Using Cooked Vegetables

You’ve done the work, you had a nice work day meal, you have a pile of leftover cooked vegetables!  Below are some ideas I use to change things up.  My cooking style has become a bit “freeform.” I loosely follow recipes I have made in the past or find in cookbooks/on the internet and adapt them to the vegetables I have on hand, using spices and sauces. If you feel more comfortable following a recipe, I have included some samples of what I make in my free style. Here are some ideas for using those veggies in new ways:

  • To the leftover roasted or sauteed vegetables, add water or vegetable broth for soup. Cook for about 10 minutes. If desired you can add more fresh leafy vegetables, canned tomatoes, frozen corn, peas or green beans to make a hearty vegetable soup. Also you can add lentils or quinoa as a nice grain, or some noodles. I also like to add V-8 juice instead of broth. Here is a recipe for Hearty Vegetable Soup
  • Make it a “cream of” soup by using an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender) to make a puree. Add coconut, soy or almond milk, nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste,  pureed nuts or tofu. Here is a recipe for Creamy Roasted Vegetable Soup
  • Enchilada bake:  Chop the roasted or sauteed vegetables into smaller pieces. Add chili powder, cumin and black beans to make a mash that can be rolled up in soft tacos. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish with salsa sauce and put the rolled up tacos on the sauce. Top with chopped red onion and bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Here a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas which is one of our family favorite recipes.
  • Add vegetables to a tomato sauce to make a pasta primavera variation and serve over pasta. Here is a recipe for Healthy Pasta Primavera
  • Find a great tasting curry or other kind of sauce that you like–either homemade or store bought–and add it to your vegetables. Add in chickpeas or other legumes and serve with a whole grain like Quinoa, brown rice or farro. Here is a favorite recipe for Cauliflower, Chickpea and Coconut Milk Curry
  • Use sauteed soft vegetables to make a wrap with soft tacos. Add dressing or vegan mayo.
  • Make a Shepherd’s Pie by adding cooked lentils and seasoning to the veggies, then put into a baking dish. Mash a batch of potatoes and lay on top and bake. Here is an example of a plant based Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Easy Veggie Burgers (egg free)! Getting a lot of root vegetables on hand from my winter CSA share last year made me look for new ideas to use them after initially cooked. I thought I would try veggie patties, and had an idea to combine the vegetables with the egg replacement “aquafaba,” which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas and a new popular egg replacer. It worked really well to bind the veggies so they did not to fall apart when cooked, which is what has happened with my previous attempt.  Here is the recipe:

    1 15 oz. can chickpeas, with liquid

    4 cups cooked vegetables (I used various root vegetables, but any kind will work)

    1 cup fine bread crumbs

    ¼  cup  nutritional yeast

    1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and parsley

    salt and pepper.
    Open chickpeas and pour into a large bowl with liquid. Mash with a fork until all the chickpeas are broken into smaller pieces.

    Chop the vegetables until chunky and add to the chickpeas. Add the breadcrumbs, mock parmesan cheese and seasonings and blend well.

    Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Shape mixture into patties and put on cookies sheets. I made mine “cookie” sized, but my husband thought a bigger size might be nice also to eat them as a veggie burger.

    Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. The bottoms should be browned. Turn over and bake another 15 minutes until the other side is browned. Serve with a sauce of your choice (guacamole, vegan sour cream, hot sauce, ketchup, etc.), or as a veggie burger.


For the past couple of years, I have been repeating this process over and over each week, varying the spices and vegetables and what we add them to. We never feel that we are eating the same thing all the time and the more I have worked with vegetables, the faster it is to prepare on the first day.


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