Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Learn With Me: Stretching Barbecue Foods

Yesterday I shared with you my family's favorite barbecue chicken pizza recipe.  Let's keep with that barbecue theme and discuss ways you can use your grilled meats to help plan future meals! 

I know half of the U.S. is still in cold season and perhaps even dealing with snow on the ground.  Here in Florida though, we're in full-time spring weather.  So you know what that means?  Time to dust off the barbecue pit and grill!  I walk outside onto my back patio and smell the wonderous grill foods at least three times per week now amongst my neighbors.

When my husband barbecues (Well, what that means is that after I'm done marinating all the foods, doing the prepwork, making the side dishes, etc. while he just throws it on the grill last minute to cook it), I often have him double the meat amount for the pit.  In other words, I will often have him grill eight chicken breasts at a time, even if it's only our small family of three eating. 

Here are some leftovers we had from a recent barbecue!

Why you ask?  Because I use those leftovers for the remainder of the week and freeze some for later as well.  I love leftover grilled food!  Half of the work is already done since the meat is already marinated, seasoned and cooked!  Then just cut up the chicken, steak, sausage or pork to turn them into delicious pastas, salads, sandwiches, soups and more. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to use up our leftover BBQ:


Barbecue chicken pizza

Chicken salad sandwiches - recipe is from my cookbook

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti with butternut squash

Chicken and broccoli pasta bake 

Balsamic chicken wraps 

Slow cooked Italian Stew


Orange Chicken


Steak sandwiches - think Philly style!

Steak tacos or burritos - just add some cumin or taco seasoning

Steak and Potato Pizza

Steak salad - serve over a bed of lettuce with bleu cheese or your favorite dressing

Steak and eggs - make your own Cowboy-style omelette!

*Note that I don't have specific recipes for leftover steak.  The above list is to give you some simple ideas on how to use up what you have.  Don't ever throw out leftover steak! 


Sausage and Penne Pasta - recipe is from my cookbook

Sausage and Black Bean Soup

Meat and Veggie Chili

Sausage and Black Bean Cornbread Pie - recipe is from my cookbook

Sausage, mushroom and pumpkin pasta

Slow cooked Italian Stew


All of these recipe suggestions are going to be great because your meat is already cooked and they have a wonderful smoky flavor that will enhance the recipes you're adding them into.  Trust me, I speak from experience! 

So do yourself (and your family) a favor, the next time you grill or barbecue, throw on some extra meat that you can cut up and freeze for later!  I divide mine up in 1 cup portions and place them in plastic storage bags.  Also if you have leftover grilled veggies from your shish kabobs, then toss them in to your meals.  Or use them up right away for any pasta, salad or special recipes you have in mind.  You won't regret it! 

Do you love barbecue foods?  What kinds of ways do you use up leftover grilled items? 


  1. We do the same thing when we BBQ, mainly because it takes so long to get proper coals with a charcoal grill. We often cook hamburgers and freeze them on a cookie sheet before putting them into freezer bags. It only takes a minute to microwave them for a quick, easy meal.

  2. I can't WAIT to shovel out the barby and get to some good grilling again!! anne