In the Kitchen

15 Delicious Ways to Enjoy All Your Leftover Vegetables

We’ve all been there. Stocked up on all the veggies because we planned to make something with them. Sometimes it happens, but other times perfectly good veggies wilt away because…oh, too many reasons to list. Whether you have excess bounty from your CSA or went overboard at the farmers’ market, you shouldn’t be missing out on all your fresh goods. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite veggie-forward recipes, so you can enjoy all your leftover vegetables before it’s too late. That said, make sure to use your best judgement here—if you feel like something has gone bad (e.g. signs of rot, smell, mold, etc.), do not cook or consume.

Make a salad

Sure, veggies are a given when it comes to salads, but there are many ways to get extra creative here. Add texture by shaving or spiralizing your veggies—thanks to seasonality (and the veggies at hand), no two salads will be the same.

Shaved veggies

It’s hard to find anything fresher (or more Instagrammable) than shaved or spiralized vegetables (think carrots, and radishes) dressed in a light vinaigrette. All of the vibrant colors make for gorgeous plates, whether a light lunch or side salad. And, you can shave the vegetables up to a few days beforehand, so all you need to do is mix everything together.

Eat tomatoes

Since we’re all about seasonal eating, we tend to accidentally over-buy summer tomatoes every time we shop—we need no excuse to eat tomatoes in excess during the warm months. Start with this recipe, if you’re lacking inspo. Make sure to use your tomatoes before they feel soft to the touch, though.

Have some soup

While the first thing that comes to mind is classic vegetable soup, we’re all about gazpacho, especially since we want to savor summer for as long as we can. So, chop up some raw veggies, and make yourself this chilled summer treat. It’ll last for at least a week.

The main event

When you’re unsure how to use up extra veggies, look no further than the main course. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, vegetables are the perfect addition to any plate. So. Many. Options.

Frittata

Do you know what pairs oh-so-well with eggs? All the veggies. In this seasonal frittata, we’ve added spinach, chives, and ramps. But, you can’t go wrong with others vegetables like mushrooms, onion, and peppers.

Green pasta

If you’ve never had green pasta before, you’re missing out. Just set aside some fresh spinach to make this gorgeous dish. Use up your spinach, then enjoy delicious pasta all week.

Tacos

Vegetables meet tortillas in one of our favorite dishes: veggie tacos. This can be made with any grilled veg, but if you have summer squash, tomato, onion, and corn, you’ve got yourself a star din.

Get saucy

Sauces incorporate veggies of all kinds, and can be used on pastas galore.

Tomato sauce

Making tomato sauce is the perfect way to enjoy tomatoes before it’s too late. Say you have a garden and picked five pounds of tomatoes, you’ll want to go ahead and make this classic tomato sauce. Even better, it can be frozen and enjoyed for up to four to six months. So, make a batch now and enjoy tomatoes through winter.

Pesto

Pesto is always a great idea for when you’ve got leftover veggies. While typical pesto is made from basil, pine nuts, and pecorino cheese, it can be made with other vegetables as well. Think kale or beet greens.

Take sides

Veggies of all kinds make for excellent sides, whether on their own or mixed with cheesy goodness.

Corn

Perfect on the grill, corn makes for an excellent side, especially in the summer. So, if you have extra ears of corn that you haven’t enjoyed yet (crazy, but it’s okay), you’ll definitely want to try our Mexican street corn.

Asparagus

If you have leftover asparagus, roast it up, asap. All you need is parm cheese, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and you’re good to go.

Snack time

Not only do colorful veggies look great, but they add a fresh crunch to your day.

Pickles

Since you can pickle practically every vegetable, look no further when you have a ton of leftover veggies. And if you have other veggies on hand (like cauliflower and green beans), they’re also super magical in brine.

Crudité

What’s better than garden-fresh veggies gathered on a plate? Exactly. Crudité is a French appetizer loved by many, especially since you can add any raw vegetable and the platter will look like a work of art. Add your favorite dips, like hummus or tahini, to round everything out. 

Finally, dessert

Don’t be shocked. Veggies and baking can go hand in hand, so feel good about yourself and add some greens to your desserts.

Avocado brownies

Sure, avocado is technically a fruit, but they make super-rich brownies. Seriously, try it.

Summer squash bread

Were you mesmerized by all of the gorgeous summer squash this season? Same. If you’ve got a few extras around the kitchen, this lemon poppy seed number will make you happy.

Zucchini bread

While technically a summer squash, zucchini bread deserves its own mention. Pro-tip: add chocolate chips for a sweet surprise.

Find new, creative ways to cook with vegetables each week when you try Plated

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