How to Use Up Leftover Lunch Meat

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If you have some leftover lunch meat, cheese and pasta you almost have supper on the table. Throw in some frozen vegetables and you're done. Any type of lunch meat will work, but keep in mind that most are loaded with sodium so compensate by under-salting the dish or waiting until the dish is done to add any salt. Add a green salad and fresh fruit compote for dessert.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb. lunch meat
  • Cutting board
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs, optional
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 12 oz. package frozen peas
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • Cooking spray
  • Baking pan
  • 1/4 cup chopped lunch meat
  • 1 tbsp. each minced onion and celery, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, grated cheese
  • Small bowl
  • 2 slices bread

Baked Pasta

  • Cook the pasta until it's slightly underdone. It will finish cooking in the diced tomatoes. Drain and set aside.

  • Slice the lunch meat into 1/2-inch strips. Turn and cut the strips into 1/2-inch squares. Set aside.

  • Peel the onion. Cut off the stem end and then cut the onion in half. Cut each half into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.

  • Mix the diced tomatoes and juice with the tomato sauce.

  • Spray the baking pan with cooking spray. Layer one-third of the cooked pasta into the pan. Top with half of the onions, 1/2 cup cheese and half of the herbs. Layer another one-third of the cooked pasta on top of the onions and cheese. Top with the remaining onions and herbs and 1/2 cup of cheese. Add the final one-third of the pasta. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the pasta. Sprinkle on the remaining cup of cheese.

  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes until the dish is bubbling and the cheese is melted. If the cheese is browning too quickly, cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Lunch Meat Salad for Sandwiches

  • Chop the lunch meat finely. The pieces should be no more than 1/4 inch square. Smaller is better.

  • Chop the onions and celery. Add the mayonnaise or salad dressing, celery, sweet pickle relish and cheese. Add the lunch meat and mix thoroughly.

  • Spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the lunch meat salad on bread for sandwiches or stuff a tomato with the mixture.

Other Uses

  • Add leftover lunch meat to salads or use it to top scrambled eggs.

  • Place a slice of lunch meat on top of a slice of bread tucked into a greased muffin tin. Break an egg over the meat and bread and bake at 350 degrees F until the egg cooks through.

  • Mix leftover lunch meat in with vegetables.

  • Combine lunch meat with pasta salad.

  • Spread a slice of lunch meat with cream cheese and roll it up. Add finely chopped chives to the cream cheese before spreading on the lunch meat, if desired. Slice the rolled-up lunch meat into 1-inch slices, place a toothpick in each slice, and you have appetizers or hors d'oeuvre for a party.

  • Wrap a slice of lunch meat around a breadstick or a stick of string cheese.

  • Chop and add leftover lunch meat to chili or canned soups to add protein and flavor.

  • Mince lunch meat, add to cream cheese and stuff into celery stalks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use strongly flavored luncheon meat sparingly.
  • Check for mold or spoilage before using lunch meat.

References

  • "Special Occasions"; John Hadamuscin; 1988
  • "Party Food: Small and Savory"; Barbara Kafka; 1992
  • Photo Credit PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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