Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

deli meat tray

Ideas for turning your deli meat tray leftovers into breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners.


If you hosted a Super Bowl party last night, your refrigerator this morning might look a lot like ours—full of leftovers. As we prepared our deli meat and cheese tray, sandwich fixings, wings and guacamole, we figured we would have more than enough food. And then a crockpot full of Italian meatballs and a tray full of stuffed clams walked in the door—along with their human counterparts.

I hate wasting food so we’re going to transform the remains of that deli meat and cheese tray into dinners. That’s my challenge. We’ve got roast beef, pastrami, ham, turkey, Genoa salami, capocollo, sopressata, plus three kinds of cheese. No one needs that many sandwiches.

As I do with any other culinary challenge, I turn to Google and Pinterest. Here are some of the ideas I found in case the thought of sandwiches and more sandwiches is making you groan too.

Freeze the meat.

Snack on a roll-up. Roll up a slice of meat and cheese. For an extra punch, stick a cornichon or sliced pickle in the middle.

Make roll-ups with a tortilla. You could smear on some plain or flavored cream cheese (horseradish makes the cream cheese even better), mayo or mustard.

Bake a pasta casserole with deli meat, onions, peppers, garlic, spinach, broccoli, cheese and bechamel sauce.

Throw together a pasta salad.

Bake a breakfast casserole with eggs, deli meat, cheese, onions and garlic.

Layer meat and cheese in between crescent roll dough and bake like this Italian Sub Layered Bake.

Make a quiche with meat and cheese.

Prepare Cobb, chef or antipasto salads.

Bake stuffed chicken breasts with meat and cheese, herbs, and pesto.

Use sliced meat and cheese as pizza toppings.

Instead of tuna salad, make roast beef or ham salad.

Make roast beef hash.

Add ham to pretty much anything you’re cooking.

If you have a good idea for leftover deli meat, please share it in the comments below. Thanks!


1 year ago on Gusto: Cranberry Almond Orange Chocolate Dutch Baby

2 years ago: Monkfish L’Americaine

3 years ago: Chipotle Sloppy Joes

4 years ago: Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad

5 years ago: Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna

6 years ago: New England Clam Chowder and Sweet Potato Fries

(Creative Commons photo by Didriks)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: