The holiday season is upon us and with great celebrations come great quantities of leftovers. Too often we aren’t able to take advantage of all our hard work in the kitchen only for the simple reason that we need to work on our double-duty meal game. What exactly is a double-duty meal, you may ask? Well, to put it simply, double-duty meals refer to recipes that take on a second life in the aftermath of the main meal. Whether it’s having a post-Thanksgiving meal idea for your turkey leftovers, or having an easy dinner recipe in mind for the extra rice you’ve cooked, the double-duty cooking approach will transform the way you prepare meals this holiday season.

Benefits of Double-Duty Cozy Dinner Meals

The benefits of double-duty cooking are numerous. Thinking ahead when it comes to leftovers helps to reduce food waste, which benefits the environment as well as saving you time and money. 

As well as that, upping your leftover game is a great way to get creative in the kitchen in half the time. This is because the main ingredients you need for your meal have already been cooked and there’s nothing left for you to do but work your magic! 

First, let’s look at some useful tips on how you can maximize your leftovers before we get into the best double-duty dinner recipes.

Tips for Maximizing Leftover Meats

One of the most common foods leftover during the holiday season is meat. Oftentimes these meats get left stranded in tupperwares and casseroles until it’s too late to reuse them in another dish. The trick is to act quickly. With just a little work after the main meal, you’ll save yourself lots of time in the days to come. Here are some simple ways to make the most of your meat leftovers:

  • Have storage containers in a variety of sizes to hand for storing leftovers.
  • Shred leftover chicken or pork and use it as a tasty filling for tacos or quesadillas.
  • Slice up leftover beef roast and layer it in a hearty sandwich with your favorite condiments and toppings.
  • Chop up leftover steak or chicken and toss it into a stir-fry or use it to top a fresh and flavorful salad.
  • Mix leftover cooked ground meat with tomato sauce and spices to create a delicious bolognese sauce for pasta.
  • Add leftover chicken or turkey to soups.

When it comes to finding the right base for our meals, it’s no wonder rice is such a popular choice due to its flexibility and the many varieties of grains that add unique flavors and textures to our cooking. However, getting the exact servings of rice is a fine art and sometimes we’re left with more rice than we bargained for. Don’t fret; there’s no reason to toss those precious grains. Here are just some of the ways you can get a second meal out of your rice.

  • Egg-fried rice: Sometimes the simplest meal ideas are the best, and egg-frying your rice the next day is a terrific way to make delicious double-duty rice meals.
  • Burritos: Add bulk to your burrito by using your rice as a filling along with meat, jalapeños and chili sauce.
  • Soups: For cozy meals this fall and winter soups are a must, and adding rice is a great way to add substance to soups.

How to Store Leftover Rice

Storing leftover rice correctly isn’t complicated, but it is important. Wait until the rice has cooled down completely before sealing it in an airtight container. Then refrigerate and consume within 3 days. Once reheated, don’t reheat again.

Leftover Turkey Recipes

Of all the leftover ingredients produced during the holiday season, perhaps turkey is the most common one. What to do with your leftover turkey can be a stressful dilemma but it doesn’t have to be! Minute® Rice is here to make this holiday season a stress-free one with quick and easy turkey recipes using leftovers. 

For a cozy comfort food with turkey, try this Cheesy Leftover Turkey Casserole. Ready in 7 minutes, you’ll be amazed how with the simple addition of cheese, you can create a weeknight casserole to rival any holiday-season main course.

Cheesy Turkey Leftover Casserole

Alternatively, to add some Mexican flair to proceedings, you can rustle up some Leftover Turkey and Rice Enchiladas. Add tabasco sauce for extra spiciness if you’re looking for a meal to enjoy when you come in from the cold.

Finally, for a simple meal to satisfy all the family, take your leftover turkey and turn it into a hearty soup. Made with Minute® Brown & Wild Rice Cups this Turkey Soup is a simple soup recipe that you can whip up in no time.

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Add Flavor to Double-duty Meals with Minute® Rice Cups

Whatever ingredients you have leftover this holiday season, having a selection of Minute® Rice Cups on hand means that you can always count on having a delicious base for your meals. Featuring flavors like Butter & Sea Salt Jasmine Rice, Chicken and Herb and many, many more, you won’t be short of meal inspiration if your pantry is well-stocked up with flavored Minute® Rice Cups!

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