Frugal Cooking: “Leftover” Pizzas
The other day I had quite a few leftovers in the fridge – from salads, tacos and spaghetti with meatballs. I tend to have leftovers quite a bit, but this pile was becoming a bit unmanageable. I did not want it to go to waste (throwing away food is after all throwing away money), so I came up with the idea of making “Leftover” pizzas. I basically made mini-frozen pizzas from all the leftovers. Bonus – lunches that are pretty much already made AND I didn’t waste food.The first pizza I made had leftover Celery Pesto for it’s sauce. I had enough pesto for 4 pizzas. These are the size of one of my cereal bowls – I used it to cut out the pizza dough. Then I baked them until almost finished cooking (I don’t cook it all the way so when I heat them up the crusts do not burn.)I topped the pesto with some cheese – some of the cheese I used had a few moldy spots I had to cut off before I grated it, unfortunately. But this was a great way to use it up before it all went bad! I actually had to use more than just the block that had mold… but that’s okay.I topped the pizza with leftover red onion, red and green bell peppers from a salad we’d had. It was super convenient because they were all ready to go. The mushrooms I had from our produce co-op and my husband doesn’t really like them, so the two pizzas on the left are all mine!Seriously, I’m excited that I have these in my freezer now!I’m also excited that I used up food that would have gone to waste AND these cost a LOT less than buying individual serving pizzas. (Total out of pocket cost was about $10-12 for 14 small pizzas and one large we had for dinner. This cost does not include the leftovers, though.)Now for how I froze these delicious pizzas – I placed a piece of plastic wrap over my cooling rack.I placed a pizza in the middle of the rack. (And yes I topped it with a bit more cheese… we’re a cheese loving family. If you love cheese feel free to top it with more, if not… well you can leave it with just the cheese below the toppings. A good guide – if you add cheese to store-bought frozen pizzas then you’ll want to toss some on the top! And yes, yes I do add cheese to frozen pizzas.)Fold the top and bottom of the plastic wrap over the pizza.Then fold the two sides over the pizza. (Honestly it doesn’t matter if you do top-bottom or sides first – so do it however it moves you. Change each one if you feel the need! Fold from the diagonals if it suits your fancy.)Repeat with all pizzas.I then got out a gallon sized freezer bag… and labeled it. I did date it after this photo – I did almost forgot to put the date on it though! (Be sure to date items you place in the freezer so you know how long they’ve been in there!)Place pizzas in freezer bag (I had 4 in each bag, 2 deep). Remove as much air as possible. I close it until there is only a half an inch gap and then suck the air out (unless it is a liquid then I do it a bit differently!) Seal the bag and place it in the freezer.
These are some of the other “Leftover” Pizzas I made:
Salsa Verde and Black Bean Pizza (AKA Mexican Pizza)
I had this Salsa Verde that I made using some ingredients that I really needed to use up from a Mexican veggie pack I’d gotten with our food co-op. So I spread it on the crust.Topped with leftover beans from tacos. Added the bell pepper and onion to top it off (I did actually buy a bell pepper to add to these pizzas, but the pesto pizzas were all leftovers!)Then I topped it off with cheese, wrapped it in plastic wrap and stuck it inthis freezer bag and tossed it in the freezer… actually I carefully placed it in the freezer as my freezer is currently pretty full.
I put some leftover spaghetti sauce on these pizzas. I had made this sauce with fresh herbs and it worked great as a pasta sauce and a pizza sauce.Topped the sauce with cheese, and then bell pepper and onion.Some I just topped with more cheese and stuck in the freezer. The rest I made into Meatball pizzas.Super easy – I just cut the meatballs in half (I make my meatballs small – only 1 Tbsp per meatball – if your meatballs are larger, just cut them into bite-sized pieces.)Top with more cheese.and freeze.
Have you ever made pizza with leftovers? If so what was your creation? If not, what do you think would make a great leftover pizza?