Fritter away leftovers with this easy food waste hack

Think of leftovers as a shortcut to a tasty, easy Zero Waste meal. Fritters are one of my favourite ways to use up leftover bits and bobs that might otherwise leave me uninspired. 


In January, post-holiday, I think many people come to the realization that they’ve over-catered, have too much food in the fridge, and little motivation to do anything other than toss it in the bin and start afresh.

Will it fritter?

If you find yourself in this particular situation, I want you to ask yourself this one question: Will it fritter?

Making leftovers into a simple fritter batter makes an easy dinner or breakfast. Many dishes actually taste better after a day or two in the fridge, when flavours have a chance to develop.

The basic fritter method

When making fritters, the amount of batter you’ll make depends on the amount of leftovers, but don’t worry, it’s really easy.

Start by chopping up what you have on hand and placing it in a bowl. You can do this by hand or in a food processor, like I did in this case.

chopped leftovers

Then coat with the flour of your choice – I use chickpea flour (sometimes called besan). Add a pinch of bi carb for leavening and salt to enhance the flavour.

There isn’t a strict measure, just coat and mix. I like to grind a bunch of pepper in to the batter at this point too.

Add one, two, or three eggs and stir in.

Dollop the batter onto a medium hot griddle or a cast iron pan with a bit of seasoning or oil. I like to use the BBQ hotplate during the summer.

Flip once.

Serve with some fresh greens and yogurt or salsa on top.

Here’s where a beautiful shot of the plated fritters would’ve been great. Sorry, I just went ahead and ate them.

Troubleshooting and substitutions

If your fritters don’t hold together on the grill for some reason, just go with it. Scramble them up and call it a hash. Pretend that’s exactly what you meant to do. There are no rules except that you generally want to heat up your leftovers to a safe internal temperature.

If you wanted to make it vegan, you could try a chia or aquafaba egg to replace the real egg (3 parts water to 1 part chia seeds – mix and let the mixture gel a few minutes).

If you’re using chicken’s eggs, why not explore a few surprising things you can do with the shells?

Fritters are easy, Zero Waste, and un-screw-uppable

Fritters are one of the reasons I never worry about too much roasted veg, day old corn, bits of leftover chicken, okara, lentils, quinoa, couscous… or anything else. They are also a good way to use up those last bits of condiments lurking about in your fridge. There are as many possible flavour combinations as you have leftovers.

Embrace those leftovers. Instead of tossing them, go ahead and fritter them away.

2 thoughts on “Fritter away leftovers with this easy food waste hack

    1. It’s also a great way to use up chickpea flour when you buy too much! One could easily use any type of flour, but with so many people in my life that can’t digest gluten, I’m pretty much always on the lookout for alternatives.

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