Revitalizing Leftover Soups: Creative Ways to Transform Yesterday’s Soup

One of the best ingredients you have in your fridge is the leftover soup from dinner the night before. Most of these soups can be repurposed into new and innovative meals so that you reduce the amount of waste you have and give your family some diversified options at dinner time.

Another bonus to leftover soup is that this part of the meal is already cooked, saving you step in your process. Keep reading for the best ways to repurpose that leftover soup.


Brothy soups are the best for this step. You can use your leftover soup as a marinade for protein or veggies, depending on what you want to cook. For example, a pot of leftover French onion soup is great for chicken and pork.

I enjoy taking out my slow cooker and pouring the soup directly over my chicken or pork chops. There is minimal work, the soup is already seasoned and you can let the meat cook for hours. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice, and you have yourself a full meal.

Casserole Binder

Sometimes one of the easiest things to do is turn the oven on to 400 degrees, grab a big casserole dish and add in some veggies, rice, and chicken. When I have leftover soup, especially veggie soup or potato soup, I like to pour the rest of the soup over the casserole dish and use it as a binder to bring all the flavors together. The soup is creamy and will spread all the way through the dish.

Any time you want to add a soup to your casserole, it should be one of the heavier ones so that it binds well. Your broth-based soups will not do the trick, as I have discovered in my own experience. I find that adding in a couple of eggs with these thick soups will truly stretch it out in a 13×9 pan that I love.

Make Stuffing

If you are feeling a holiday meal or getting ready to make your special stuffing, leftover chicken noodle soup is a great binder to add to your stuffing. You can use some you may have made in the last few days or some that you have stored in the freezer. Make sure that you let it thaw first. You might also want to take out some of the noodles, especially if you have a lot of noodles left over in the soup.

This will add additional flavor to your stuffing and make it stand out from others if you are carrying your dish to a family gathering. Don’t expect to have leftovers of this stuffing, however. Once you open it up to serve, it will be one of the first to go.

Create Your Own Pizza Sauce

This may be one of the more controversial options, but there are some soups out there that, when blended, make a great base for a pizza or even pasta sauce. My favorite two to use are tomato-basil soup and tomato and roasted red pepper soup. These two leftover soups are usually already blended down, and you need to add a little extra tomato paste from the pantry to thicken up the soup.

If you want to make a marinara pasta sauce for spaghetti or lasagna, just add in some tomato paste and whole peeled tomatoes to make it thicker and chunkier for the dish. Personally, I toss in a tablespoon (or two) of minced garlic and a healthy dose of Italian seasonings and let the sauce cook for about an hour.

Quesadilla Time

If you are like me, there is some variation of taco soup or chicken tortilla soup either in the fridge or freezer. What you may not realize is that once you drain the liquids from this leftover soup, you have a beautiful filling for quesadillas.

I like to pour the leftover soup into a colander and let the broth and liquid strain out, leaving behind the chicken and veggies. After that, add to a bowl and then toss in lots of shredded cheese. I mix these up and then heat up quesadillas on the stove and serve for a quick and flavorful dinner. It is important that you add the cheese though, since the cheese isn’t in either of the soups.

This also works for Enchiladas!

You can do the same thing with chicken enchilada soup. Strain out the soup liquid into a bowl and set to the side, Take the fillings that were left behind, and you can wrap them in tortillas, making enchiladas.

Once you have laid out your enchiladas in the pan, take the soup liquid and mix it with a can of enchilada sauce to thicken it back up and pour over the enchiladas. Top with cheese and bake for the next 20 minutes.

Homemade Broth

Many of the soups you have lying around as leftovers are great bases for homemade broths. If you are planning to use a dish that is calling for chicken or beef broth, you can make it form the leftover soup that you have.

All you have to do is strain the veggies that have been in the soup and separate the liquid. Add your liquid only back to the stovetop, and add in any leftover bones or carcasses you have. Let this simmer for at least two hours before cooling and then storing in your fridge or using as a base to a new dish.

Mashed Potatoes

I have one last surprise for you if you want to enjoy your loaded potato soup as a side and not as a casserole binder. Take a blender and mix the soup up, cutting up the chunks and smooth it out to make delicious mashed potatoes. If you find that it is still a little runnier than you prefer, just add in more cheese and keep blending. You will eventually reach the consistency that you are looking for in this dish.

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