The Quick Report

10 Delicious Meals That Taste Even Better as Leftovers

What’s better than a delicious freshly cooked meal? How about leftovers that taste even better the next day! Sometimes, a day in the fridge lets the flavors become richer and more distinct. Simply put, some foods just taste better the next day. Here are 10 that we think you’ll love.

10. Broccoli, Cheese & Rice Casserole

Broccoli, Cheese & Rice Casserole - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

This can be cooked in a skillet or Dutch oven and is a perfect one-dish meal that gets better with reheating. Can be prepared in as little as 30 minutes. Optional additional ingredients are mushrooms, and if protein is desired, add chicken breast to the casserole or on the side (to save time, use a store-bought already cooked rotisserie chicken).

9. Meatloaf

Meatloaf - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Even the most basic meatloaf gets better as the flavor from the tomato sauce and/or catch-up matures. To make an extra-special best meatloaf, consider adding stovetop stuffing to your mixture, finely chopped carrots, and celery. For healthier fare, you may also want to substitute ground turkey for ground beef.

8. Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Fresh ingredients are what make this one a winner. Plus, the carrots, celery, and other vegetables become more tender with every reheating. The tomatoes concentrate for a thicker, richer, and more flavorful base. As everything soaks up the broth, it becomes even tastier than the initial cooking.

7. Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Three things contribute to making this better with every reheating. Use a rich tomato sauce. Combine three types of gooey cheese. Choose hearty ground beef or ground turkey. However, one thing is crucial when considering leftover meals. Make sure to cook the ziti noodles al dente (slightly firm) to avoid mushy noodles with reheating.

6. Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

This classic entrée will be much better if you do your reheating in the oven low and slow rather than using a microwave. Oven reheating will ensure you don’t lose the crispy crust. But the main reason chicken pot pie improves over time is that the ingredients thicken and become less runny.

5. Homemade Chili

Homemade Chili - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

The flavor of chili gets better over time. Opinions vary on the best way to reheat chili. Some say microwaving is fine. Others argue the best way to bring out even more flavor in your reheated chili is by heating it on the stovetop, bringing it just to boiling, then simmering it over low heat for a few minutes.

4. Easy Homemade Enchiladas

Easy Homemade Enchiladas - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

The flavors and spices of enchiladas come out more after the first cooking. The flavorful sauce thickens over time and when reheated. This is one meal where it is a wise move to make a big batch and freeze part of it. The thawed and reheated enchiladas will taste just as great as if they were just freshly made.


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3. Homemade Spaghetti

Homemade Spaghetti - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Homemade spaghetti is a little extra work than buying store-bought sauce, but you’ll be glad you made the effort. Homemade pasta sauce only gets more delicious day after day as your spices seep out and become more aromatic. The rich tomato flavor will increase. Any meats or vegetables you add to your sauce will also become more tender.

2. Beef Stew

Beef Stew - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

This can be cooked in a variety of ways, including using a crockpot, a Dutch oven, a one-pot, or a large pot on the stovetop. No matter which method you choose, the key is slow cooking. This is another recipe where flavors seep out over time. Vegetables become more tender and absorb the spices and beef flavor in the broth.

1. Homemade Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Lasagna is certainly delicious enough right out of the oven, but over time, more of its impeccable spices and flavors seem to ripen. Lasagna also holds together better the next day after its ingredients have solidified after refrigeration. Reheating will also make the pasta more tender. You can reheat using a microwave, but oven-reheating is way better.