griling ribs and burgers

9 Clever Recipes You Can Make With Grilling Leftovers

Last Updated on September 17, 2023

Whether you just hosted a massive backyard barbecue or had a simple cookout with the family, it’s likely you’ll find yourself with some grilling leftovers. Hamburgers, steaks, pork chops, crispy chicken thighs, even shrimp skewers—all tasty favorites from your ButcherBox you would hate to see go to waste. And yet, what do you do with a few leftover burger patties or a few slices of steak? Can you make something a little more original besides the usual microwave meal?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. Grilling leftovers can be used in a variety of ways—from clever salads and toasty sandwiches to noodle bowls and much more. There’s a lot you can do with all of those tasty leftovers from your backyard cookout, and these are some of our favorites.

1. Green Goddess Steak Salad

Sure, steak and eggs are always an easy go-to with your leftover meat, but how about trying something a little greener with your grilling leftovers? This Green Goddess Steak Salad works with any cut you have left over. Warm up the steak (either in the oven, the stovetop, or even an air fryer), then toss it together with the salad and homemade dressing for the easiest leftover lunch you’ll ever have.

green goddess steak salad

2. Quick Chicken Salad

Cooked chicken can be versatile in many ways, and grilled chicken is no exception. Whether it be grilled chicken thighs, breast, or an entire ButcherBox Whole Chicken, you can use up the leftover meat in this Quick Chicken Salad. Toss it together and scoop some chicken salad on toasted sourdough or over a bed of leafy greens.

chicken salad sandwich

3. Garlic Sriracha Shrimp with Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Although the shrimp may not have the same marinade, if you find yourself with leftover shrimp after grilling up a bunch of skewers, this noodle salad could still work well with what you have. Simply toss the cooked shrimp in a sauce with some lime, Sriracha, honey, and soy sauce to give it that flavor, then top on the noodle bowl prepared per the recipe instructions in this Garlic Sriracha Shrimp with Vietnamese Noodle Salad.

garlic sriracha shrimp

4. Classic Diner Patty Melts with Caramelized Onions

What do you do with leftover burger patties that aren’t just, well, having another burger? Patty melts are the answer here! After whipping up many patties using your ButcherBox Ground Beef over the weekend, save a few extras to make a few of these Classic Diner Patty Melts for easy meals with grilling leftovers. Plus, this gives you even more time to concentrate on caramelizing those onion slices. It may take some time, but we promise, it is worth every second!

5. Pineapple Pork Noodle Bowls

If you find yourself with some leftover pork chops, you could easily toss together this Pineapple Pork Noodle Bowl for a simple lunch or dinner. Chop the cooked pork into one-inch cubes, then start the recipe by cooking the vegetables. Add in the sauce, and then toss together with the pork. Serve on top of rice or noodles!

pineapple pork bowl

6. New York Steak and Brown Butter Chicory Salad

If you treated yourself to a box of ButcherBox meats, especially some quality cuts like New York Strips Steaks, the last thing you likely want to do is waste your leftovers. Hence why having the perfect salad to pair is needed, and this Brown Butter Chicory Salad will do your steak justice. And thankfully, it’s simple to make! You’ll toss together a homemade dressing using brown butter, walnuts, honey, shallots, oil, and red wine vinegar, which balances perfectly with the bitter chicory and the savory steak, making your weeknight meal an elegant affair.

7. Buffalo Chicken Melt

Did you say buffalo chicken? We’re in! Buffalo Chicken Melts make for incredibly easy leftover grilling meals when you have some cooked chicken thighs or breasts ready to use. Simply toss the cooked chicken with blue cheese, diced celery, and buffalo sauce until you’ve reached your desired level of heat. Then top on a slice of crusty artisan bread, add mozzarella and blue cheese, and melt away.

buffalo chicken melt recipe

8. Fennel-Orange Salad with Lobster Tails

No grilled lobster tail should ever go to waste—and this salad is here to help. Thankfully you can still follow the same recipe instructions to heat up the lobster (letting it simmer in wine and water) until it is warmed through, then prepare the salad as instructed. This Fennel-Orange Salad with Lobster Tails is the perfect refreshing salad to enjoy on a warm, summer day.

lobster salad with fennel and orange

9. Paleo Salmon Cakes

We all know that heating up fish can get, well, kind of fishy. If not done correctly, you’ll have a very smelly filet of fish…and likely a very smelly kitchen. Hence why you should avoid the microwave, and try making up a different recipe with that leftover ButcherBox Sockeye Salmon Fillet instead. So why not mix together these Paleo Salmon Cakes for an easy protein for a sandwich or a salad? Skip working with a raw salmon filet and simply mix these cakes with the same ingredients using the cooked filet. They’ll taste just as delicious!

paleo salmon cakes

Kiersten Hickman is a freelance journalist and content strategist, covering a variety of topics in the food, health, and lifestyle categories. Her work has been published by Reader's Digest, Taste of Home, Clean Plates, EatingWell, Eat This, Not That!, Bustle, Stacker, The Everygirl,  and more. She also writes Forkful, a weekly essay on Substack debunking diet culture myths, and is in the process of publishing her first novel.