Recipes to prevent food waste

Don’t trash it – use these recipes instead for delicious and nutritious waste-preventing ideas!

Take a listen

Let’s start out with our first podcast, where we’ll discuss why recipes are an important tool for reducing food waste.

Take a look

Check out this video with recipes to use kitchen scraps and stale or about to spoil foods before you throw them out:

View infographics

NRDC Infographic

Why is food waste a problem?

In the food system, water is needed for production and processing and energy is required to pump water for irrigation, operate farm equipment, and transport food to where it is processed or needed and storage. Decisions across the FEW nexus that fail to recognize these interdependencies could lead to unanticipated consequences that threaten the security of these resources.

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Leftovers soup

“Everything Leftover Soup” is a simple way to use whatever leftovers you have on hand just by cooking it down with some broth. This recipe also provides instructions for a nice basic vegetable broth if you don’t have any already.

Roasted broccoli

Roasted veggies are very simple and delicious! Here’s a three ingredient roasted broccoli recipe to get you started, but there are many other veggies to choose from.

Veggie-filled pasta sauce

This recipe will help sneak healthy vegetables into foods kids already love!


Here are a bunch of delicious combinations to try in your next smoothie for a healthy treat.

Waste Watchers choice

As an added bonus, here are a couple of our team’s favorite waste-preventing recipes available to you for download!

The takeaway

You can save money, eat better, and help the environment just by cooking at home and making the best use of your ingredients and leftovers. Remember that food wasted is not only money, resources, and an opportunity to eat healthy wasted. Here are some simple ways to make sure you make the most of your food through our recipes related food waste prevention strategies!

  1. Have some essential cooking tools, staple ingredients, and flavor enhancers on hand
  2. Check out what you have already before checking out the store, and buy frozen when you can
  3. Shop based on recipes for the coming week, including quick meals for busy nights
  4. Watch out for food about to go bad, and use it up before it does
  5. Keep containers handy to store leftovers and excess prepped ingredients


So, are you ready to get started preventing food waste with the power of recipes? Here’s what you’ll need to make the most out of your meals.

Must-have tools:
  • Knife and cutting board for meal prep
  • Blender for making sauces and smoothies
  • Sheet pan for roasting
  • Strainer for easier washing (optional)
Versatile ingredients:
  • Vegetable (olive) oil for flavor
  • Dry or fresh herbs and spices
  • Onions and garlic – chop and peel, then store the extra in the freezer
  • Broth or bouillon – make broth cubes in an ice cube tray for your next leftover soup

Helpful resources

There’s so much information out there that it can be overwhelming. Here is a curated list of some of the most helpful resources available.

Save the food

Check out “Save the Food” for a collection of recipes that will help you prevent food waste the next time you catch food before it goes bad.