10 Foods You Should Never Keep For Leftovers

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Some foods are even better the next day after all of the flavors have had time to meld. Some examples might be chili, soups, or lasagna. But some foods, however, are barely even edible the next day. Here are foods that you might want to throw away rather than eat them as leftovers.

1. Eggs

Two white plates, each with a serving of scrambled eggs and a garnish of fresh parsley.
Photo Credit: Tatiana Volgutova/Shutterstock.

Have leftover scrambled eggs from breakfast or brunch? You’ll probably just want to let those go. While there are some recipes with eggs that reheat beautifully, plain fried or scrambled eggs aren’t them. Reheated eggs often turn out chewy, rubbery, and flavorless.

2. Steak Tartare

A steak tartare with a raw egg yolk on top sits on a parchment-lined cutting board.
Photo Credit: Ratov Maxim/Shutterstock.

Since steak tartare is made by using raw ingredients, it is meant to be made and eaten immediately after. You don’t want to save the leftovers of this dish.

3. Burritos

A burrito in a bento container next to a second container of green grapes.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Burritos just don’t hold up as leftovers. The tortillas get soggy, and if you reheat them, your guacamole and sour cream will get hot and melt. If you want leftover burritos, it is best to store the ingredients separately and make a fresh one the next day. 

4. French Fries

A sheet pan loaded with cooked french fries.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

French fries straight out of the fryer or the oven really can’t be beat. But once they are cold, there is no way to bring them back to their former glory. If you try, you end up with either a soggy mess or burnt fries.

5. Shrimp

Sheet pan garlic shrimp laying on a baking pan smothered in butter and parsley.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Shrimp and other shellfish just can’t be brought back to life the next day. Reheating them will leave you with a flavorless, rubbery mess that’s nothing like the meal you enjoyed the night before. You definitely want to skip this food as a leftover. 

6. Nachos 

Clean Eating Sheet Pan Nachos Recipe
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Nachos won’t hold together as a leftover because the tortilla chips turn into a soggy mess instead of a crispy chip. If you want leftover nachos, make sure that you store the ingredients separately and make yourself a fresh plate.  

7. Fried Foods

A white plate holds chicken tenders, french fries and two small cups of ketchup and mustard.
Photo Credit: AnnapolisStudios/Shutterstock.

With the possible exception of fried chicken as long as you eat it cold) fried foods just aren’t as good the next day. The outer coating just gets greasy and soggy, and it won’t taste as good reheated. 

8. Salad

A white bowl holds a small serving of kale salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Salad is healthy and delicious, but it’s best to enjoy it when it’s freshly made. You can enjoy salad as a leftover if it hasn’t been dressed, but if you have dressing on it, you might as well toss the leftovers. If you think you‘ve made more than you can eat in a sitting, keep the dressing on the side. 

9. Boxed Macaroni & Cheese

A white bowl on a white background, filled with macaroni and cheese.
Photo Credit: P Maxwell Photography/Shutterstock.

Boxed macaroni and cheese is great when you need a quick side, but you need to eat it while it’s hot. Once you put the leftovers in the refrigerator, the cheese sauce and pasta just turned into a flavorless clump that isn’t good for anything, especially eating. 

10. Fish

A salmon filet crusted with pumpkin seeds. A bit is taken from the filet.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Freshly cooked fish is delicious, but reheated fish is a sad imitation of the original dish. You can safely eat leftover fish, such as salmon, but if you don’t want it to become dry and rubbery, consider eating it cold. 

This post was inspired by this Reddit thread

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How To Scramble Eggs
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If your scrambled eggs always turn out less than stellar, here’s how the pros do it.

How To Freeze Avocados

Option three for freezing avocados is to remove the seed, put the halves back together, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you have a lot of avocados and no way to use them before they go bad, try freezing them.

How To Make Almond Milk

Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Interested in making almond milk at home? This guide will walk you through the steps.

This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

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