According to research by Love Food Hate Waste, in the UK we throw away around 24 million slices of bread every single day. As well as creating a huge pile of wasted food, that’s also a fair bit of our money we’re chucking away as well. Make your loaf go further with these recipe ideas for using up your leftover bread…
Crispy Fried Chicken
Or prawns. Or fish. Or mozzarella cheese. Blitz a chunk of leftover stale bread in a food processor and add a few chopped herbs or spices or a spoonful of grated hard cheese, like Parmesan or Grana Padano. Dip your chosen food into a little plain flour, shake off the excess and then dip into beaten egg. Then, coat with the breadcrumbs and fry or oven bake until golden and cooked through. Turn an ordinary chicken breast into milanesas, kievs or cut pieces of fish into strips and make home-made fish fingers. Don’t forget you can always freeze breadcrumbs in a zip-lock bag if you know you won’t use them straight away.
The name makes it sound complicated, but it isn’t. Panzanella is just a salad with chunks of bread in it, drizzled with a dressing. You can toast the bread chunks a bit first, so that they soak up more of the lovely dressing - like in this version, Easy Greek Panzanella by The Wanderlust Kitchen. With lots of lovely, fresh veggies, feta cheese and a tasty vinaigrette, it’ll only take you about half an hour to make it, from scratch.
Here’s another way to use up breadcrumbs. Just blitz stale bread with your favourite herbs and scatter over macaroni cheese, oven-baked stews or vegetables for a crunchy topping, as in this dish, a Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Bake from the blog Apple of My Eye. Blogger Christine says it’s a good dish for picky eaters, and that “it comes together relatively quickly and makes the whole house smell delicious.” Can’t usually get your kids to eat cauliflower and broccoli? Try it like this.
If you have a few bread rolls left in the pack and you’re bored of the usual lunchtime sandwich, then eat them for dinner as an alternative to pasta, potatoes or rice. You can pile in freshly-cooked chilli con carne or Bolognese sauce and eat like a sandwich. Grate over some cheese over the top if you like, too. This Vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipe comes from the blog Spicy Southern Kitchen (it’s suitable for vegans, too). Richly flavoured with lentils, mushrooms, carrots and peppers, it’s hearty and warming for when the nights get colder. Grab a napkin or two and tuck in.
Leftover bread for pudding - that’s an idea we like the sound of. This Caramel Apple Stacked French Toast was created by Ingrid at the blog The Cozy Apron. She uses stale brioche or challah bread, but you could always use ordinary sliced bread instead, if that’s what you have handy. It’s all flavoured with cinnamon, caramelised apples and a maple-caramel syrup. Sweet and rich, it would make a perfect dessert - or a weekend breakfast if you’re feeling indulgent.
Alyssa, from the blog What’s Cooking, Love? has used the classic flavours of salted caramel and apple, but in a completely different recipe to the one above. Her Salted Caramel Apple Bread Pudding is layered up and then baked in the oven. It takes longer - just under an hour - but you could always add other flavours if you like. Try bread puddings with other fruits, chocolate chips and warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
Blitzed bread isn’t just awesome when it’s coated in chicken, you know. It can be seasoned with herbs and garlic and scattered over pasta to give it some crunch. This Spaghetti with Anchovy Pangrattato, Lemon and Parsley was created by Meike of the blog Eat In My Kitchen. Probably not something you’d think of as an obvious way to use up leftover, stale bread, but it makes a tasty and economic topping for pasta if you ever fancy something other than grated cheese.
Toast Roll Ups
A genius idea for using up leftover sliced, white bread. You cut off the crusts (use them to make breadsticks or croutons - don’t waste them) and then fill the bread slices with whatever you fancy - strawberries, sliced bananas, chocolate spread, peanut butter - and then roll ‘em up and cook. See the recipe - and step by step instructions - for French Toast Roll Ups at the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything.
How do you use up leftover bread? Any favourite recipe ideas? Share them with us on Twitter!
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