For one reason or another, many of us end up with barbecue leftovers. No matter how many times you’ve thrown a barbecue in the past, you just can’t seem to get your shopping list right, and always end up with extra buns or hot dogs lying around the house.
Believe it or not, those extra hamburger buns don’t have to go to waste, and that bowl of ketchup you put out doesn’t have to go in the trash. There are plenty of ways you can repurpose what’s left from your grilling party, and they don’t involve eating hot dogs and hamburgers for several days in a row.
You’ll be happy to hear that hot dogs are a great addition to your breakfast, and broken chips can go further as a delicious party mix. And if there’s ever a case where you have extra beer on your hands, why not try that beer-battered recipe you’ve been eyeing?
Barbecue staples are for more than just barbecues, and we’ll show you how to use the leftovers so that you don’t have to put up with the guilt of buying too much. So after the guests have gone home and the grill has been put away, try some of these fun and delicious ideas for your barbecue remnants.
1. Vegetable Medley
Over the past few weeks, you spent what seemed like solid hours skewering vegetables for your barbecue bash, and now they’re sitting in your fridge untouched. Instead of tossing them, remember that many meals end up calling for a vegetable medley. Try your hand at some delicious vegetarian dishes or bump up the favorites and use them in a casserole or salsa. Crispy vegetables are fitting lunchtime snacks or can grant a salad some extra flavor.
2. Beer Bonanza
Most don’t think of untouched bottled beer as "leftover," but if you do find yourself with a significant surplus, consider your options. Sure, you could just keep stock for your next shindig, but to put some of it to use in the meantime, there are dozens of beer-based recipes to try out. From beer-battered corn dogs to beer-battered shrimp, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to treat yourself to a cold one while you wait for your meal to fry up.
3. Grilled Chicken Charms
There are so many options for cooking chicken on the grill. With additions like barbecue sauces and Italian dressing marinades, chicken over an open flame simply tastes better. But if your guests didn’t get past all of the other barbecue staples to enjoy your flavorful chicken dish, don’t worry about it being wasted. Grilled chicken can be easily cut up into salads for lunch, or used in chicken salad that will last for days in the fridge. Add summer favorites like apples and walnuts for extra flavor.
If your guests didn’t totally indulge in your spread of delicious, refreshing summer fruits, don’t consider them spoiled. If they are collected in time, the fruits can be used to make an array of fruit-based recipes. Summer smoothies can blend together for a refreshing dessert, and fruit salads make for a great summer snack or light lunch. To give them an extra punch of flavor, add a little lemon zest and vanilla extract.
5. Post-Party Party Mix
As you remove the stains from your carpets and pick up the plastic cups, you can tell your annual barbecue was a total success. But don’t just look at the bowls of crumpled chips and broken pretzels as wasted snacks. Repurpose and refresh them by making party mixes with the leftovers. A splash of olive oil, a few dashes of your favorite seasonings, and the addition of your favorite salty-sweet garnishes make for a treat worth throwing another party over.
6. Ground to Perfection
Burgers are essential to any barbecue. If you went a little patty-happy, though, and are left with perfectly seasoned, uncooked burger slabs, your hard work was not in vain. A simple change of shape and the addition of a few Mexican-styled spices, and you have yourself the perfect taco filling. And if you had the misfortune of cooking extra patties, break them up and add them to a cheesy pasta to create a carnivorous macaroni and cheese.
7. Dress It Up
For a true host, the outdoors does not mean compromising on style. From napkin holders to grilling gadgets, serving guests always comes with some signature flair, and that doesn’t exclude condiments. So, if you’re constantly left with gobs of toppings in serving bowls strewn across your deck tables, you’ll be happy to hear that they don’t have to be thrown into the trash. Instead, create condiment-based recipes or tasty salad dressings from the surplus of your barbecue condiments.
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