Pizza may be one of America’s favorite foods, but it’s also a meal that tends to generate a lot of leftovers. While you can always just pop a day-old slice in the oven or eat it cold, those are hardly the only ways to give pizza a second life. We’ve already shared the crispy goodness that is the pizza waffle with you. Here are five more things you can do with leftover pizza.
1. Reheated Skillet Pizza
If you don’t want to get fancy with your leftovers, try this proven method for breathing new life into last night’s pizza. Warming the slice in the skillet avoids the soggy crust and weirdly textured cheese that happens when you use the microwave. Instructions from The Kitchn.
- Leftover pizza
Directions: Find a pan large enough to allow the slice to sit flat. Place the pizza slice in the pan, cover with a lid or piece of foil, and turn the stove on to medium heat.
Heat pizza in the pan for six minutes. After six minutes, check to see that the bottom crust is crispy and the cheese has melted. If not, continue to cook for a few more minutes.
2. Leftover Pizza Lasagna
There are recipes out there that purport to infuse lasagna with a traditional pizza flavor, usually by including ingredients like pepperoni and jarred pizza sauce. But this recipe from Cookin’ with Super Pickle takes things a step further by using an entire leftover pizza to create the casserole.
- 1 (16-inch) pizza
- 3 cups tomato spaghetti sauce
- 1½ cups ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup mozzarella
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Additional fillings such as spinach, bell peppers, or pepperoni
Directions: Cut cooled pizza into squares or strips. Reserve ½ cup spaghetti sauce. In a 9-by-13 pan spread a scoop of the spaghetti sauce to thinly cover the pan. Arrange pizza strips on the bottom of the pan.
In a food processor or high-powered blender, mix ricotta, egg, and seasonings. Blend to combine completely. Spread half the ricotta mixture over the pizza strips, add half the sauce, half of any additional fillings you are using, and half the mozzarella.
Top with another layer of pizza strips, then repeat previous layer. Add a final layer of pizza and top with the reserved ½ cup of spaghetti sauce and the Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more until heated through. Allow to set for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
3. Leftover Pizza Quiche
Some people would argue that there’s nothing better than a slice of cold pizza for breakfast. But if you want to turn last night’s leftovers into a truly memorable breakfast, whip up this quiche, which combines slices of pizza with spinach, ground turkey, eggs, and more cheese (of course) for a rich and filling meal. Recipe from Tasty Kitchen.
- 1 frozen pie crust
- ¼ pound ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 whole green onions, chopped, with ends removed
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 3 slices leftover pizza, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 3 ounces grated cheddar-jack cheese
- 5 eggs
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let pie crust thaw and then place into a pie pan.
In a skillet, brown ground turkey over medium heat with garlic and green onions. Drain fat.
In a large bowl, combine pizza pieces, spinach, grated cheese, and eggs. Mix well. Add cooked turkey mixture while continuing to stir. After all ingredients are well coated with eggs and thoroughly combined, transfer to pie crust.
Cover entire quiche with aluminum foil and put in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove foil from pan. Fold in corners of foil so that it makes a round shape large enough to cover quiche filling but not the crust. This will allow the crust to get brown and keep the spinach from getting too done on the edges. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more.
4. Leftover Pizza Potato Cakes
If you’d like to completely transform your leftover pizza, this recipe for pizza potato cakes from Veg with an Edge is the way to do it. After disassembling the pizza and adding some new ingredients, old slices take on a new life. Serve these fried cakes to your friends and see if they can identify the secret ingredient.
- 4 slices of leftover pizza
- 1 potato
- ½ an onion
- Canola oil
- Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
- Tomato paste
- 1 cup flour
- Parmesan cheese
Directions: Use a knife to remove the crusts from the pizza, and then scrape the toppings off, cut into small squares, and set aside. Cube a potato and cook in heavily salted water. Strain the potatoes and mash with a bit of oil and milk.
Chop up the onion and cook with a tablespoon or so of oil until translucent. Add pizza toppings, cooked onions, salt, pepper, garlic powered, and a heaping teaspoon of tomato paste to the mashed potatoes. Mix using a wooden spoon, allowing the heat from the potatoes and onions to melt the pizza toppings.
Cube the bottom of two pieces of pizza then add to the potato mixture. Roughly chop the crusts, then transfer to either a food processor or blender and blend until the crusts are completely broken down into a crumb consistency.
Set up a dredging station with three bowls. In the first, use about 1 cup of flour and some freshly ground black pepper, in the second whisk an egg, and in the third combine the crust bread crumbs and roughly a teaspoon of ground Parmesan. Roll 2 to 3 tablespoons of the potato filling into a ball, then flatten.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in the same pan used to cook the onion. Coat each egg in flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs, making sure to shake of the excess between each.
Place cakes gently into the hot oil, and cook until browned. Flip, and let brown on the other side. Removed cooked cakes from pan, and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil. While hot, sprinkle each cake lightly with kosher salt.
5. Leftover Pizza Croutons and Tomato Soup
Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic comfort meal. This recipe from the Rachael Ray Show turns leftover pizza slices into cheesy croutons that give an extra kick to this from-scratch tomato soup. Or just eat the croutons on their own as a tasty snack.
For the croutons:
- 2 slices leftover pizza, preferably cheese, crust removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the soup:
- 8 Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 2 red peppers, quartered and seeded
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup loosely packed chiffonade basil leaves
Directions: To make the croutons: Stack the two pizza slices on top of each other. Using a pizza wheel or knife, make 1 inch-wide strips following the straight edge of the slices. Take each matching stack of pizza strips and cut those into along the length to make 1-inch squares. Sandwich each pizza square so that the cheese, or top side of one slice, is touching the cheese, or top side of the other slice. They should look like mini cheese sandwich squares.
In a nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium heat, add oil. When oil heats, add assembled squares. Heat until cheese begins to melt and the crust bottoms begin to crisp, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook just 1 minute more.
To make the soup: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a sheet pan, gently toss together the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic cloves, thyme, 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Arrange tomatoes and red peppers skin side up and bake until lightly charred, 45 to 50 minutes.
In a soup pot, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the tomato paste and mix well. Add the tomato and pepper mixture, including the juices, and combine. Stir in the stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender and pulse in small batches that reach only about a third to halfway up the side of the jar. Be careful to start slow then increase the speed to blend the ingredients until smooth. Use a separate bowl to hold the blended soup and then return it all to the pot.
Heat the soup so that it is warmed through, then ladle into serving bowls and garnish with basil.
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