15 Genius Ways to Use Rosh Hashanah Leftovers


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Food is front and center during most Jewish holidays, and the new year celebration of Rosh Hashanah (starting Oct. 2 this year) is no exception. Even people who aren't hosting a meal will probably end up with leftovers, because making too much food -- and, often, forcing guests to take some home -- is part of the tradition. Some dishes, such as the rich and slightly sweet noodle kugel, are rarely left over, but there's bound to be plenty of spare proteins such as brisket, chicken, and fish, as well as sides ranging from roasted veggies to mixed salads. Using the leftovers to create new dishes is an exciting culinary start to a new year and can help avoid waste. These 15 ideas for leftovers put a fresh spin on the typical Rosh Hashanah menu.

Related: 12 High Holiday Dishes for $4 or Less

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Use leftover brisket along with potatoes and other veggies to make a tempting breakfast hash. Chop the ingredients into bite-size pieces and add to a hot oiled skillet to crisp the bottom, flipping once to crisp the other side. Top with a fried egg for a decadent brunch from humble leftovers.

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Honey cakes have a tendency to dry out quickly. By the second or third day, the cake may be on the verge of ending up in the garbage. Substitute it for regular bread in a favorite bread pudding recipe for an extra-indulgent twist. Adjust sugar levels to account for the extra sweetness.

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Tzimmes is a rich combination of sweet potatoes and fruit, and a little goes a long way. Folding this sweetly spiced dish into breakfast muffins adds nutrition and unique flavor to any basic recipe, from corn muffins to bran muffins. This would work equally well as a loaf cake.

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Roast chicken is incredibly versatile and can be repurposed in so many ways. The obvious ways can be the best: Add sliced or shredded chicken to salads to create a complete meal, or mix it into a traditional mayonnaise-based chicken salad for sandwiches.

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Vegetables are often the last, straggling leftovers. While they can appear dull on their own, reheated and placed in a warm tortilla topped with salsa and guacamole, they become the star of taco night. Other Tex-Mex dishes such as fajitas and quesadillas can also be the savory destiny of leftover roasted vegetables.

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Layered with another optional protein (such as tofu) and pickled vegetables on baguette, chopped liver makes a piquant Asian-Jewish fusion sandwich. This one is especially good if you are looking for meals that have radically different flavor profiles from the original.

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Cut matzo balls from leftover matzo ball soup into bite-size pieces and combine with leftover meats and vegetables to create a hearty stew to be enjoyed throughout the week, or portioned and frozen for later in the cold winter.

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Leftover mashed potatoes make an easy dumpling filling. Traditional pierogies can be made from homemade or store-bought dough and used right away or frozen for later. Feel free to add other leftovers, such as leg of lamb or roasted vegetables, into the filling mix. If the wrappers aren't available from a local grocery store, Epicurious has a simple recipe that makes more than 50 at a time.

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Hosts for big meals may end up with more than few leftover challah breads. Once slightly stale, these are perfect for making into a breakfast strata, which is like a free-form bread pudding, savory or sweet. Use up other leftovers such as Brussels sprouts or corned beef in the strata, or make it sweet by adding chopped apples, walnuts, and a honey drizzle.

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Grains and salad can be the most challenging to repurpose, but burritos or wraps are easy dishes to make with leftover rice, couscous, or quinoa, as well as salads of any kind. Meats and vegetables can also be layered into burritos and used with any kind of sauce, from guacamole to horseradish cream.

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Sometimes reheated potatoes lack the crisp and smooth textures they had when first cooked. Combining any form of cooked potatoes with an egg, some onion, and seasonings in a food processor and forming into patties provides a new opportunity. Shallow-fry potato cakes for an indulgent appetizer or burger-replacement patty.

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Use leftover challah and pot roast to make easy-to-pack school and office lunches. Use condiments of your choice to put a new spin on the flavors and enjoy homemade pot roast that's better than any prepackaged deli meat from a store.

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Using apple cake as the base of French toast is a decadent and seasonal twist on a brunch classic. With the help of a few household staples such as milk and eggs, even slightly stale cake will be the hit of a brand-new meal with minimal effort or spending. This idea works well with any type of leftover bread or cake.

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Chunky carrots cooked with orange and spices are a popular side dish for Rosh Hashanah. Blending them into a creamy carrot soup with a pinch of curry spice turns a leftover side dish into a satisfying lunch or light supper. Topped with a dollop of sour cream, this made-from-leftovers soup is sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party with distinguished guests. No one has to know its origins.

Related: 10 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes

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Wrapping up ingredients and frying them has a way of transforming even the humblest of dishes into something crave-worthy. Live the splendor of a Rosh Hashanah meal all over again in handheld form by wrapping leftovers tightly into an egg roll dough. Serve with sauces such as honey mustard and horseradish cream. A pack of seven wraps can be found for as little as $2.50 at grocery stores, but they can also be made at home with a few simple ingredients.

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