5 Double-Duty Dinners: Turn Leftovers Into School Lunches

Make your dinner do double duty by repurposing the leftovers as fuss-free kids' lunches.

By: Foodlets

Recipes for four cheese pizza and pesto tomato pizzas SHOW:The Pioneer Woman EPISODE: Moving Cattle ,Recipes for four cheese pizza and pesto tomato pizzas SHOW:The Pioneer Woman EPISODE: Moving Cattle

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2012, Jackie Alpers, All Rights Reserved.

Jackie Alpers, 2012, Jackie Alpers, All Rights Reserved.

Your mornings may go more smoothly than mine, but in order to get the kids out the door on time I need to have a bunch of lunch staples on hand. And sometimes those supplies come right from last night’s dinner. Hint: Make it even easier on yourself by packing up these lunches as you clean up dinner, while everything’s still out.

1. Homemade Pizza: Some schools balk when you send kids with takeout pizza, but the fresh stuff should be fine. We love ham and pineapple, as well as good ol’ cheese. But Ree Drummond’s 5-star Pepperoni Pizza and Four-Cheese Pizza (pictured above) look so good, we’ll venture out this week.

2. Rolls: Any time we serve rolls or crusty bread, I always use the extras for sandwiches the next day. We have small kids and the size is perfect. If yours are bigger, pack two of these mini sandwiches. (Feeling industrious? Bobby Flay has 164 [and counting] perfect reviews for his Parker House Rolls.)

3. Any Soup, Stew or Pasta: Almost any leftover can go into sliced-up store-bought pie crust or puff pastry and become tiny pot pies (pictured above), perfect for serving at lunchtime at room temp.

4. Quesadillas: I like to use whole-wheat tortillas stuffed with a mix of cheese, meat and a few veggies too, like  these with beef. Add shredded carrots to cheddar cheese or slide a couple of pieces of baby spinach in. I tell the kids to look for their piece of spinach and it becomes a bit of a game, rather than something to fret about.

5. Roast Chicken: Just because this was my favorite sandwich growing up as a kid. Mayo + leftover roast chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper = heaven on bread.

Charity Curley Mathews blogs at Foodlets.com: Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe

Keep Reading

Next Up

Cook Once, Eat Twice: Meals That Do Double Duty

One mom shares her secrets for making meals that can transform from one dish into another with fresh flavors all their own.

12 Lunches You Can Pack in a Thermos

At the first sign of frost, it's time to whip out the thermoses and start filling them with as many hearty, warming lunches as possible.

Dinner Leftovers That Make Awesome Lunches for Kids and Adults

Turn dinner leftovers into go-to lunches for everyone in your home.

5 Kid-Friendly Ways to Reinvent Thanksgiving Leftovers

From make-your-own mini pot pies to cranberry corn muffins, these are our best kid-tested ideas for serving Thanksgiving dinner again in a whole new way.

12 Summer Lunches for Kids That Take Advantage of Eating at Home

School's almost out for the summer, which means it's time to start serving kids lunch right at home.

DIY Dinners: Ingredient Bars to Please the Whole Family

For easy weeknight dinners, make one of Food Network kid-friendly recipes, then set up an ingredient bar to which your family can help themselves.

End-of-School Study Snacks

Just in time for college finals season, these wholesome, easy bites definitely beat a trip to the vending machine.

How to Make 3 Delicious Dinners Out of 1 Pork Roast

One mom shares her secret to cooking one big meal early in the week and transforming the leftovers into two more dinners, each with totally different flavors.

8 Kid-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Return of Asparagus Season

Learn how one mom uses her kids' favorite foods to help them embrace in-season asparagus.