Dinner ideas

22 wonderful ways to fight food waste

Don’t throw away forgotten food in your fridge, try some of these simple ideas to reduce waste and save you money!

When making the most of your leftovers, you’ll notice the benefits are twofold; not only will you save money, you’ll see a reduction in your food wastage. But if you’re at a loss as to what to do with those odd bits of food left in the fridge, these tasty recipes are sure to inspire. You’ll find pasta packed with stray pieces of cheese, a pie that will make the most of your leftover curry paste and even a dish that uses whole radishes – yes, even their tops! So, let’s start clearing out that kitchen…

Consider storage

Not all food can be stored together.

Some vegetables, such as asparagus and sweet potatoes, are sensitive to a natural chemical known as ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process.

For a longer-lasting shop, be sure to keep foods like these away from high ethylene producers like passionfruit, figs and grapes.

So remember to make use of your veggie crisper and be mindful when putting away your weekly grocery shop.

If you’re into meal prep, make sure you line the chopped fruit and vegetables with paper towels before placing them in storage containers, as they absorb the moisture that causes fruit to rot.

Another great storage hack is produce bags. Ones like The Swag deter moisture while allowing your food to breathe and stay fresher for longer.

Consider freezing

Placing some of your fruit and vegetables in the freezer will not only keep them fresher for longer, but also help in minimising overcooking. Just separate the food into zip lock bags, and only defrost what you need, when you need it.

Citrus fruits can last up to three months in the freezer, whilse other fruit can last anywhere between 9 and 12 months.


Vegetables can be kept frozen for up to 12 months.

That’ll definitely help your wallet from hurting.

Just remember, things like lettuce, apples, melons, artichokes, eggplant potato and lettuce can’t actually be frozen. So steer clear of freezing those.

How To Freeze Food

Become friends with your freezer and start making the most of those weekend cooking sessions!

Make the most of leftovers and know how to freeze food safely with these freezing food tips. Perfect for make-ahead work lunches for the month!

Pre-preparing and freezing meals is a perfect solution for busy parentsor for those days when you just don’t feel like cooking.

But, there are certain things you have to keep in mind to ensure that your food is stored safely so we asked our Test Kitchen experts for their best tips and tricks for make-ahead meals.


Remember, freezing food doesn’t kill bacteria, it merely stops it from growing. So, to ensure your food won’t come back to bite you down the track, it’s important to check three things:

  • Your freezer temperature is between -15°C and -18°C.

  • Your food need is cool, or at room temperature, before freezing.

  • Any bag or container is well-sealed and airtight.


Now that has been sorted, what is the best way to store your food?

  • Liquids: Cylindrical plastic containers are perfect for soups while ice-cube trays are great for keeping small amounts of liquid stock in the one place. Ice-cube trays are also great for storing mushy baby foods,

  • Single serves: If you want to keep individual lunch serves for work separate, snap-lock bags are the way to go. Just stick your sanga in one, make sure it’s sealed and pop it in the fridge!

  • Patties/pizza: Keep your raw meats or patties from sticking together by layering them with a sheet of ‘go-between’ or freezer paper in the middle – great for separating single serves when you need them. Freezer paper is great for stacking pizzas, too.

  • Curries/pasta/rice: And basically anything else you can think of will keep well in any airtight plastic container.


If there’s one rule you absolutely must follow, it is to keep glass out of the freezer – it will explode and no-one wants that.


Make sure to label all your frozen foods so you know how long it will keep.

An easy way to ensure you don’t find two-year-old food in the back corner of the freezer is to keep your containers on constant rotation. Every time you mass-cook meals, remember to put the newest at the back of the freezer and bring your older food to the front.

Buy what you need

It sounds simple, but never shop on an empty stomach. You’ll want to buy everything and it will not end well.

Instead, consider bi-weekly grocery shops over going once a week.

It’ll help you become more familiar with what is in your fridge and cupboard and prevent you from over-buying and wasting food.

Whilst these are only small steps to minimising your food waste, it can go a long way overall to saving you money and conserving food.

There is no need to buy five mangoes if you know you’ll probably be sick of them after you’ve eaten the second one.


Popcorn butterscotch squares

Popcorn butterscotch squares

Make use of leftover popcorn from movie night?


Irish stew with carrot-top salsa verde

Irish stew with carrot-top salsa verde

We top off this meaty Irish stew by using the carrot tops in our salsa verde to adds a nice fresh element and stop them ending up in the bin.


Easy combination fried rice

Easy combination fried rice

Fight food waste in the tastiest way possible. Use up leftover rice with a few fresh and healthy ingredients to create this Chinese takeaway family favourite that’s quick and easy.

bread & butter pickles recipe


Perfectly pickled fruits and vegetables

Perfectly pickled fruits and vegetables

Don’t let any of your vegies go to waste, turn them into a selection of tangy pickles for later in the year.

Photography by Anson Smart. Styling by David Morgan


Pumpkin with balsamic and pine nuts

Pumpkin with balsamic and pine nuts

The great thing about using Japanese pumpkin for this pumpkin with balsamic and pine nuts recipe is that the skin is edible, so there’s no need to waste time cutting it off. This makes a great side dish for a roast leg of lamb.


Slow-cooked lamb and rosemary pasta

Slow-cooked lamb and rosemary pasta

Toss leftover slow-cooked lamb through pasta with chilli, rosemary and broccolini for a hearty meal that’s packed with flavour.


Pork and noodle spring rolls

Pork and noodle spring rolls

These crispy spring rolls full of tender shredded pork, noodles and vegetables make an ideal snack or starter. A great way to use up leftover pork.


Pasta with radishes and their tops

Pasta with radishes and their tops

This wholesome, delicious pasta dish embodies the sustainability concept of root to leaf eating, where nothing goes to waste.


Leftover cereal slice

Leftover cereal slice

Attention all budget-savvy bakers: this crunchy, chocolately slice is a genius way of using up leftover cereal.

ham and green lentil soup with gremolata


Ham and green lentil soup with gremolata

Ham and green lentil soup with gremolata

Dig into this classic winter warmer with melt-in-your-mouth ham, tender lentils and juicy vegetables topped with fragrant gremolata. Serve with a generous slice of crusty bread and melting butter.

ham and brie finger sandwiches


Ham and brie finger sandwiches

Ham and brie finger sandwiches

With the addition of caramelised onion relish, these ham and cheese finger sandwiches make the tastiest afternoon snack. You can experiment with all sorts of fillings like smoked salmon with cream cheese, egg and mayo, or chicken and watercress.

Leftover pork ribs fried rice


Leftover pork ribs fried rice

Leftover pork ribs fried rice

Make the most of dinner by making enough for lunch the next day! Here, we’re using up those leftover pork ribs to make an easy barbecue pork fried rice that’s just waiting to be gobbled up for lunch.



Rogan josh lamb pie with coriander chutney

Rogan josh lamb pie with coriander chutney


Leftover roast vegetable quiche

Leftover roast vegetable quiche

We’re using up those pesky odds and ends of roast vegetables by turning them into a delicious quiche. You could also use leftover grated cheddar or crumbled feta to scatter over the top of the quiche.



Apricot brown betty

Apricot brown betty

Use up leftover hot cross buns to make this speedy, delicious dessert.

Slow-cooker ribollita


Slow-cooker ribollita

This slow cooker ribollita recipe is a traditional Tuscan dish, used by reviving leftover minestrone and adding a few simple ingredients.


Italian minestrone soup

Italian minestrone soup

This hearty Italian vegetable soup made with tomato-y broth and pasta, traditionally made to use up leftover vegetables, use any seasonal veg you have

pot pie recipes


Leftover lamb pot pies with mushy peas

Leftover lamb pot pies with mushy peas

These beautiful lamb and potato pies use leftover lamb shanks to create a quick and tasty filling. Serve with minted mushy peas for a complete dinner.



Pesto chicken turnovers

Use up leftover chicken in the these pesto chicken turnovers for a delicious lunch idea.


Ham and cheese croquettes

Ham and cheese croquettes

A great way to use any leftover ham. The classic combination of oozy ham and cheese centre with a crunchy breadcrumb coating and served with a home-made tomato sauce.

chicken and risoni pasta bake


Chicken and risoni pasta bake

Chicken and risoni pasta bake: Creamy, cheesy and deeply comforting, this chicken and risoni pasta bake is a great dish to pull out when you’re feeding lots of people.

Chicken lavash rolls


Chicken lavash rolls

Chicken lavash rolls

Delicious chicken and Greek salad wrapped in an Armenian lavash.

chicken fried rice recipe


Chicken fried rice

This Asian inspired dinner is quick, simple and SO tasty! If you use leftover chicken, it is even easier. Full of delicious flavour and texture, this chicken fried rice is sure to become a family favourite in no time!

Roast Chicken Pasta


Roast chicken pasta

Roast chicken pasta

Use precooked chicken and sun-dried tomatoes which omits the need to cook a tomato sauce, without sacrificing any of the flavour.

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