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Party Leftover Ideas

Whether you hosted or were sent home with leftovers from a gathering it can feel helpful to have an idea of how to repurpose said leftovers into meaningful ways. We’ll cover some common foods you might find at a party, but try to keep it broad enough that depending on what’s served when you get together with loved ones it’ll hopefully serve to help.


Leftover dips can make a great snack with chips, pretzels or veggies. You can also use dips to top burgers, sandwiches, pizza or to both top or stuff pieces of meat for meals.

Raw veggies:

If there was a veggie tray or cut up veggies to go with say the chicken wings at your event, you can use them in any other way that you’d use vegetables! Eat them raw with dips or dressing, throw into a soup, stir fry or quiche or cut into smaller pieces if needed and use on a salad.

Chips/pretzels/tortilla chips:

Any of these can of course make great snacks to have on hand throughout the week. If snacking on these items, try to add in additional food groups to make it more filling and satiating. Some ideas:

  • Potato chips and a Greek yogurt ranch dip

  • Pretzels dipped in savory or dessert hummus

  • Tortilla chips and salsa and/or guacamole

The chips can also be crushed up and used as a coating on pieces of meat such as pretzel crusted chicken or thrown onto salads or soups/chilis for crunch.

Many other items that are often served at gatherings can be used as meals or meal components and incorporated into your meal prep for the week. Chili is a great example; chili is a pretty complete meal on its own but can sometimes be lacking a carbohydrate source. Perhaps you can add some microwave rice or quinoa to your helping or make up a box of cornbread mix to go along with it and boom, you’ve got some meals figured out for the week.

Other items might need some more adding to such as potato skins, jalapeño poppers or macaroni and cheese. If you’re left with some of these items, think about what sounds good to add to it to make it a more complete meal with more food groups. Some examples could be:

  • Potato skins (carbohydrate, fat), pork tenderloin (protein) and a side salad with dressing (produce, fat)

  • Jalapeño poppers (vegetable, fat), rice (carbohydrate) and high protein veggie burger (protein, vegetable)

  • Macaroni and cheese (carbohydrate, fat) with grilled chicken (protein) and broccoli (vegetable) added in

Know that it can be much easier said than done to incorporate these types of foods into your eating experiences even at the events, but particularly if you have any more leftover, so give yourself compassion and grace as needed. Things can be even more challenging if you’re still thinking of these foods as “bad”. Work to remember that food is not simply “good” or “bad” or there’s no morality to food either - meaning you are not good or bad depending on what you eat either. More on navigating celebratory eating can be found in this blog post.

Wherever you’re at in your journey to food freedom you deserve to enjoy the foods that you like both at the party and leftover if that makes sense for you. You deserve to feel neutral around these foods so that you can be present at the gatherings as much as possible. You deserve peace with food and simply reading this blog is a step in that direction! Hope to see you again soon!


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