28 Recipes to Use up the Food You Overbought at Costco

By   

View as:

Photo credit: Elenathewise/istockphoto

DISAPPEARING ACTS

What were you thinking buying in bulk? You stocked up on vegetable platters for the holiday season or game day, expecting everyone to eat healthier. Well, the party ended with the chicken wings, chips, and cookies all gobbled up, but leaving you with boatloads of celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. Read on to find out how to turn a bulk-purchase miscalculation at Costco into a masterful move.
Photo credit: 46177695@N08/flickr.com

BRAISED CELERY

Sometimes simplicity is all you need. Turn those celery sticks into a pleasing side dish with the addition of butter, bouillon, and a few herbs and spices. You just may have found a new family favorite.

Recipe: AllRecipes

Photo credit: paulbinet/istockphoto

CARROT CAKE

Shred up those carrots and combine them with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry -- and thanks to this straightforward recipe, you'll have a cake in the oven in 20 minutes. If you're counting calories, skip the cream-cheese frosting.

Recipe: Betty Crocker

Photo credit: esseffe/istockphoto

HEARTY VEGETABLE STEW

Carrots and celery combine with a host of hearty ingredients -- including the always-thrifty kidney beans -- for a seasonally ideal main course. It will not only please vegetarians, but it will also provide leftovers for lunch the next day.

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

Photo credit: loooby/istockphoto

ROASTED GRAPE TOMATOES

Claire Robinson, the Food Network host of "Five Ingredient Fix," offers a rich, tasty -- and super simple -- spin on grape tomatoes. Pass the bread.

Recipe: Food Network

Photo credit: mylastbite/flickr.com

CAULIFLOWER TEMPURA

Go from bland to blazing with an impressive transformation of your cauliflower florets into a Japanese-style appetizer or entrée. The recipe may be British, but we Yanks will give it a go, noting 100 grams of flour equals 7/8 cup.

Recipe: BBC Good Food

Photo credit: ElenaFabbrili/istockphoto

RED PEPPER RELISH

Leave it to Martha Stewart to share a recipe that offers an incredibly simple-yet-sophisticated take on basic red peppers. This versatile creation can be a condiment or an ingredient in chicken or tuna salads, pasta, or grilled cheese. A batch will last four days in the fridge.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Photo credit: DustyPixel/istockphoto

INSIDE-OUT STUFFED GREEN BELL PEPPERS

Don't fear if your green peppers are already sliced -- that's the way they're used in this clever dish that's more casserole than individual peppers. You can also omit the meat for a veggie version.

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

Photo credit: AnkNet/istockphoto

FAST, FRESH GRAPE TOMATO SALAD

Sweetened rice vinegar adds an unexpected level of flavor to this extremely fast and simple recipe, which turns grape tomatoes into an impressive dish.

Recipe: AllRecipes

Photo credit: wmaster890/istockphoto

CAULIFLOWER GRATIN

Ina Garten to the rescue! Her rich take on cauliflower provides a hearty side dish or meat-free entrée that can be prepared the night before. How great is that?

Recipe: Food Network

Photo credit: PeteerS/istockphoto

HEALTHY BAKED CARROT FRIES

Craving french fries? Perhaps you'll settle for carrot "fries" instead. You might once you taste this clever and healthy baked treat that comes together in a total of 30 minutes.

Recipe: 2teaspoons

Photo credit: vikif/istockphoto

MUSHROOM-PEPPER-ONION STIR FRY

This recipe was born on a camping trip, so it's pretty straightforward and involves only a handful of basic ingredients. The dish can be finished in an hour.

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

Photo credit: Mizina/istockphoto

CAULIFLOWER SOUP

This recipe, which gets added depth from cheese and a dash of hot sauce, uses up not only cauliflower but also carrots and celery to boot.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Photo credit: CreativeI/istockphoto

BROCCOLI SALAD

Trisha Yearwood shared her broccoli salad recipe on a graduation-picnic episode of "Trisha's Southern Kitchen." We think this is not only easy but also savory enough to serve all year.

Recipe: Food Network

Photo credit: bhofack2/istockphoto

ROASTED GARLIC LEMON BROCCOLI

This is a simple -- simple -- recipe that's so well-reviewed you might want to try it tonight. It can be made in less than half an hour and requires only the most basic ingredients.

Recipe: AllRecipes

Photo credit: svariophoto/istockphoto

GRAPE TOMATO, OLIVE AND SPINACH PASTA

This meatless pasta dish takes advantage of sweet grape tomatoes for its base. If penne's not your thing, sub with your preferred pasta. Cherry tomatoes or larger sliced tomatoes can also be used.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Photo credit: LauriPatterson/istockphoto

EASY GREEK PASTA SALAD

If you like your pasta cold -- and with grape tomatoes and red or orange pepper -- check out this recipe. It's a potluck-perfect, make-ahead dish that's got a bit of heft to it, especially when you add the optional grilled chicken.

Recipe: SpendWithPennies

Photo credit: StephanieFrey/istockphoto

PUREED BROCCOLI SOUP

With just a touch of half-and-half (optional), you can still feel virtuous as you enjoy this gluten-free, high-fiber, vegan or vegetarian option -- using both broccoli and celery.

Recipe: EatingWell

Photo credit: svariophoto/istockphoto

GRILLED MIXED PEPPERS

Calling leftover peppers of every kind -- you're needed for this easy, 30-minute recipe that packs a punch of vitamin A.

Recipe: Pillsbury

Photo credit: KM6064/istockphoto

BALSAMIC & PARMESAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Chase a winter's chill with this earthy side dish, where low-calories and low-carbs don't mean low-taste. Roasting gives the cauliflower a nice browning, and the recipe can be made in 35 minutes.

Recipe: EatingWell

Photo credit: imperfectcomplainer/flickr.com

LIGHT & EASY BROCCOLI SALAD

This healthy spin on a Southern favorite uses all of the broccoli, not just the stems. It also pares back the amount of mayonnaise for a lighter approach. Dried cranberries can be subbed for currants.

Recipe: The Kitchn

Photo credit: tortoon/istockphoto

THAI CELERY SALAD WITH PEANUTS

Take that basic celery and serve up a super-simple, restaurant-quality dish that bursts with flavor thanks to cilantro, lime juice, and fish sauce.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Photo credit: Tatiana Volgutova/istockphoto

ROASTED BROWN BUTTER HONEY GARLIC CARROTS

So, we said brown butter, honey and garlic … oh, yes, there are carrots in there, as well. This recipe has us, we'll admit, starting to drool, and it takes only 25 minutes to make.

Recipe: The Recipe Critic

Photo credit: 54042910@N03/flickr.com

BROCCOLI BREAD

We did not see this one coming -- turn your leftover broccoli into bread. This recipe is a savory offering with a touch of sweetness, comparable to a cornbread, and also loaded with fiber and calcium.

Recipe: Cooking Light

Photo credit: tovfla/istockphoto

CARROT 'N' CELERY AMANDINE

Those carrots and celery get a crunchy boost thanks to almonds in this one-pot side dish that comes together in 15 minutes.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Photo credit: 4th_time/flickr.com

SIMPLE MUSHROOM BROCCOLI STIR FRY NOODLES

Quick, thrifty, and tasty -- it's all you need -- and just what you get with this recipe that will transform your tired broccoli florets into a main course in minutes. (Though the recipe calls for frozen broccoli, we'll sub in our fresh).

Recipe: Budget Bytes

Photo credit: Allyso/istockphoto

CARROT SOUP WITH GINGER AND LEMON

Go for the fresh ginger and you'll be rewarded with a zesty soup ideal for lunch, dinner or any time you need warming up. Lemon peel adds an extra kick in this recipe.

Recipe: Epicurious

Photo credit: mikafotostok/istockphoto

VEGGIE STUFFED OMELET

This Betty Crocker recipe includes red bell pepper, but feel free to experiment with whatever veggies you have on hand for a one-of-a-kind creation.

Recipe: Betty Crocker

Photo credit: Fascinadora/istockphoto

CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA

Valerie Bertinelli's recipe is at the intermediate level -- but hey, it's cauliflower crust. Give it a spin and see what you think. At least one reviewer praised it as "a wonderful, gluten-free way to enjoy the taste of pizza." And that's always welcome!

Recipe: Food Network

Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.