Photo: Daniel Agee, Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Plus, ideas for making the most of them.

Arielle Weg
February 05, 2018

You spent all weekend preparing the ultimate game day spread, only to find yourself with a fridge full of not-exactly-practical leftovers Monday afternoon. Sure, your guests dug into that buffalo chicken dip like it was their last meal, but there was only so much room on their plates (and in their stomachs) for the entire feast of dips, cheesy bites, wings and more. 

So how long can you keep your Super Bowl bites safely stowed? You can always bring it to the office (my half-pan of seven-layer dip was gone by lunchtime), but there are plenty of other ways to finish up your food before resorting to having your coworkers do the dirty work. 

First thing is to keep your leftovers as safe and fresh as possible by storing them in the refrigerator, at a temperature below 40 degrees fahrenheit. Leftovers will generally last for three to four days in the fridge, or three to four months in the freezer, according to the USDA. (The CDC also recommends not saving any food that was left out at room temperature for more than two hours.)

WATCH: 6 Rules for Freezing Food

If you’re not game to have every meal feel like a Super Bowl party and need a little direction, try one of the great recipes or ideas for using the most common game day lefotvers below. And for even more inspiration, check out these chef suggestions gathered by our friends at Food & Wine.

Guacamole 

If you have unused guacamole or avocados, first be sure try these tricks to stop browning in its tracks. You can use leftover guac on toast, as a topper for burgers, a spread on sandwiches and wraps, or dolloped onto nachos and tacos. 

These Guacamole Chicken Wraps are as delicious and easy as they come. If you want to turn your leftovers into something truly dinner worthy, this Cumin Rubbed Chicken with Guacamole Sauce should do the trick. 

Salsa

Just like your leftover guacamole, you can spoon salsa over burgers, sandwiches, nachos, or into wraps for a fresh addition. Salsa is also a fab addition to eggs. You can scramble it in, top off an omelette, or make these Black Bean and Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Tacos

Salsa is especially delicious spooned over meaty proteins, like these Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos with Fresh Tomato Salsa or paired with seafood in this Grilled Tuna Steak with Fresh Salsa

Bean-Based Dip 

Your ability to use up a bean-based dip varies on what else you’ve mixed into the dish. Generally speaking, you can add these dips to tacos, quesadillas, lettuce wraps, burrito bowls, and other Mexican-inspired dishes. We especially love this Black Bean Burrito Bake, but get creative with your leftover feast. 

Wings

The best way to use leftover chicken wings is to treat them like you would rotisserie chicken. Depending on the sauce, you can add the shredded meat from your wings to pasta, serve over salads, mix into a chili or soup, or simply stuffed into a pita or wrap. 

Get fancy with your chicken wings by repurposing them into this Chicken Potpie Tartine or go classic with this old-school Barbecue Chicken Sandwich

Chili

There’s not a ton to do with leftover chili other than just eat it (we aren’t complaining), but topping different foods with the chili can make it feel like a new meal every time. Try adding spoonfuls over rice, pasta, cornbread, or polenta as a sauce. We also love it as a topper for hot dogs, fries, or this Chili-Topped Potato. Or heck, if you have enough worth saving, go ahead and freeze it for an easy meal down the road.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This dip in particular is really fun to create something new and delicious with. Mix the dip in with pasta or add to stuffed shells and lasagna dishes. It’s a perfect spread for a homemade pizza or baked into dishes like this Artichoke and Spinach Strata or this Spinach and Artichoke Gouda Casserole.

Onion Dip

Somehow every party ends up with a half bowl of onion dip still waiting to be used. You can spread it over sandwiches and wraps or even use it as a heavier salad dressing. It’d work great for potato or pasta salad. If you’re looking to really mix things up, this Meatloaf Bundt Cake uses pre-made onion dip (which you already have!) in a tasty, creative way. 

If you have additional questions about your food, you can use the USDA’s FoodKeeper app, visit AskKaren.gov, or call the USDA meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-674-6854. 

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