11 Ways to Turn Leftover Sweet Potatoes and Other Starchy Foods Into Something Special

You may be feeling less than inspired about those leftover tortillas, mashed potatoes, or that garlic bread. I am also guilty of overbuying "pick of the season" corn. Those sweet potatoes, which seemed like good idea at the time, need to be used up. Here are 11 fun ways to use up leftover starchy foods. Your refrigerator will thank you for making the space, too.

1. Sweet potato haupia pie

This sweet potato pie recipe uses Okinawan sweet potatoes, which are naturally sweet, so you can cut back a little on the sugar if you'd like. The Okinawan potatoes also make the bars a pretty purple color, so it's a showy, yet homey, dessert. When you chill the bars, the haupia "sets" into a firm layer so these pie slices can be easily cut.

2. Mashed potato cinnamon rolls

Adding mashed potatoes to rolled dough results in super soft, tender rolls with more body. While that's one great use, imagine what happens when you add leftover mashed potatoes to cinnamon rolls. They are completely irresistible.

3. Brown rice salad

Always on the lookout for work lunch ideas, this brown rice salad with avocado made me stop in my tracks. It's worth your time to cook extra rice just so you can make this. I like to drizzle the tiniest bit of sesame oil into it. As the recipe mentions, you can add in a leftover protein, too.

4. White rice balls

These arancini (rice balls) with marinara are totally delicious, and you probably won't be able to eat just one. They are very easy to make, which is probably a bad thing, because they are so good. Toss a side salad, and dinner will be ready.

5. Salted caramel bread pudding

Salted caramel anything is pretty good ... but have you tried it with leftover bread, to make bread pudding? This recipe utilizes brioche, but as that wasn't available to me, I used French bread cubes and it was still mouthwatering.

6. Garlic bread croutons

Ever buy that garlic bread that's all ready to pop into the oven? If you have leftover pieces, just wrap them up. The next day, cut into small chunks and toast over low heat in a skillet. Toss into a salad for extra-flavorful croutons.

7. Mexican lasagna with tortillas

We all love comfort food, and here it is, in the form of a Mexican lasagna. It matters not if your tortillas are slightly stale — they will work just fine. Substituting ground turkey or chicken is a great option, too.

8. Migas with tortilla chips

Tortilla chips are so cheap and delicious, until they go stale. Ugh. So what do we do with them now? Try making Migas, which are scrambled eggs with tortilla chips, onion, tomatoes, cheese, and other delicious goodies. I like to build mine like a power bowl, adding avocado and some plain Greek yogurt on the side.

9. Mexican street corn salad

A decision of overbuying fresh corn sent me to the internet. While I love Mexican street corn, I find it's a little messy to eat it straight off the cob. That problem is resolved with this Mexican street corn salad. This is great with barbecued chicken or grilled shrimp.

10. Lentil salad

Any recipe that suggests combining bacon, shallots, goat cheese, and Dijon is bound to be delightful, am I right? This warm bacon-Dijon lentil salad is absolutely great and I think it works well in any season. My husband is not a huge goat cheese fan, so I substitute a little feta.

11. Black bean dip

This black bean dip has great flavor and goes together quickly. I like cilantro on top, but not everyone is a cilantro fan, feel free to skip it altogether. It's also vegan.

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11 Ways to Turn Leftover Sweet Potatoes and Other Starchy Foods Into Something Special

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