“Irish Dish for Leftovers: Transforming Excess Food into Mouthwatering Delights”

By bobbreich@gmail.com •  Updated: 11/17/23 •  5 min read

Irish Dish for Leftovers: Transforming Excess Food into Mouthwatering Delights


Leftovers are often seen as a burden, but when it comes to Irish cuisine, they can be transformed into mouthwatering delights. In this blog post, we will explore traditional Irish dishes that can easily be adapted to use leftovers. Not only does repurposing excess food help reduce waste, but it also allows you to create delicious meals without much effort.

Traditional Irish Dishes

Ireland is known for its hearty and comforting cuisine. Traditional dishes like colcannon, shepherd’s pie, and boxty have long been staples in Irish households. The beauty of these dishes lies in their versatility and ability to incorporate leftovers seamlessly.

Colcannon is a classic Irish dish made with mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. It is usually served as a side dish alongside corned beef or ham. To transform leftovers into a new meal, you can add cooked meat such as diced corned beef or leftover roast chicken to the colcannon mixture. Shape the mixture into patties and pan-fry them for a delicious twist on traditional potato pancakes.

Shepherd’s pie is another beloved Irish dish that commonly includes minced lamb or beef topped with mashed potatoes. To use up leftover roast meat, simply shred it and mix it with gravy before spreading it in an oven-proof dish. Top with leftover mashed potatoes and bake until golden brown for a satisfying meal that tastes just as good as the original.

Boxty is an Irish potato pancake that can easily be adapted to include various leftovers. Add shredded cooked chicken or vegetables like carrots and peas to the basic boxty batter mix before frying them into crispy pancakes. Serve these savory pancakes with a dollop of sour cream or chutney for a delightful meal.

Creative Leftover Ideas for Corned Beef

Corned beef is a staple during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations but often leaves leftovers. Don’t let those go to waste! One creative way to use leftover corned beef is to make corned beef hash. Simply dice the meat and sauté it with diced potatoes, onions, and any other vegetables you have on hand. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs for a satisfying breakfast or brunch dish.

Another popular option for using leftover corned beef is Reuben sandwiches. Layer thinly sliced corned beef on rye bread along with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing. Grill the sandwich until golden brown and enjoy a flavorful lunch or dinner.

Transforming Leftover Potatoes into Tasty Side Dishes

Potatoes are a staple in Irish cuisine, so it’s no surprise that they often make an appearance as leftovers. Instead of letting them go to waste, why not repurpose them into tasty side dishes?

One classic Irish dish that can be made with leftover potatoes is potato pancakes. Grate the cooked potatoes and mix them with flour, egg, and seasonings before frying them until golden brown. Serve these crispy pancakes alongside grilled meats or as a satisfying breakfast option.

Another delicious option is potato bread. Mash the leftover potatoes and mix them with flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and water to form a dough. Let the dough rise before baking it into a loaf of soft and flavorful potato bread.

Using Leftover Vegetables in Hearty Stews and Soups

Vegetables are an essential component of any hearty stew or soup. Utilize your leftovers by incorporating them into these comforting dishes.

Carrots are commonly used in Irish cuisine and can be added to stews for sweetness and color. Cabbage provides great texture when added to soups or stews as well as leeks which add a subtle onion flavor. Simply chop up your leftover vegetables and add them to your favorite stew or soup recipe for an extra boost of flavor.

Transforming Stale Bread into Irish Bread Pudding or Stuffing

Stale bread is a common leftover in many households. Instead of throwing it away, you can transform it into delicious desserts like Irish bread pudding.

To make Irish bread pudding, tear the stale bread into small pieces and soak it in a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Let the mixture sit for a while before baking it until set and golden brown. Serve warm with a drizzle of whiskey sauce or caramel for a comforting dessert.

If you’re looking for a savory option, use stale bread to make traditional Irish stuffing. Tear the bread into small pieces and mix it with sautéed onions, celery, herbs, butter, and stock. Stuff this mixture into poultry or bake it separately as a side dish for a flavorful accompaniment to your meal.

Leftover Guinness: Baking and Cooking with Ireland’s Famous Stout

Guinness is Ireland’s famous stout that can add depth and flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. Don’t let any leftover Guinness go to waste! Incorporate it into your cooking or baking for an extra burst of flavor.

One creative way to use leftover Guinness is by making Guinness-infused brownies. Simply add some Guinness to your favorite brownie recipe in place of some liquid ingredients like water or milk. The stout adds richness and complexity to the chocolatey treat.

Another idea is using Guinness as a flavor enhancer in stews. Replace some of the liquid in your favorite beef stew recipe with Guinness for added depth and richness. The dark stout complements the savory flavors of the meat perfectly.


Incorporating traditional Irish dishes into your cooking can be an excellent way to transform leftovers into mouthwatering delights. From colcannon patties made with leftover corned beef to potato pancakes using excess potatoes, there are countless ways to repurpose food and reduce waste. Don’t let your leftovers go to waste – try these Irish dishes for an exciting and flavorful dining experience.