Turn last night’s dinner into a whole new meal. 

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I love leftovers. Whether I've over-ordered at a restaurant and returned home with a doggie bag, or cooked a giant batch of something, second day eats are a simple joy. But sometimes you don't want to just reheat the exact same meal for a 2.0 experience. So, what can you do with those leftovers to zhuzh them up? For me, I love to turn them into flatbreads. 

Almost anything can become a flatbread, and they couldn't be easier to make. You can create your flatbread base two ways: use grocery store pizza dough to bake your own flatbread, or just buy pita bread at the store and go from there! Both are fast, delicious, and turn your leftovers into a meal. 

For either style, start by preheating your oven or toaster oven to 425°.

Flatbread
Credit: Getty / manyakotic

Raw Dough Flatbread 

Pre-made pizza dough has become a mainstay at supermarkets, so look for a bag at your local grocery store. To make leftovers flatbread, just roll or stretch the dough to the size you want, place on a sheet pan lined in parchment or with a covering of cornmeal. Then you can add your toppings and bake for 14-20 minutes until the crust is baked through. 

Best types of leftovers to use: Raw dough flatbreads are great with leftovers that are fairly dry, so think of using leftover stir fry, shredded meats, and chopped vegetables.

Pita Flatbread

Pita bread, which is already baked, makes a perfect base for leftovers flatbreads (and is easy to find at supermarkets and grocery stores). Brush the pitas lightly on both sides with oil and lay on a sheet pan. Add your leftovers and bake for 10-14 minutes—a quicker cook time since you are just heating up pre-cooked food.

Best types of leftovers to use: Since pita breads are already baked they can stand up to heartier, saucier leftovers like stews or braises. If you have just protein and vegetables, you can give it the pizza treatment: Add a sauce and top with cheese. For sauces, you've got all kinds of choices: classic pizza sauce, pesto, alfredo, barbecue sauce, tikka masala, prepared mole. If the leftovers work well with cheese, sprinkle some on top, but flatbreads don't require it.

Once your flatbreads are cooked, garnish with fresh herbs, drizzle with olive oil or a squeeze of lemon, or add a few squirts of a flavorful sauce like Korean BBQ or honey mustard. Let your imagination run wild!

Great leftovers flatbread combinations to try

Need some inspiration to get you started? Here are some recent combinations I have loved:

  • Leftover shredded barbecue pork, thinly sliced potatoes, and lemon zest with smoked gouda
  • Leftover butter chicken and chopped green beans
  • Leftover grilled hot Italian sausage slices with garlic sauteed spinach
  • The contents of half a leftover burrito, salsa, and chihuahua cheese.
  • Leftover mu shu pork with plum sauce and sliced scallions