28 Recipes to Use up the Food You Overbought at Costco


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Vegetable tray
Photo credit: Elenathewise/istockphoto

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.
Braised celery
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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

Carrot cake
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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

Vegetable stew
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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

Roasted grape tomatoes
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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

Cauliflower tempura
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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

Red pepper relish
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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

Rice with green peppers and tomatoes
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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

Grape tomato salad
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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

Cauliflower gratin
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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

Baked carrot fries
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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

Mushroom pepper stir fry
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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

Cauliflower soup
Photo credit: Mizina/istockphoto

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

Broccoli salad
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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

Roasted broccoli
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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

Penne pasta with cherry tomatoes, olives, and basil
Photo credit: svariophoto/istockphoto

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

Greek pasta salad
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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

Broccoli soup
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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

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

Recipe: Pillsbury

Roasted cauliflower
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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

Broccoli salad slaw
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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

Thai salad with peanuts
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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

Roasted butter carrots
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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

Broccoli bread
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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

Carrots with nuts
Photo credit: tovfla/istockphoto

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

Mushroom broccoli noodles
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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

Carrot ginger soup
Photo credit: Allyso/istockphoto

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

Veggie omelet
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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

Cauliflower crust pizza
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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

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