Tag Archive: Empty the Fridge

I didn’t actually get a picture of this one, but instead put pictures of two previously posted “Empty the Fridge Chowders”  Making a chowder or chili is one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers.

4-5 c. leftover meat and starch (I had about 4 or 5 cups of some delicious boneless lemon pepper chicken thighs and brown rice and black beans that weren’t getting eaten fast enough.  I chopped the chicken up into smaller pieces)

1 bag Dole Chopped salad (I save the salad toppings and dressings from the chopped salad for future use).  Broccoli slaw would also work well as the fresh add-in.



Combine the leftovers with the greens from the Chopped salad, and place in crock pot.


Add in:

1 jar salsa (I used Muir Glen organic that was on sale)

3 Tbsp. bacon jam

1 Tbsp. dehydrated minced onion

2 C. chicken broth

Any leftover meat and starch will do.  I sometime even freeze leftovers I know will work well in a chowder or chili.  Make sure you label them, though.  They are often unrecognizable when you look at them in a container in the freezer.


To the chicken, rice, bean, and chop salad mixture, I then added salsa, bacon jam, dehydrated minced onion, and chicken broth.


Cook on low in the crock pot for 8 hours.

Optional toppings:  Shredded cheese, nuts, sour cream, crushed chips, etc.

Optional add-ins:  Any leftover veggies or starches.




Friends came over to help trim the Christmas tree.  There was some leftover quinoa salad and a baked potato and three pieces of the teriyaki ranch chicken  I chopped up the baked potato and put it in a small casserole.  I dotted it with butter and layered the leftover chicken that I chopped up as well on top of that.  Then I sprinkled it with shredded cheddar and baked at 350 for 30 minutes while preparing the cold cut rolls and slicing up some Compari tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and St. Andre cheese (which is like a mild brie).  I buttered some pieces of bread for with the St. Andre and put a little pesto balsamic dressing over the tomatoes and mozzarella.  The cold cut rolls consist of cold cuts spread with a condiment of your choice – mayo, mustard, ranch, chili sauce, salsa, guacamole, cream cheese – anything!  Then you place a few asparagus spears on each and roll.  I used  canned asparagus because I grew up eating the mush stuff!  It cuts easily with a fork too.  Other fillings will work too.  Peas, green beans, even pineapple or mandarin oranges.  You can sprinkle with sesame or sunflower seeds, add in heat with chopped jalapeno.  The possibilities are endless.  I great way to empty the fridge.


4 c. pulled pork

5 c. corn chowder

1 can black beans, drained

1 can great northern beans, drained

2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbsp. cajun seasoning

1/8 c. cooking sherry

1/4 c. Recaito seasoning


Mix ingredients in crock pot.  I use Recaito in recipes that include one or more of the ingredients in Recaito.  (Recaíto is mix of onions, garlic, ajicitos, green bell pepper, green cubanelle pepper and lots of cilantro and culantro. All of the ingredients are put blended until smooth. Recaíto is basically the same ingredients as Puerto Rican Sofrito, but without red cubanelle, pimiento, red bell peppers, and tomatoes)


Donovan likes chowder that doesn’t have tomato in it, so this is really sort of a white chicken chili.  I toyed with the idea of adding leftover bratwurst, but there was already so much going on in this dish, and the bratwurst will add something to another meal in need of meat, I nixed that idea.  This one already has the chicken from the corn chowder and the pulled pork!




Empty the Fridge Chowder

Next on my quest to use what I had on hand to create something new and tasty, came tonight’s dinner.

I had leftover boneless chicken (about 2 large boneless breasts) and scalloped potatoes (about a cup) from my friend, Jeralyn that she had frozen and given to me. She had tried one of my recipes for chicken and her daughter didn’t care for it! Can’t please everyone 🙂
I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and put it in the crock pot. I added the potatoes and the sauce that the chicken had been cooked in which was a teriyaki, ranch and cheese mixture.

To that I added some defrosted frozen leftover corn chowder (about 4 c. or so).
I threw in some chicken broth (about 1/2 cup) and sherry (about 1/4 cup).

I cooked it on low for 4 hours.

We topped it with crunched up tortilla chips, shredded sharp cheddar and sour cream.
Another ‘Empty the Fridge’ success. No leftovers and no complaints!! Very yummy if I do say so.

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