticking close to home for a while. It’s like having free take-out food, just waiting for you in the fridge. Sure, soups and stews always hold well for days and often taste better after a little rest. For me, however, the best leftovers can be eaten straight from the icebox (if not while standing right in front of it). Here are a few of my all-time favorites.

Chicken cutletsMeatballsHash brown pieSlow roasted beefQuinoa patties

Chicken Milanese

My daughter and I often eat cold chicken Milanese for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack. No, it’s not crispy, but the slightly soggy homemade breadcrumbs have a comfort food appeal all their own. [GET THE RECIPE]


Meatloaf is an obvious winner when it comes to cold leftovers, but it doesn’t grace our fridge as regularly as meatballs do. (We are big fans of Meatball Monday.) Best of all, meatballs are pre-portioned and you can eat them right off the end of a fork. (Look away Mom, table manners just left the building.) In particular, I love this Cook’s Country recipe because it makes a double batch so there are plenty for the fridge and the freezer. [GET THE RECIPE]

Hash Brown Pie

My husband, Ian, made this recipe up years ago and I loved it so much, I actually put it into a cookbook or two. It’s like a Spanish tortilla, but made with frozen hash browns, meat, cheese, and eggs. I also throw in leftover vegetables that might be hanging around. You can make it either in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet. [GET THE RECIPE]

Roasted Eye Round

Leftovers of this roast with the horseradish sauce make for killer sandwiches. The meat is fairly lean, which would usually be a bad thing, but I love that there’s no gristle when eaten cold. It does take a while to make (overnight salting and the cooking time is 2 to 3 hours) but it’s all hands off and it’s an easy project if you’re going to be home for a while. [GET THE RECIPE]

Quinoa Patties

I crave the flavor of these patties on a regular basis, and any leftovers are all mine. I always make a double batch (they do freeze well), and love eating them cold for breakfast. [GET THE RECIPE]

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